“How are the mighty fallen'”
I am struggling to come to terms with the tragedy of losing you. We lived together for sixty (60) years. You were a loving, caring, understanding, kind-hearted and steadfast husband and father for me, the children, extended family, friends and all who came your way. Thank God for a life well-spent, and the fruitful years of togetherness.
You were handsome (beautiful), neat and faithful to your marriage vows to the end. I am ever-grateful for the sound education you gave to all our children, and even grandchildren. You spent all your resources on education .
You taught me to be content with whatever we had; and your favourite saying was: “Neither a borrower nor lender be”. You were very charitable even when you didn’t have.
You were a good, practicing catholic to the end and were privileged to receive the sacraments frequently until your passing. You served the church in various capacities; e.g., member of Finance Council, Reconciliation Committee and a Zonal leader per excellence for many years. Thank God for the privilege of visiting Rome and America with you on holidays.
On the social scene, you were a much sought after MC (Master of Ceremonies) in youthful days. As President of Ufuoma Social Club until you took ill and became inactive, you motivated, organized and took the club to very enviable standards/heights. You were a worthy mentor to many members of the club.
As a great student of Government College, Ughelli, you finished there and taught there before proceeding to the University of Ibadan for higher studies. You returned later to become a House Master; and by dint of hard-work, ultimately, became Principal of the great college, and having the singular privilege of seating on ‘Carter’s Chair’.
In your working life, you set up many offices for the Ministry of Education all over Bendel (and later Delta) State. Integrity was your second name. Can we still find honest people today like you who will return unspent ‘Touring Advance’ to the Treasury?
“O death! Where is your sting?”
If it were possible to buy death, our children would have purchased it so that you continue to live forever. However, Scriptures tell us in Ecclesiastes 3 that there is a time and season for everything. Hence, when the appointed time came you answered the call of your creator:
“Come you righteous of my Father, who are washed dean by the blood of the Lamb. Enter Into the Kingdom of my Father.”
I pray God to grant you mercy, pardon and forgiveness, and welcome you into paradise with the angels and saints to sing his praises forever.
Goodnight my darling husband, till we meet to part no more. Rest in peace.
Words cannot fully express how great a father you were. Thank you, Daddy for a Great Father. You were selfless, kind and inspirational. It is such a privilege to be your daughter and share life’s journey with your guidance. You taught us great values such as honesty, handwork, and integrity.
Daddy, you gave us unconditional love, care and good education. You gave confidence to thrive and walk through life. You were my rock. You were always there for us all.
REST IN PERFECT PEACE, AMEN
Welcome to your heavenly home
I have often heard a lot of people often say Pa Robinson Edward Ovwigho (JP) was a good man. Before I agree or disagree with them, I’d like to share my personal experiences with him as well.
Firstly, I realized the kind of Dad I had sometime ago when I was in Form 3 in Secondary School. I hadcome home on holiday with a box load of books. Unknown to me, he searched through my boxes of
clothes and books and discovered I had a lot of books with other people’s names on them. He asked me how I got the books and I told him I “borrowed” them. When it was time for me to resumethe next term, he escorted me back to school with a letter addressed to the School Principal saying that he is returning the books back to the school because he “suspected” that I stole them from their owners!! From that day onwards I knew I did not have an ally in any of my nefarious activities.
Secondly, I had always had this erroneous belief that everyone should answer to his/her name calling. For
instance, I thought names like Onanefe, Edafe, Efe should be rich people. So, I thought to myself that having “igho” twice in my name – Omonigho Ovwigho, it would not be a bad idea to be an accountant
since I will be able to control copious amounts of “igho”. Accordingly, I wrote both WASCE and JAMB examinations wanting to read Accountancy in the year 1984. The story of how I made “P7” in mathematics is a story for another day. It was my dad who saw my WASCE and JAMB results before me because he was an Assistant Director of Secondary Schools in the Ministry of Education at that time in Bendel State.
He told me he was disappointed in me and thought I was not prepared to go to the University going by the result I had produced in both my WASCE and JAMB examinations and that I would have to resit both examinations the next year. The kind of controversy this generated could only be imagined and compared
only with the kind of calamity going on in the Russian-Ukraine crises. I told him I will never go back to form 5 at Baptist High School, Benin-City, where my Mum was teaching Home Economics but would
rather proceed to Edo College, Benin-City to continue my “A” levels and that most of my friends from my old secondary school at Agbarho were already in Edo College. It took the intervention of my uncle – Lucky Otegheri for me to agree to retake the General Certificate Examination GCE “O” levels at Baptist High School, Benin-City. My dad went further to arrange for me to be taught extra-lessons in Mathematics and Additional Mathematics by a colleague of his in the Ministry of Education, Benin-City at the time -Mr. Odewandagbon and this took place between 4;30pm and 6pm every day of the week. Before you could say jack, I became so entrenched in Mathematics and was teaching other students Mathematics. Eventually and when I wrote JAMB and GCE “O” levels the next year, I passed all the subjects I registered and was admitted to read Engineering in the University of Benin. This is the story of how I became a fellow
of the Nigerian Society of Engineers today.
