CHIEF BORO CLEVER IGE-EDABA (1929-1999)

Chief Boro Clever Ige-Edaba, a skilled and formidable real estate appraiser hailing from Emakalakala community in the Ogbia Kingdom, Bayelsa state, made significant contributions in the field of land valuation across Eastern Nigeria and the old Rivers state. Additionally, he served as a prominent and influential advocate for the Ogbia Brotherhood socio-political movement.

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Home » Archive » CHIEF BORO CLEVER IGE-EDABA (1929-1999)

Chartered Surveyor, Elder Statesman, Historian

Birth

Boro Clever Ige-Edaba came into the world on the 29th of October, 1929, in Emakalakala town, situated in the Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa state. His parents were the late Chief Lazarus Igebite Edaba and Mrs. Bogotei Gbalidigha Ige-Edaba. Chief Lazarus Igebite Edaba was a relatively affluent individual, ensuring material and financial comfort for his family. He was a caring and devoted father who took care of both the physical and spiritual needs of his household during that period.

In terms of his physical appearance, Clever Ige-Edaba presents a refined and handsome image, with a chocolate complexion. However, dealing with him can be quite intricate, leading to an exaggerated representation of his personality.

Education

Boro Clever Ige-Edaba commenced his early education at St. Bartholomew’s CMS School in Emakalakala, progressing from Infant One to Three in the early 1940s. In the same year, under the guidance of his maternal uncle, Mr. Numoenegi Gbalidigha Oku, he was transferred to Holy Trinity School in Calabar, starting from Infant Two.

Unfortunately, the outbreak of World War II led to a mass conscription of teachers in 1940, disrupting Boro Clever Ige-Edaba’s schooling. He returned home and resumed his education in 1941 at St. Luke’s CMS School in Nembe, ultimately obtaining his first School Leaving Certificate in 1946.

In 1948, he gained admission to the prestigious Kalabari National College (KNC) in Buguma, where he pursued his Senior Cambridge Certificate, successfully completing it in 1952. Seeking further educational achievements, he traveled to Great Britain in 1961 and enrolled at the Brixton School of Building, also known as the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and Valuers. His dedication and academic prowess shone through, and in 1966, he earned his RICS certificate, standing out as one of the top students in his cohort.

Employment

Before embarking on his educational journey in the United Kingdom, in 1953, Boro Clever Ige-Edaba secured employment as a clerk in the Ministry of Lands and Housing in Enugu. His entry into the workforce followed his successful completion of the then Eastern Nigeria Civil Service Examination. He remained in Enugu until December 1955, at which point he successfully passed the Land Officer’s Examination, leading to his transfer to Aba township. Shortly thereafter, he was relocated to Umuahia – Ibeku as a land officer. During his time in Umuahia, he collaborated with his former supervisor from Enugu, the late Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwe Ojukwu, who held the position of district resident officer of Umuahia province at that time. This collaboration continued until December 1957 when he was transferred to Port Harcourt.

From 1958 to 1961, Boro Clever Ige-Edaba served as a Senior Officer in Port Harcourt. He played a pivotal role in the planning and development of significant areas, including Mile 1, 2, and 3 Diobu, GRA Phase I, and Coronation Layout (New Layout). His contributions in this capacity showcased his expertise and dedication to urban planning and development in the region.

In 1961, Boro Clever Ige-Edaba received a Federal Government scholarship to pursue a surveying course at the Brixton School of Building in London. Excelling in his studies at the institution, he secured employment with the London Borough of Campden, a prestigious district in London predominantly inhabited by the nobility. His role there was as the District Estate Manager, and he resided and worked in this capacity until March 1973.

At the behest of his cousin, Commander Alfred Diete Spiff, the First Military Governor of Old Rivers state, who appealed to him to contribute to the development of the old Rivers State, Boro Clever Ige-Edaba returned to Nigeria in March 1973. On his return, he took on the role of Estate Manager at the Rivers State Housing Corporation on Moscow Road in Port Harcourt, a position he held until 1977. His expertise and contributions during this period played a crucial role in the development of the region.

Political Activities

Chief Boro Clever Ige-Edaba was a politically conscious individual, actively engaged in various political activities throughout his life. Even during his student days at KNC Buguma, he demonstrated his political awareness by serving as one of the delegates representing his community in Ayama-Ogbia. In this capacity, he, along with Rev. Enoch Daufa Ikobho and Mr. Anoye Ndaliki, presented a paper advocating for the freedom of Emakalakala from the rule of the Nembe chiefs.

