There is no shadow of doubt that billionaire businessman and great philanthropist, HE Chief Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion, CON, CFR has been highly favoured and blessed. Growing up as an only child of his parents, he has risen from his humble beginnings to the dizzying height of becoming a global citizen.
Indeed, Chief Igbinedion believes that his existence and accomplishments in life are traceable to one source-God. Hence, he begins and ends the day with prayers. That is not all, also always kick starts his birthday celebration with thanksgiving. His faith has really shaped his attitude towards God, humanity, business and life.
As you will see in the early pages of this package, Chief Igbinedion is a serial entrepreneur who dares to thread where many others dread. He seems to always commit his ideas, inspirations and dreams into concrete reality. He told us that he knew from the get go that adventure into business meant financial freedom-and he pursued it with vigor. This led to his incursion into such sectors as auto sales, auto manufacturing, beverage manufacturing, agriculture, education and of course, aviation which brought him the most fame.
For those who don’t know, Chief Igbinedion’s Okada Air, named after his homestead, Okada, was famous for its efficiency and ability to get to destinations on time. It was a popular saying in those days that if you wanted to get anywhere on time and safely, take Okada Air.
Another occasion that increased the visibility of this angel of mercy who has so much passion for philanthropy was the 1974 conferment of the Esama title on him by His Royal Majesty, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo. Oba Akenzua II, The title shaped his character and personality, added an extra swagger to his steps while the official regalia sits so marvelously on his handsome and tall frame.
With that title, he became the ‘godfather” of the people of Benin Kingdom that has existed for over 800 years, he automatically became a worthy ambassador of the Kingdom. His performance of the rigorous Iyanhien ceremony which only a few Bini Chiefs had attempted in the history of the kingdom, though it affected him, was an excellent icing on the cake.
As far as birthdays go, only a select few mark it the way he does. That is the reason September 11th has become a very significant date in the House of Igbinedion and friends who identify with the Esama of Benin Kingdom. It is a day that the Esama usually steps out in all his splendor and grandeur.