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Senator Adejo Ogiri ‘resurrects’ in Adoka with Youth Football Championship

Written By Idoma Television on Saturday, January 7, 2017 | 2:09:00 AM

Engr Ogagbano Adejo-Ogiri is many things rolled into one. He has blue blood running in him – a man with lion’s heart.
He is one of those who are not carried away by the popularity of his forefathers.

From the royal family of HRM Ogiri Oko, the Och’Idoma 1, Ogagbano has carved a niche for himself in Nigeria, not for anything, but for his passion and undying love for the Idoma community.

Ask him what he thinks about Benue youths, and you would be greeted with a message of hope and optimism.

Recently, the renowned philanthropist-cum-engineer had organized a Youth Football Championship in honour of his late father and a Senator in the second republic, Senator Adejo Ogiri.

The competition was aimed at sustaining the legacies of the respected late legislator and humanitarian icon.

The event which is tagged 'Senator Adejo Ogiri Youth Football Championship, Adoka', started in December 2011 and has served as an avenue to empower youths in the community.

At the 5th edition which was just concluded, Engr Ogagbano Adejo-Ogiri charged Adoka Youths to eschew violence and other negative vices which could bring shame to the community.

He also enjoined them to continue to participate actively in sporting activities and to use the medium to live peacefully amongst themselves in the entire Adoka district.

Cash prizes worth hundreds of thousands of Naira were given to the Winner, 2nd place and 3rd place teams, with the winner also going home with the cup and a complete set of football jerseys for the entire team.

Consolation prizes were given to all the 11 participating teams, with other prizes for the highest goal scorer, best goal keeper, best coach, best referee, among others.

Engr Adejo-Ogiri also appreciated the Adoka Football Association (AFA) for the professional manner in which football activities are handled in the area, even as he promised to look into their request for support towards registration with the State Football Association in Makurdi.

An Abuja based Senior Executive of a leading Oil and Gas company, Engr Ogagbano has been actively involved in many other community development initiatives in his Adoka country home.

A few years ago, he led several of his friends in the Medical profession to carry out a free medical outreach, where over 1500 people were treated and over 20 surgeries performed.
He has also greatly contributed to the completion of the church building project started by his late Father.

When asked about his motivation on his consistent support towards these community development initiatives, Engr Ogagbano Adejo-Ogiri mentioned that "it behooves on us who have been a bit more fortunate to give back to our various communities"; adding the scriptural reference which says “to whom much is given, much is expected".

Like father, like son; Engr. Ogagbano Adejo-Ogiri is a true replica of his father's philanthropic personality. His late father, Senator Adejo Ogiri, whose humanitarian gestures became legendary during the time, was also said to have inherited it from his late father, the 1st Och'Idoma.

Senator Adejo Ogiri became the eldest surviving son of HRH Chief Ogiri Oko after the early death of his 2 elder brothers, Oga and Ochi Ogiri.

He was a legal professional who rose to become the Attorney General & Commissioner of Justice in Benue State during the 2nd Republic and NPN led government of Mr. Aper Aku.

He retired from Public Service in 1982 to contest the Senate seat comprising the then Old Gwer (now Gwer West and Gwer East LGAs), Old Otukpo (now Otukpo, Ohimini, Apa & Agatu LGAs) and Old Ankpa (now in Kogi state), which he won and was sworn in as a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nugera in October, 1983; where he served as the Chairman, Senate Committee on Legal & Judicial Matters.

His political sojourn at the Senate was however cut short due to the military coup d’état in December 1983.

The late Senator however returned to his legal profession, setting up his Chambers in Makurdi and Lagos and continued to play an active role as a Community leader in his hometown, Adoka and within the state.

Senator Ogiri also took active interest in farming and established the Ogiri Oko Memorial Farms in Adoka.

In 2002, the Obasanjo-led government found him worthy and he was appointed into the Executive Board of the Independent & Corrupt Practices Commission ( ICPC), as a Pioneer member.
He was re-appointed again in 2007 for another 5 year tenure which he was unable to complete due to his death in November 2008.

Senator Adejo Ogiri was a strong voice for the actualization of Apa state. Together with other notable Idoma elites, he pursued this agenda vigorously until his untimely death in November 15th, 2008.

His death left a huge vacuum in his immediate family, the larger Ogiri Oko family and the Ai’Ode Nenche clan of Ipigwegbe – Adoka, until his son, Engr. Ogagbano stepped in, to keep his memorial flame burning and consolidating on the enduring legacies of the great 'Man of the people'.

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