..Gives full account of his life and times.
WARRI-Bightnews Correspondent reports that there was a vehicular gridlock, human standstills and an atmosphere of agog in the city of Warri and subsequently Ovu-Inland of Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta State as a super clergy Archbishop Dr. R. O. Adigbo JP. the general overseer of St. Lazarus Christ Church New Bethel buried his father last weekend.
The obsequies came to it’s peak when the clergy recounts the life of his father and enjoined all fathers to emulate the gestures of his father particularly in regards to educational value stating his father planted the English language which he( Archbishop Adigbo) speaks today in his mouth through education.
Read the full biography below;
THE BIOGRAPHY OF LATE HIGH CHIEF DR. MICHAEL AYI ADIGBO (JP).
Late Chief Dr. Michael Ayi Adigbo (JP) was born on 4th April, 1926 into the families of high chief Stephen Adigbo Oghojafor of Ovu-Inland and Osivikino Nee Ekobe of Eku both of Agbon Kingdom, Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta State, Nigeria.
He started his early life at the feet of his father who was a textile merchant and an enterprising farmer and the Osuivie and the Otota of Ovu. He wielded communal powers and tremendous influence in gerontocratic administration of Agbon before the advent of kingship in Agbon Kingdom.
His father who was a paramount leader in Agbon clan crowned the first king of the Agbon Kingdom. This position held by his father attracted lot’s of allegiances, favours, and pledges of loyalty to him which papa benefitted from as he was a symbol of royalty.
Papa started his early education in Eku Catholic Primary School, Eku. Due to the status of his father, he proceeded to LA School Isiokolo; a school meant for the sons of chiefs until 1943. And he completed his primary education (standard six) at the Baptist School, Ovu-Inland.
Moreover, his secondary education witnessed a sheer logjam due to the fact that western education was not embraced early enough in the then Western region which hitherto hindered its swift penetration into the region. This prompted the scarcity of secondary schools in the locality. However, his strong ambition for education earned him the assistance of late Mr. John Ibuje who came from England got him registered in a G.C.E. equivalent institution which qualified him to take the G.C.E in 1960 and obtained the result in 1961.
Being a loyal, humble and hardworking son of his father, and considering the fact that his father have so many children, the father advised and requested him to join him in training his younger siblings to which he concurred and this cause a delay to his admission and obtaining tertiary education.
The saying that delay is not denial played out in his life when he studied Industrial Relations at the University of Ife after obtaining his Ordinary and Advanced Level G.C.E in 1963 and later years studied Law and was awarded LLD in Law by Tennessee University USA.
His working career started when he ventured into rubber business in 1951 and later left for greener pastures in Ondo town at the time the rubber business became bearish.
Hinging on this and the experiences he gained from his father and Uncle’s traditional judicial disposition, he became an astute and vibrant youth. He moved to Ibadan where he convened a group known as Western Nigerian Urban Tax Payer Association in 1957 amied at protesting against the government when tax fee skyrocketed . The group was later shattered by the government to oversee tax related issues in the locality.
While in Ondo town, he wanted to join the Nigerian Army with the assistance of then Captain David Akpode Ejoor who was a high ranking Officer but fate did not smile at him as he could not pass the Army medicals.
To every disappointment there is always a blessing, this heralded him to secure a job as a trainee technician who installed the first Automobile exchange in West Africa at Ibadan in 1960.
Thereafter, he worked as a law clerk in Akpofure’s chambers in Warri for 13 years and left as chief clerk.
After that, he joined Niger Cat Construction Company as the Public Relations Officer, P.R.O. Due to dint of hardwork and professional integrity he was elevated to the rank of Administrative Manager, where he held sway for 12 years.
Interestingly, his curiosity to join the Force was never extinguished until he joined the Nigerian Police Force where he worked as a police constabulary for 6 years and resigned as a deputy superintendent of police. He then moved on and ventured into business and corporate life and became the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, C.E.O of Adimike Nig. Ltd. a contractual firm based in Warri.