Thirdly, I have never seen my dad so excited!! Three scenarios will attest to this fact.
1. The day my late brother graduated with an MBBS degree being the best graduating student and the valedictorian at the University of Benin, in 1988.
2. The day my dad gathered us, his children and told us he had completely paid the mortgage of the house we were living in Benin-City and that the house now completely and absolutely belonged
3. The day he celebrated the graduation of his last child – Odiri Ovwigho who had bagged a degree from the University of Benin in Computer Science in 2004. He told us his assignment was completed and he now had the time to completely rest. I am also witness to one of the most traumatizing situations in my dad’s life and it was the day he informed me that my late elder brother had been murdered!! We all took it with great fortitude and philosophical calmness and he took it with skillful sportsmanship believing that as in sports you win sometimes and lose at other times.
My dad was a great sportsman being in the school football team at Government College, Ughelli in the 50’s. He told me stories of how he and his other football team mates would rest at Okpanam Road, Asaba, under the mango tree(s) while plucking and enjoying the juices of the mangoes on their way to and back from football matches at Government College, Umuahia. He was also a very good lawn tennis player and belonged to different tennis clubs in Benin City,Sapele and Asaba. He was an exceedingly out going person and an extrovert in that sense, mixing freely with the rich and the poor, the educated and non-educated, the powerful and less powerful people. His belief and faith in the Roman Catholic church was non-negotiable. His belief in the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ as the universal savior and God being the giver of life was evidently conspicuous in his entire life. I remember vividly how he would surround our home with the rosaries, holy water, anointing oil and prayers. He was also very thankful for the blessings he had received from God and showed gratitude in this respect.
He was an absolute neat man. Deriving his spartan lifestyle from early education at Government College, Ughelli and the University College, Ibadan. Long before he ever stepped his foot on European and North
American soil, he had lived the lives of Europeans on account of his early association with the Irish and English people in Nigeria.
Make no mistake on your thoughts about who Pa Robinson Edward Ovwigho (JP) was. Due to human frailty, he was not an absolute perfect person as some would think I am trying to portray. He was also human and made his own mistakes in life. One intriguing aspect of his life I have come to realize was the fact that he found it difficult to upturn any decision he had jointly taken over any issue with his wife, who also doubles as my mum. It was such a way in his life that made my mum to have control over the affairs of my dad’s well-being even in his critical moments of medical care. He had absolute confidence and trust in her judgement and abided with them. They were both married for over 60 years, producing 6 children and 13 grandchildren whom they both cared for exceptionally.
As I bid you goodbye, I want to say thank you for being a wonderful dad and one dad anyone could wish to have. Migwo Daddy. Say me well to “Maradona”. Tell him “Messi” has made Argentina proud again. Tell “Pele” that his records are indelible also request Pope Benedict XVI to pray for us and intercede on our behalf.
Greet Papa, Mama, Ejiroghene and all the good people that have made our lives worth living.
We’ Kobiruo, Oshobe.
We’ Kobiruo, Daddy
Daddy, you were a very present father, who took on that God given role with dignity and pride. You showed me what living right was and the first time I ever heard “A good name is better than wealth” Proverbs 22:1, was from you. You were a believer in God and lived by biblical principles. Daddy you instilled in us your children to live uprightly and to always tell the truth, no matter how hard that will be. You always gave me courage to believe in God and in myself no matter what comes my way. I honor you and appreciate all you did to raise me up to be a woman of strength and character.
You distinguished yourself as a selfless teacher, public servant, and served as an Educationist. You made me and all your children recognise that education and commitment to work was the bedrock of what will set us apart for success. No wonder you influenced young people positively, while working in the civil service and encouraged them to build their career in different professions/works of life.
You were a sociable person who was always connecting with Family members, friends, Mentees and even colleagues, and I saw you relate with others in a very respectable way. You made it a point of duty to know your children’s friends, by chatting with them when they visited us at home………………..oh my dear special Dad, you will receive them warmly and ask, “who is your Father and Mother and where do you live?”. You lived a simple life, this attracted people to you. One attribute that I saw in you was, living peaceably with others. You were impeccable in the way you dressed and many of us learnt to keep that neat decorum, even in our own homes today. Our organizational skills started from home. At the beginning of every year or school term, my Dad would ask, “what are your plans?”, this kept us focused on our goals from year to year.
Words cannot express how much I miss you. You will forever remain in my heart.
