IMPORTANT EVENTS IN EBIRA HISTORY
1881: The installation of Ohindase (Okomanyi Avogude), rain maker in Ebira Division.
1882: The first installation of Ozumi (peace maker) in Ebira Division.
1885: Anajinomoh – the arrival of the first white man in Ebira land.
1902: Odimboro’s death was a play/tragedy for people were burnt to ashes during his burial.
1903: Omadivi was appointed the first paramount ruler (or ‘Native Authority’) of Ebira by the colonial government at Okene-eba.
1912: Terrible famine known as “Osinageri.”
1916: The first appearance of bicycle in Ebira.
1917: The installation of Ibrahim Ichegudo as Atta of Ebira following the death of Omadivi that same year.
– Roman Catholic School was built in Okene.
1918: Time of Akuosu (epidemic). This was the time when the worldwide epidemic of influenza took a heavy toll. As a result of this epidemics many people died at such an abnormal rate that there was insufficient cloth to bury the corpses, mats had to be substituted.
– The first school in Ebira, St. Peter’s Primary School, was founded by the Church Missionary Society (CMS) at Ogori. Two of the pioneer pupils in the school, Mr Jaiye or Jaiya, who later worked as a catechist, and Mr. Festus Alasoka who would later become the Ologori of Ogori.
* Christianity and western education arrived late in Ebira.
– The establishment of R.C.M. school in Okene at the site where Atta’s house stands today. Some of its pioneer pupils were Mr. J.M. Ojiah, who became a court judge; Alhaji A.R.G. Ozigis, who worked with the Native Authority Council; and Mr. Sule Onibo.
1919: “Onyayi” – small-pox struck Ebira.
– Mohammed Sani Omolori is born and would later become the Ohinoyi of Ebira. He was born during the funeral ceremony of Omonori or Omolori of Okaito, the district head of Okaito. That was how Sani Omolori got his last name. Omonori is an Ebira corruption of the Yoruba name, Omolori, which means “child of good luck.”
– Death of Ohindase Arudi of Omoye clan.
1921: The first appearance of a three-wheel motor car on Ebira road.
1922: Construction of Okene-Lokoja road.
– Construction of the first zinc roofed house in Ebira.
– Time of “Ogunmare” – a time when many Ebira men were forced to Igala Division and Eastern Region to work on the construction of the railway line.
– Mr. T.A.Bugeru came to Ebira.
1923: Ebira Native Authority Central School, known as “Makaranta,” was founded. It began in 1922 as a koranic school before it became a full-fledged primary school the following year. It was founded by the N.A. Its pioneer pupils included Abdul Malik Atta, Abdul Rahaman Okene, Ali Arigi, a retired court judge, Salau Lawal, later to become the District Head of Okene, Habib Raji Abdallah, Ahmadu Rufai, Umaru Oricha, and Mallam Zakari.
1925: Obangede riot.
– the emigration/immigration of Okino’s family and some Agada clan members to Idori, some 15 miles from Okene in pursuit of their desire for self-administration.
– Sani Omolori began school (on May 25, 1925). He spent five years in Elementary Three because there was no where else to go then. There were not too many opportunities for higher education in the entire Northern region then.
1926: Iya Egbe, mother of Atta Ibrahim, dies.
– St. Andrew’s Anglican School, Okene, was established by Archdeacon L. A. Lennon, a Jamaican. It was first run as a religious class. Through the influence of Atta, the school was recognised by the colonial government and grant-aided in 1928. Its first headmaster was Mr. (later Reverend) P.A. Obayan (father of Justice Obayan). Its foundation pupils included Peter Adeniyi Erin, Esther Adebusola Ogedengbe, and J.M Baiye.
1927: Okene Prison Yard built and opened.
– Osara bridge was constructed.
1929: Public news of Aladura. Many Ebira went to the West to see an Aladura prophet.
“Akuvariva” or locust caused a terrible damage to food/cash crops and trees in Ebira.
1930: Second appearance of locust.
– Atta Ibrahim made the pilgrimage to Mecca.
1931: Prisoners killed by thunder at Okene prison.
1932: Second appearance of Oyibo Arimoh.
1933: Death of Ogbojo of Osisi village.
– Death of Umajene of Okene.
– Construction of Okene Middle School, now known as Abdul Aziz Atta Memorial College. Its first principal was Isa Koto.
1934: The construction of Ebira Native Authority Yard.
– Thunder struck the prison again.
– Completion of Okene water works.
1935: Death of Otaru – Atta Ibrahim’s father.
1936: Death of Okino Achegidi.
1937: Samari Irivogba died.
– Introduction of Okene Cemetary – “oganya.”
– Death of Anaza – the last man to be buried at home before the introduction of “oganya.”
– The construction of Okene Central.
– Completion of Okene reservoir.
1938: Death of Samari Omobo of Omoye Clan.
– Death of Olu of Ajaokuta, Usman Obosi.
– Oyibo Arimoh, Mr. K. Devon, who abolished excessive interest on refund of loan in Ebira Division.
– Conviction of Yakubu, ex-Wakili of Lokoja, for illegal shooting of an arrow.
1939: Abeni or Agbemi Ajokaiye was installed as Ohindase (rain maker).
– Death of late Abdul Malik’s grand mother.
– Stone fell on Anahi, a salt dealer, and was killed on the spot as people struggled for salt during a period of acute scarcity.
