Nigeria lost another illustrious son on October 29, 2023, with the passing of the paramount ruler of Ebiraland in Kogi State, Alhaji Ado Ibrahim, the Ohinoyi of Ebiraland.
The late Royal Majesty, Dr AbdulRahaman Ado Ibrahim, was born on February 7, 1929, to the family of the second Attah of Ebiraland, Ibrahim Onoruoiza of the Omadivi clan, who reigned between 1917 and 1954.
The young Ado was said to have completed nursery and Quranic education at the age of 11 years.
He completed his secondary education at Oduduwa College, Ile-Ife (now Osun State) in 1949, after spending three years (1943–1946) in Ondo Boys High School, finished at the Okene Native Administration School in 1940, and was admitted into the Okene Middle School in 1941.
Thereafter, he moved to the London School of Economics (1952), where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Statistics in 1954.
He then went to the Business School of Harvard University, where he earned his MBA in 1959.
He was employed at the United African Company (UAC) in 1950 as a special entrant for accelerated management. Having successfully gone through the accounting and sales department in 1952, he was promoted to the post of manager at the Kingsway Stores, Kaduna.
In January 1953, he quit Kingsway Stores and moved to Jos as Personnel Manager of Amalgamated Tin Miners of Nigeria Limited (ATMN) in charge of the Maintaining Operation Area of Bukuru, Barikin Ladi and the Ropps.
Later in the year, he was sent by the company on a further technical training course, organised by the Anglo-American Mining Corporation, in Johannesburg, South Africa. On his return, he was immediately promoted to the rank of area manager and assigned the responsibility to excavate the Lead/Zinc Ore deposits at Izom in Abuja district, and to lead a team prospecting for gold and base materials in the location.
He had also enrolled in 1952 as an external candidate for a degree at the London School of Economics, by utilising the extra mural study facilities organised by the British Council in Jos.
Dr Ibrahim ascended the throne, following the death of Ohinoyi Sanni Omolori of the Oziada clan in 1997, becoming the fourth Ohinoyi of Ebiraland.
The late monarch was said to be the most celebrated and flamboyant traditional ruler in central and northern Nigeria.
He was noted for his rare commitment to showcasing the culture of his people and their ability to go with modern trends. His palatial home, popularly known as Azad Palace, is testimony to his resolve to bring the kingdom at par with current trends.
But more importantly, it was said that the late paramount ruler was a man gifted with rare wisdom who displayed it greatly in his decisions on sensitive matters. This was said to have ensured a peaceful reign and coexistence between people of Ebiraland and other communities.
For instance, Mallam Enesi Adeiza, a community leader in Okene, said in the heat of disinformation and misinformation by fake news peddlers in their attempt to cause disaffection between the Igala and Ebira communities, the late royal father displayed rare wisdom that calmed nerves.
“He stood his ground, using all fora to send out a message of peaceful coexistence, and ensured that the divisive tendencies of the tribal jingoists did not see the light of the day,” he said.
He added that at his 92nd birthday ceremony in 2021, the late monarch used the occasion to cement his peaceful relations with other traditional rulers and leaders in the state.
Late Ado Ibrahim was also passionate about having a proper role for the country’s traditional rulers. He believed that giving a constitutional role to the traditional institution would assist in stemming the tide of insecurity that has bedeviled the nation.
He said the people at the helm of affairs in the nation should note that the security of the land is not a one-man show, but a collective responsibility of all.
President Bola Tinubu, in his condolence message to the family through his spokesman, Ajuri Ngelale, said the death of the Ohinoyi was a painful loss to the country, describing the late monarch as peace-loving, affable and a cerebral king.
“The Ohinoyi of Ebiraland was in a class of his own. He was highly respected and admired for his deep insights, wisdom and sophistication. He had a masterful way of handling issues. He was very knowledgeable and wise,” he said.
Also, the chairman of the Northern Governors’ Forum and Gombe State governor, Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya, said all the northern governors mourn the loss of the Ohinoyi of Ebiraland.
“The distinguished first-class monarch remained a man of peace and an exemplary leader whose reign was characterised by dedication, commitment to unity, harmony and understanding among the people,” he said.
We, at Daily Trust newspaper, join millions of Nigerians to mourn the death of one of Nigeria’s illustrious sons and a worthy leader. May Allah grant him Aljannah Firdaus.