Posthumous Birthday: Dr. Ado Ibrahim, A Respected King That Was!

Ohinoyi of Ebiraland


On Sunday October 29, 2023 was a day the dark clouds hovered over the zincs of Ebiraland, brought about by the passing of Dr. Ado Ibrahim CON, their most respected, sought-after and globally recognized paramount ruler. The late traditional ruler died at the old age of 95, yet the tributes wanted him to live longer because of the pride embedded in having him as their King.

More so, his passing was the great revealer of the shoes he wore, and how he carried it fearlessly with great splendour, reverence and in the royalty that brought pride to his people. He left a vacuum and with a standard that only great men in like qualities could fill; otherwise a downturn in the trajectory.

He was born on this day, February 7th, 1929 as a son of the second Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, Ibrahim Onoruoiza who reigned from 1917-1954. Ado Ibrahim, a successful businessman who lived most part of his life in Lagos, became the Ebira king in 1997 and reigned till his passing.

At 11 years-old, Young Ado Ibrahim completed his Nursery and Quranic education, and enrolled at the Okene Native Administration School from 1934 to 1940 for his elementary education. Upon completion of his elementary education, he was admitted to Okene Middle School in 1941.

After spending two years, he moved to the famous Ondo Boys High School for his secondary education from 1943 to 1946. From 1947 to 1949, he moved to Oduduwa College, Ile-Ife, Osun where he completed his secondary education.

He was employed by 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 Mines of Nigeria Limited in charge of maintaining operation areas of Bukuru and Barkin Ladi.

Ado Ibrahim

In that same year, he attended the first Mining School in Jos and qualified as a Mining Prospector and Area Manager.

Later in the year, the company sent him on a further technical training course, organised by the Anglo-American Mining Corporation, in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Upon his return, he was immediately promoted to Area manager and assigned the responsibility to excavate the Lead/Zinc Ore deposits at Izom in the Abuja district, and to lead a team prospecting for gold and base materials in the location.

Meanwhile, he had enrolled in 1952 as an external candidate for a degree at the London School of Economics, by utilising the extramural study facilities organised by the British Council in Jos.

He combined his mining and prospecting duties successfully with the undergraduate study programme and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Statistics from the London School of Economics in 1954.

In 1955, he won a Ford Foundation Sponsorship to undertake a six-month course in Marketing and Business Strategy at the Business School of Harvard University.

On the strength of his performance, he was readmitted into the Master’s Programme of the school as a full-time student. He thus earned the celebrated Harvard MBA in 1959.

Having fortified himself with practical industrial experience and sound academic training, he settled into marriage with Miss Abimbola Solomon on Nov. 1, 1959.

He was one time Chairman of the Nestle Nigeria PLC .

As King, his famous Azad palace, named after one of his sons, is a renowned architectural masterpiece and tourist attraction, remarkably the best palace of a Monarch in West Africa. A fire-brand writer, prolific speaker, researcher and laureate.

Azad palace

He was loved by his people, respected across Nigeria and most beloved of the clique of Northern traditional rulers.

Today, on his first posthumous birthday, we remember a King that was. May his soul rest in peace. Amen.

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