1940: Construction of a Police station in Okene.
1941: Construction of Oganya cemetary started.
1942: Construction of Okene Central Mosque.
– Death of Ozumi Agere of Okene.
– Death of Otu.
1945: Death of Ohindase of Okene.
– Construction of Osara-Eganyi road.
– Abdul Malik Ibrahim, Atta’s son, went on pilgrimage to Mecca.
1947: Death of Onyayi Oweyi (Siyaka’s mother).
– Nnamidi Azikiwe visited Okene on the platform of N.C.N.C.
1948: Death of Ichimiri of Okene, the leader of Ogugureba, a singing masquerade which performed at night during the “Ekuechi” festival.
1949: Okene Post Office was built.
– Yusuf Utohu established a local weaving industry in Okene which would later revolutionize and popularize Ebira hand woven cloth known worldwide as Okene cloth.
1951: Tax riot.
– Construction of Okene dispensary.
– Death of Alhaji Lawal, a confidant of Atta.
1952: Construction of G..C. Ukpogo, Okene. Its first principal was Mr. A.O Latunbosun.
– Fighting broke out between “Adokita” and “Soja” masquerades during Echeane festival. They were banned from participating in Echeane festivity for years as a result.
– George U. Ohikere and Abdul Malik Ibrahim were elected to the Northern House of Assembly.
– Abdul Malik Ibrahim appointed the Nigerian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.
1953: Completion of Okene Central Mosque.
– Death of Mohammed Sani Omolori’s father.
– Dethronement of Atta Ibrahim of Ebira.
1954: Abdication of Atta Ibrahim.
– Construction of Okene Central Office.
– Installation of Ohinoyi of Ebira.
1956: Death of Mayaki, son of ex-Atta of Ebira.
– Construction of Idoji Central Mosque.
– Construction of Atami bridge.
– Collapse of Okunbanyi river.
– Construction of Islamic Primary School.
1957: Official installation of Mohammed Sani Omolori as Ohinoyi of Ebira.
– Assisntic (??) influenza attack.
– Okene Town Road was tarred.
1958: Construction of Okene Hospital by the Government of Nigeria and the Catholic Mission.
1959: Prime Minister Abubakar Tafawa Balewa visited Okene to present Mr. Joseph Ohiani as the NPC candidate to the Federal House of Representatives.
– Salihu O. Abdul won the Federal Election.
– Mohammed Kokori (M.K.) Abdul and AbdulRahaman Badamasuiy were imprisoned.
– Death of Mr. J. A. Odiyaya or Odaiai (ex-Maji), Local Government Treasurer of Ebira.
1960: Death of Ohindase Abeni or Agbemi, an uncle of Sani Omolori.
– Fighting in Okene Central Mosque as a result of political disagreement.
– Nigerian independence.
– Abdul Salami Robin Yusuf was appointed to the Upper House as Senator.
1962: Reverend Father (Dr.) Alexius Makozi and Joseph Ohieku were ordained as priests at Okene Catholic Church, becoming the first priests from the Northern Region to be raised to the Episcopal Dignity in the Catholic Church.
– Mohammed Kokori (M.K.) Abdul and M.I. Lawal Megida from Ihima were elected to the Northern House – the first time Ebira would be given two seats in the regional legislature?
– Death of Ozigizigi of Obehira.
– Death of Anakava, Ozigizigi’s successor.
1963: Government took contorl of the General Hospital.
1965: Government took control of the Water Works.
– Death of Mr. George Uru Ohikere.
– Sardauna of Sokoto, Ahmadu Bello, visited Okene.
– Death of Mallam Zakari, ex-chief warder of N.A. Prison, and death of Ahmadu Rufai’s wife.
1966: Okene College of Commerce was founded by Mr. Joseph Ohiani.
– Death of Mr. G.A. Balogun, a famous school teacher at the Roman Catholic School.
– News of military coup.
– The collapse of Ohiana drift.
– Death of Yakubu, ex-Wakili of Lokoja and father of Abdul Rahaman Okene.
– Small-pox epidemic broke out.
1967: Civil war broke out in Nigeria, rebel Biafran soldiers bombed Okene, K.illing seven people.
– Creation of 12 states, Ebira now part of Kwara State.
– The Anglican community established Igbira Anglican College (later re-named Lennon Memorial College).
1968: Death of Ologori of Ogori, Mr. G.B. Akerejola.
– Death of Abdul Aziz Atta’s mother.
1969 – Death of Abdul Malik Atta, former Nigeria’s Ambassador to France.
– Major-General Adeyinka Adebayo, Governor of Western Nigeria, visited Okene in a helicopter. It was the first time a helicopter would land in Ebira.
1970: Second collapse of Okuhobanyi (or Okuha Obanyi) river.
1971: Death of Aliyu Chata Enesi, the veteran tax collector and the oldest man in Agada clan.
– Death of Alhaji Sumaila of Obansa, a famous and reverred man of Agada clan.
– Ordination of Alexius Makozi as Bishop of the Lokoja Diocese.
– Death of Ohinoyi Sani Omolori’s mother.
1972: Death of Umaru Adabara of Agada clan.
– Death of Abdul Aziz Atta, former secretary to the federal government and head of service,in London.
– Death of Kekere Ozidogido, founder of the Ikede and Chekene music and the first Ebira singer to wax a record.