The Esama of Benin, Chief Dr. Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion built a Cathedral to mark his 88 years birthday celebration. Some guests that graced the occasion are; The Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, His Eminence Cardinal John Onaiyekan, Bishop Matthew Kukah, Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon Comrade Philip Shaibu, Chief Judge of Edo State, Joe Archer and wife, Senior Palace Chiefs representing the Oba of Benin, His Royal Majesty, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, and other dignitaries were present in Okada to witness the dedication of the newly built Archangel Gabriel Catholic Cathedral and Parish School on Saturday 17, September, 2022.
The edifices built by the Esama of Benin Kingdom, Chief Sir (Dr.) Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion to commemorate his 88th birthday, were dedicated by the Archbishop of the Metropolitan See of Benin City, His Grace, Most Rev. Dr. Augustine Obiora Akubeze in Okada, Igbinedion’s hometown.
The dedication mass was well attended by the Igbinedion family, top officials of the Edo State Government, and the catholic leadership in Nigeria.
Celebrating the Esama, Governor Obaseki said Government has a responsibility to support people like the Esama of the Benin Kingdom in bringing development to the people.
“As you know, the role of government is to enable things to happen in our society. So when you find a person like Chief Igbinedion, who over the last 40 years decided to bring development to this axis of our state, I believe that it is our responsibility to support and enable what he’s doing.
“I know chief’s dream is to have a diocese in Okada, but that may not be possible as we do not build the necessary infrastructure to bring the traffic to this part of our state.
“As part of celebrating you, I’m going to immediately instruct our town planning team to come here and complete the Masterplan for Okada and its environs. I assure you that in next year’s budget, we will be completing the dualisation of the road from Okada to the junction,” Obaseki said.
While delivering his mass, Archbishop Akubeze extolled the generosity of the Esama, calling on his children to emulate the kindness now synonymous with their family name.
“In the history of the Benin Kingdom, it is difficult to find a man whose charity has reached as many people like Esama of Benin Kingdom, the Catholic Church in Benin City and all over Nigeria”.
“It is also important to point out the need for the children of Esama to draw and tap from the wisdom and disposition of the Esama. To the children of the great Esama, your father has bequeathed to you a legacy of generousity, a legacy of passion for the work of God and transformation of society.
You must not allow this to end with your father’s earthly life.”
Chief Gabriel Igbinedion is father to the former Edo State Governor, Chief Lucky Igbinedion. He’s also the founder of Igbinedion University Okada, Independent Radio and Television, and the defunct Okada Air amongst other businesses.