Ibru: A Well Deserved Post-Humus Honour From Foreign Land | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Ibru: A Well Deserved Post-Humus Honour From Foreign Land

Posted: Sep 29, 2016 at 6:28 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Ejikeme Omenazu

For the late Olorogun Michael Ibru, his spirit will be dancing and rejoicing . Since he died on August 6, 2016, he has been receiving accolades from far and near.

The late mogul, entrepreneur and philanthropist, built the Ibru Organisation to an enviable business empire, accommodating every member of the large family, while he lived. In fact, there had been less acrimony in the kindred, unlike what obtains in several Nigerian families, where wealth usually brings acrimony and discord.

Thus, it is not a surprise that the late patriarch of the Ibru dynasty has continued to attract to himself honours and awards, even at death. The latest honour came from Prince George’s County, Virginia, United States of America, which declared September 23, 2016 as “Chief Michael C.O. Ibru Day” in the county.

Derrick Leon Davis, County Chairman and Danielle M. Glaros, County Vice Chairman, in a statement,  described him as “an accomplished businessman, who had a dedication to entrepreneurship, which opened doors of opportunities to many Nigerians and associates who came in contact with his investments in the banking, aviation, tourism and manufacturing sectors of the economy.”

They stated that Chief Ibru inspired generations of Nigerians through his selfless service, inter-ethnic harmony, knowledge and perseverance, describing him as “a warm, loving and passionate individual, who was a mentor to many people, who had a way of sharing his wisdom with many people.”

That a US County would recognise a Nigerian should be instructive that the nation, the states and even local governments and communities should be honouring heroes, not only when they die, but also while alive. This will spur many compatriots to do more for the growth of the nation when they realise that they will not be labouring in vain.

Olorogun Michael Ibru, the late patriarch of the Ibru family and Otota of Agbarha-Otor Kingdom, Delta State, was born in 1930 to the family of Peter Ibru, a missionary worker at the Igbobi Orthopedic Hospital, Lagos.

He joined the United African Company (UAC) as a management trainee after his secondary education at Igbobi College, Lagos. He left UAC in 1956 to start a partnership with an expatriate. He delved into frozen foods, expanded to importation, rented and built cold storage facilities across the country.

Although the fish business became the traditional money spinner for the Ibru Organisation, he expanded to transportation, construction, palm oil production, tourism, brewery, timber and poultry.