REST ON DADDY!!!
Dearly beloved Dad, your body is gone but your spirit and soul lives on with the family you left behind and with so many lives you touched, during your earthly sojourn.
Innumerable memories of you, oh Dad, and the morals you inculcated in me are just multifidous. Mindful of the risk of sharing a sesquipedalian loquacious tribute, I’ll keep it simple and short.
Remembering how you instilled in us all (your children) the importance of a sound education, harping on the philosophy that you wanted each of us to be productively self sufficient and didn’t want us, as adults, to be dependent on others, for our daily bread, remains fresh and vivid. Your patience, steadfastness and adroitness in ensuring we got and adopted this message, as a way of life, is beyond belief.
How can I forget how you used to gather us all, at the end of each holiday from school, in the living room, to prepare us for the next school term. You would request everyone (including Mum) to provide their ‘provision list’. You would meticulously review each list, making adjustments to fit the needs of each child, while weighing other family needs. This little exercise, albeit did not go my way (as my long provision list was withered down), was my first lesson in money management and being financially prudent.
I will be remise if I forget to mention how organized you were. You gave me my first lesson on how to iron clothes. You painstakingly and patiently taught me the science of temperature effect on clothes, as well as insisting it is best to iron and fold one’s clothes (no procrastination) right after laundry. The first paragraph of my first letter to you, as an adult when I left home, expressed how I no longer had to iron your clothes when I could be watching Nigeria versus Cameroun (African Nation’s Cup). The letter went on to express how I found myself ironing my own clothes the way you had taught me to iron your clothes. Years later, you showed me that very letter with a smile that said “I guess my job is done” on your face. I carry that smile in my heart today and forever.
Your job, here on earth, is truly done. You fought a good fight, ran and finished the race, while always keeping the faith. Now, there is in store for you, the crown of righteousness, which the Lord will award to you.
Until we meet again, in the Lord’s Kingdom, I will always cherish and carry you in my heart, oh Loving Dad.
Dear Dad, my hero, guardian, protector, teacher and mentor. These qualities definitely do nor fully describe what you meant to me. You unequivocally showered me with love and showed me what a present Father meant.
Daddy, I am proud to be called your daughter. Your good name has and continue to open doors for us your children. Thank you for your life of honor, integrity, strong work ethics and strength of character.
I will miss your great sense of humor, your deep belly laughter and your smile.
I love you always
– Your chromosome
“Cry not for whom the ball tolls”. Now it is yours too soon. Though it will ring for us all some day. Though we saw it coming, God knows best.
You have gone swiftly to Heaven for which you worked tirelessly throughout your life in the Roman Catholic Church. Here on earth, I will always remember you as my Brother/Father figure while growing up. My sister, Elizabeth Emonena is the wife of you youth. I was already living with my older sister before you both got married. You were regarded as ‘a Son’ to my parents. Infact, while growing up, I used to call you ‘Brother’. Due to the conducive/comfortable environment, support and exemplary home you provided me, I had an uninterrupted education. At the age of 22years, I graduated from the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria
“Daddy”, as I later called you, I will never forget how you drove from Benin to Zaria (with a stopover in Jos), where I was serving as a National Youth Corper, to my graduation Ceremony. It was a memorable occasion for me. You were also in attendance at my wedding at Sacred Heart Cathedral, Warri. Due to your exemplary and diligent life style, you rose to the pinnacle of your chosen profession/career in the civil service of Bendel State, then later Delta State, where you became a Permanent secretary. Even after early reasons for Political reasons, you were called upon to carry out to serve in an advisory capacity in the government. You worked hard to educate your children, who are all professionals in various fields of endeavor. You were a caring and loving father.
We will miss you dearly!
Rest in eternal peace, in the laps of the Lord!
A final good bye is had to say to a kind-hearted man of peace like you. You were transparent, open -hearted, sacrificial and above all a good man. Fee men like me are blessed to have fathers in law like you.
Till we meet again, rest easy in the wings of eternity
As the first grand child, I look back in fond memories when I remember my Grandad. No one special could be as special as my wonderful grandad. You carried me as a child and held unto my little hands. You nurtured and treasured me everyday, and taught me how to walk and stand. Grandads are like no one else and you really were the best. Even though this sadness aches, it is really time for you to rest. I want you to know grandad, that although you are out of sight, I‘II always use the lessons that I learnt from you, because you are now my guiding light.
As a young child (the second eldest grand-daughter of my grandfather), I vaguely remember having Skype conversation with him. You know the normal “How are you?”, “How is your sister?”, and the never forgotten “How is school?” – You know Nigerian elders must always ask about school.
