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Michael Ibru: Day of tributes as friends celebrate, mourn late icon

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Olorogun Michael Christopher Onajirhevbe Ibru

Olorogun Michael Christopher Onajirhevbe Ibru

Close friends, associates and well wishers of the late business mogul, Olorogun Michael Christopher Onajirevbe Ibru, who passed on on September 6, 2016, gathered at the Michael and Cecilia Ibru University, Agbarha-Otor, Ughelli North council, Delta State, Friday, to celebrate the life of a visionary that “lit our paths.”

For hours, tributes, drama, poetry, special music renditions were glowingly rendered in honour of the deceased as part of the Day of Tributes put together by the Michael and Cecilia Ibru Foundation.

Many of the old students of the Ibru College, which he founded in 1969, eulogized Ibru, saying that, were it not for him, many of them would not have seen the four walls of a secondary school, let alone a university.

The school, which had a humble beginning in 1967, has grown to become an ‘Iroko’, producing men and women, who have distinguished themselves in various fields of endeavour. The past students vowed to be eternally grateful to Ibru for “showing us light”.

In his tribute, Chief Joshua Adjarho, a very close friend of the deceased, said: “If Michael Ibru were to be a soldier in a strong army, he would have retire as a Field Marshall.

“I knew him very well, I was his personal driver at a time. He grew up in Lagos, but he remembered his people and brought the company, Superbru to his hometown; established the Ibru College and he has added another one – Michael and Cecilia Ibru University.

“He was a good listener, who likes taking advice from people. As a politician, he contested the governorship race in the old Bendel State, but like Goodluck Jonathan, he quit when the ovation was loudest, because he read situations well.”

Spokesman of the Agbarha-Otor traditional council, Chief Alfred Apkobome, said he had known Michael Ibru since 1954 as a promising vibrant young man, describing him as a lover of God, a philosopher and a developer.

“If all of us thought the way he did, our communities would be very developed by now. As a philosopher, he looked at his community Agbarha and felt that things could be put right and urged others to come home.

“When other people were looking into a channel they saw darkness and void, but he saw a bright light. He helped to develop those around him. By 1971, he helped to build a science unit in Agbarha Primary School,” Apkobome said.

To the Acting Vice Chancellor of the Michael and Cecilia Ibru University, Dr. Daniel D. Whawo, “the world is celebrating Ibru, because he left behind legacies that would outlive him, and he lived a good life. What would you be remembered for when you die”?

Prof S. W. E. Ibodje praised Michael Ibru for putting Agbarha-Otor on the map, saying that he was instrumental in bringing electricity to the community in the early 1970s.


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