About Pa Robinson Edward Ovwigho
Pa. Robinson Edward Ovwigho (JP) was born in 1938. The exact date of his birth was not known later in his life he choose 24th October as his birthday and this has become the date of his birth as celebrated yearly.
His father is late Okpako R. Orho Ovwigho Uvwo of Okpara Waterside and mother Nene Orohotevu Ovwigho (nee Owhojemu Orugbo) of Okorogba, Okpara Waterside both of Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta State.
He was born into a polygamous home with his father having many wives and children. He was an only child of his mother (Orohotevu) who passed away when he was barely 10 years old.
Pa. Robinson Edward Ovwigho (JP) had his Primary School Education at the Catholic School, Okpara Waterside between January 1947 to August 1953. He gained admission to Government College Ughelli on scholarship and studied for his West African School Certificate (WASC) from September 1953 to December 1958 and completed his Higher School (HSC) in December 1960. He proceeded to the University of Ibadan, Ibadan, between 1962 – 1966 and 1969 – 1970 graduating with a B.Sc Hons. In Zoology and a Post Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) in July 1966 and July 1970 respectively.
His work life started in Government College, Ughelli as a tutor where he taught Biology, Physics and Chemistry at the West African School Certificate level and Zoology at the Higher School Certificate Level between 1966 – 1969. He was Inspector of Education Primary, Secondary, Technical and Teacher Training Colleges in Bendel State between 1970 – 1973.
He carried out administrative duties as Principal, Government College, Ughelli 1974 / 1975.
He was Education Administrator and headed the following Departments: Secondary Education, Science Vocational and Technical Education, Educational Services, Implementation and National Policy on Education and Higher Education.
He worked in various locations in the old Bendel State, such locations included Igarra, Sapele, Asaba and Benin City.
He was member of the Governing Council of the following Higher Institutions:
- Bendel State University, Ekpoma.
- Auchi Polytechnic, Auchi.
- Bendel State Library Board
- Delta State University, Abraka
- College of Education, Warri.
- College of Education, Agbor.
- Delta State Library Board
- Institute of Continue Education, Delta State.
He served in various committees at the State level amongst which were:
- Member, Panel on the viability of Educational Institutions in Bendel State, March 1985.
- Member, Committee on the Improvement of Sports in Educational Institutions in Bendel State, May 1987.
- Member, Task Force on the determination of vacancies in Post-Primary Schools system.
- 1st Member, Task Force on the calculation of total liabilities of Delta State arising from unpaid pension and gratuities to retirees as at 1st March, 1997; March – Mat, 1997.
- Chairman, Task Force on the recovery of reimbursable pension benefits from the Federal Government, June 1997 to April 2000.
- Member, Committee on the transfer of schools to former proprietors including missionaries August, 1999.
He was Director, Ministry of Education, Bendel and Delta State between 1st August, 1982 – June 1991.
He was appointed Permanent Secretary / Director General as it then was by the Administration of Olorugun, Felix Ibru (first Executive Governor of Delta State) and served in the Ministry of Education under Olorogun Felix Ibru in 1992 as well as the Directorate of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs between June 1993 and February 1993. He retired from Civil Service during the Military Junta of Colonel Bassey Asuquo in February 1994.
He also served as Administrative Secretary National Republican Convention (NRC) for Ughelli Local Government Area in January 1994.
Pa. Robinson Edward Ovwigho (JP.) was a great sportsman being a member of the Football, Athletes and Cricket Team in his secondary school days at Government College, Ughelli. He was also a regular lawn Tennis player at the Sapele Athletes Club, Benin Recreation Club and Asaba Lawn Tennis Club.
He was awarded the prestigious title of Justice of Peace (JP) by the Chief Judge of Delta State, Hon. Justice James Omo-Agege in January 1998.
He was a dedicated and devoted member of the Roman Catholic Church and was awarded the following recognition by the Church:
- Apostolic Blessing by Pope Benedict XVI on the occasion of his 50th Marriage Anniversary, January 2012,
- Amiable Life time couple awarded by the Catholic Men Organization of Nigeria, St. Paul’s Catholic Church, Benin City, June 2018. He also performed the Holy Pilgrimage to Rome in 2016.
Chief Robinson Edward Ovwigho holds the Ohonvbore Chieftaincy title in his community and was a social worker responsible for the community development that included Electricity, Water, Schools, Town Hall and Roads. In recognition of these development strides he was given an award by the Okpara Noble Club, Warri for community development.
He was a recipient of the “Ancient Mariner Award” for his immense contribution to the school, Association and Nation by Government College, Ughelli Old Boys Association (GCUOBA), Benin Branch in 2016.
He was a member of the following Associations:
- 1st Vice President, Ufuoma Social Cultural Club of Benin.
- Member, Science Teacher Association of Nigeria (STAN).
- Member, Okpara Elite Co-operative Society, Delta State.
- Member, Government College, Ughelli Old Boys Association.
- Member, Pastoral Council, St. Paul’s Catholic Church, Benin City.
- Member, Delta Forum, Benin City.
He was relatively widely travelled having visited most of all the States in Nigeria, a few countries in Africa, Europe and North America.
Pa. Robinson Edward Ovwigho (JP.) was a devoted family man. He was passionate about the welfare of his brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews, children, grandchildren and indeed all his relations that came his way. He saw many of these people through their struggles in life and above all ensured all his children were educated to University level.
He was a thorough educationist and helped in developing career paths for his children and grandchildren. His methodology, guidance and counselling saw his 6 children graduating in various academic fields. Unfortunately, he lost his first son to cold hands of death on the 1st August, 2011.
He personally performed the task of paying and receiving the bride price of all his daughters and son’s inlaws while alive.
He is survived by 5 children and 13 grandchildren who are spread across the globe contributing their quota to the development of the society.
Pa. Robinson Edward Ovwigho (JP) shall be greatly missed by his family, friends and the nation at large.
Ejiro A. Ovwigho