The memories deeply engraved into my heart are the ones of our first time physically meeting each other. He was calm and extremely observant. I remember baking oatmeal raisin cookies, that quickly became his favourite. It became “our thing” – every day I made sure I had a fresh batch of cookies on standby for him, throughout his holiday.
Although, I wished we had the opportunity to make more memories together, I can say I know my grandpa has transitioned to a better place and is watching over us all.
Love You Grandpa!
Chief Edward Robinson Ovwigho, my grandfather, a man respected by a lot of people for his gentle heart, hard work and moral standards.
I grew up to hear that he was among the first graduates of my village, Okpara Waterside and he worked his way up from scratch, but he had pure wits, dedication and resilience. He retired as a Permanent Secretary, one of the highest positions as a government worker at his time can attain. He started from very humble beginnings, a simple man, once a secondary teacher who taught chemistry and was known by many students for being an exemplary teacher, whose watchword was discipline. ‘The Old Mariner’ as he was fondly called, even though very loving, he did not spare the rod when necessary.
My grandfather was a man you look at and say ‘Hard work truly pays”. He seemed an ordinary man from an ordinary village, but he defied the status quo to become a great man. He inculcated his doctrine in every one member of the great Ovwigho family. He made sure every one put in their best in every chosen profession or career that they had chosen. He instilled in his children and grandchildren that a good educated was the foundation of every successful family. He never encouraged any lackadaisical behaviour. Grandpa was never biased or corrupt. He believed everyone should be rewarded according to their labor. He never took his position for granted, as he helped and impacted many lives around him.
My grandfather was very eloquent and when he spoke, it was with wisdom, carefully impacting his listeners. He always kept a smile on his face, and reached with a hand to help others. All these he did with a loving and kind heart. Even in his later years, he kept the smile on. My grand father was a great man worth emulating. I would say he lived a full live to the glory of God!
Grandpa, you taught me collectiveness, its how I’ve always known you. One of my fondest memories was when you took me to the market shopping for car tyres, that was fun. You ‘whooped’ me sometimes to discipline me, because I came into the house by climbing the fence. I learnt to think hard before talking, from you. This peace of advice will take me a long way in life. Thank you for being such an inspiration.
When I heard my Grandpa had died during the Christmas holiday, I was so sad that I cried. Even though I didn’t know him that much, I knew that when his time came to go to heaven, I would be sad because we had a strong bond.
Whenever my brothers and I went to visit him and Grandma he would start to smile at us. I can still remember whenever we played soccer in the compound, he would come out to the verandah, then smile while watching us. Sometimes, he would even gather enough strength in his old age, to kick the ball around with us. I can still remember his friendly face and smile, the first time I fed him. I wish I can still see that smile every holiday.
He was a kind hearted and loving man. He was successful in life. He was also a family man. I miss him so much already and I pray that he will rest in the perfect peace in heaven, AMEN.
I Love You, Grandpa.
Dear Grandpa, how we will miss you greatly. May you rest in sweet peace. “Love you forever”.
Dear grandpa you were a very gentle man of few words and you would smile all the time. We will miss you. You will always be in our hearts.
“Every Good Thing Must Surely come to An End”.
This summarizes the heart of my tribute to the memory of my beloved “Eddy”, as I often called him. Eddy, you lived a full glorious life dedicated to the service of god and humanity. You knew God and you served him faithfully to the end. You were a blessing to your family and friends, to your state and to the nation Nigeria at large.
Rest in Peace and in the bossom of our Lord and Master Jesus Christ in the tabernacle of the Saints…. Amen!
Adieu, Adieu, Adieu!
Every living thing, bright and beautiful, has a life span on earth. Death is a necessary end. It will come when it will come. So it was on that fateful day Monday 19th, 2022 that the old hands of death snatched away from this sinful and mortal earth and illustrious and amiable son of Nigeria, Pa Robinson Edward Ovwigho JP at 84yrs.
The news of his passing on into eternity after a protracted illness, has not come to us as a big surprise because we saw it coming. Death, no matter its circumstances is always a painful end.
Who was Pa Robinson Edward Ovwigho? Words are rather scanty to describe him. He was indeed a good product of Government College, Ughelli. He was an embodiment of numerous, enviable characteristic attributes that endeared him to all who knew and associated with him. He was a perfect gentleman, honest, a living witness of humility, simplicity, love, compassion, kind-heartedness an uprightness. He was a great sportsman, a teacher, administrator, a devout Christian, a proud retiree from Civil Service and above all, a family man.
What a great loss! What a pain! He will be greatly missed by all. However we are consoled by the fact that he fought a good fight and finished the race. We believe that he has gone to receive the crown of the Lord has prepared for him in the heavenly kingdom. We pray that the Almighty Lord will console the wife, the children and all he has left behind.
May his gentle soul rest in perfect peace in the bosom of the Lord till we meet to part no more. Amen