Papa jurist profession started from his family background as his uncle, Late. High Chief Ogabgbe Oghojafor and his father chief Stephen Adigbo Oghojafor were jurist at various times in their position of Osuivie and Otota of Ovu and Agbon Kingdom having led Agbon Kingdom for 42 years before his father crowned the first Ovie of Agbon Kingdom in 1952.
His total commitment to community activities earned him a honorary title as the Ohonvwore of Ovu in 1963 and later in 1976 he was installed as the Okakuro of Ovu and was second in command to the Osuivie of Ovu Kingdom, a position he held till his death.
At the time his prowess in legal matters was sought, he was appointed a judicial officer by the then Bendel State government where he led the courts in Okpara, Orerokpe and Abraka before he quits due to advancement in age.
He was awarded Justice of the Peace (JP) by the Chief Justice of the then Bendel State.
The erstwhile jurist became committed to family and community matters before his peaceful and triumphant transition.
However, he was blessed with a creative talent which turnout to be his hobby. He produced crowns for kings, queens, and caps for high class chiefs with beads amongst other things without formal training.
Papa social life knows no bounds, he is the founder of Aghogho Club of Nigeria; a group that is still existing till date.
He was a prolific writer and he authored two books 1)“The dying churches in the rural area” and 2) “Son of the Soil”.
Our father got converted into the Christianity during the first visit of Christian missionaries particularly the Baptist missionaries which saw his parent dropping her idols and embraced Christianity, precisely the Baptist Church. This is where he dedicated some of his children amongst whom are Late. Barr. Emmanuel Adigbo, Mrs.Oghenekevwe Oduneyen amongst others.
It is worthy of note that, his commitment to communal activities did not in any way hinder his faith as he was among the six members who orchestrated and started the preaching station in Ighogbado Primary School which transited to Avenue Baptist Church Warri. Till his glamorous exit he remained undwindled in his faith in God and he died as a Christian devout.
To everything that has a beginning, there must be an inevitable end. His sojourn on earth was confronted with some excruciating tragedies which emanated from the death of some of his children and younger siblings whom he laboured in conjunction with his father to train and had risen to various positions in life. The last being the death of his first son who was a lawyer last year at the age of 64 and his wife who died 16 days before his demise.
Despite these misfortune and tragedies, he wrote his name indelibly in the pages of history of great men. His entire life serve as evidence that no one ever is defeated until defeat has been accepted as a reality. He plucked a thorn nature gave him and planted a rose in its stead. As he was not unaware of the sacrifices of longevity which he had to pay.
He was never known to be a prophet but he became prophetic at the twilight of his life. Few days to his death, he dictated his biography to one of the daughters-Oghenekevwe who asked him about the time of his departure, he smiled and said, he had four years more which turned out to be four days. She went further to ask of the exact time, he smiled again and said the night is dreadful and actually he passed on at precisely 2a.m in the night on 14th January, 2019.
Papa worshipped God on Sunday 13th January, 2019, he returned and started giving biblical counselling to his acquaintance who happened to be his cousin brother and charged him with the book of Joshua and asked him to abide with it after which, he retired to bed around 10pm, only for him to wake up around 1a.m and requested Godspower and others to take him to the hospital due to some discomfort. At 2a.m papa peacefully passed on to eternal glory. What a triumphant and glorious transition!
He survived by 15 children, many grand children and great grand children.
However, Papa with his appreciative attitude had asked us his children to tender a heartfelt appreciation to the following personalities for their support and quintessential extension of their benevolence to him at one point or the other, amongst whom are; Dr. P. C. Obakponovwe, Bro Godwin and Dr. Mrs. Agambi.
Alegbe, Orotanemetor, Adarigho Yerobuwevwi ooo!
Omashighele, Otolomunijakpa, Olokpanodioghwere! Tode oo…!
Chakalachukulu, The Orhé ró rhiekpa of Ovu! Akpókedefa o…!
Papa Goodnight and may the merciful God have mercy on your soul. Amen.