His political involvement continued as a foundation member of the Niger Delta Congress (NDC) from 1958 to 1959. During the Nigeria-Biafra war, while in London, he actively participated in the pro-Nigeria campaign against Biafra, standing alongside other Ijaw young men at the forefront.

In the Second Republic, Chief Boro Clever Ige-Edaba aligned himself with the National Party of Nigeria (NPN), being a staunch member. His patriotism and dedication to the welfare of his community were evident as he represented the Ogbia Brotherhood during the formulation of the memorandum for the creation of Bayelsa state. His political journey reflected a commitment to social and political causes, making him a prominent figure in the political landscape of the region.

Appointments

Throughout his lifetime, Chief Boro Clever Ige-Edaba held various positions of trust, demonstrating a commitment to delivering on their mandates. Some of the notable positions he occupied include:

  • Associate member of Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors and Valuers ARICS – 1972
  • Associate member of Nigerian Institution of Chartered Surveyors and Valuers ANIVS – 1972
  • Member old rivers state Land Use and Allocation Committee
  • Member Committee for the Allocation of the original Federal Low Cost Housing Estates Elekahia, Port Harcourt as Technical Adviser to the Federal Ministry Government 1975 – 1977
  • Chairman of Board of Directors, West African Glass Industries, Port Harcourt 1974—1977
  • Member of Board of Directors Utilities Board Port Harcourt 1977 – 1979
  • Member and Joint Member at the National Selection FESTAC committee in Kaduna 1973—1978
  • Chairman New Towns and Conurbation Old Rivers State 1979 – 1983
  • Patron Association of Faculty of Environmental Science Students Union (Department of Estate Management, University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt, Rivers State)
  • Fellow Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors and Valuers FNVIS
  • Fellow Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors and Valuers of Great Britain and the Commonwealth -February 1985
  • Patron Kalakala Youth Club till His death.

In each of these roles, Chief Boro Clever Ige-Edaba demonstrated his dedication and expertise, contributing significantly to the fields of surveying and valuing, as well as the development and governance of the regions and organizations he served.

Social life

Chief Boro Clever Ige-Edaba was not only humble but also transparently honest, although his meticulous nature and pursuit of perfection were noticeable traits. He emanated goodwill, serving as a focal point of radiance for family, friends, and professional colleagues alike. His simplicity, accessibility, and charismatic demeanor endeared him to everyone, making him a beloved figure.

His international exposure shaped his perspective on education, leading him to view it as the primary means of personal and societal development. In line with this belief, he invested significantly in education, reaping fruitful outcomes. Chief Boro Clever Ige-Edaba extended his care to orphans and the less privileged, embodying a compassionate and fatherly figure to those around him.

His commitment to his community, Emakalakala, was unwavering, always ready to serve and prioritize its needs. Additionally, he willingly offered his services to the Ogbia Brotherhood and the old Rivers State whenever called upon, showcasing his dedication to communal and regional development.

Retirement

Following his retirement from public service, Chief Boro Clever Ige-Edaba remained actively engaged in the continuous development of the land profession and pursued various viable endeavors. He established his company, Ige-Edaba and Company, serving as the principal consultant. His office became a repository of documents related to plots in the former Eastern Nigeria, particularly the old Rivers State. While alive, he possessed an unparalleled knowledge of every parcel of land in the old Rivers State.

Chief Boro Clever Ige-Edaba’s professional contributions extended to being a joint author of the renowned Texaco Finima 5 Fish Town (Feniweitoru), Akassa Old Rivers State Oil Pollution Valuation Report of 1981, Volumes I and II. This report remains the only known comprehensive oil pollution valuation in the world as of now.

In addition to his expertise as a professional surveyor, he also had a passion for traditional history. Chief Boro Clever Ige-Edaba authored two significant historical articles, yet to be published:

  • The Edaba Dynasty: Its Rise and Fall
  • The Biography of Adema Igbika Owaba, the Great Grandson of Akala, the Founder of Emakalakala, who later became King Amachree of the Kalabari Kingdom in Rivers State, Nigeria.

Apart from his professional and historical pursuits, Chief Boro Clever Ige-Edaba was a wrestling champion in his youth and maintained a love for wrestling sports until his passing.

Marital life

Chief Boro Clever Ige-Edaba led a polygamous life, having entered into two marriages during his lifetime. His marriages were blessed with many children. However, the family experienced the painful loss of two girls and a boy, leaving behind a daughter, a son, and two granddaughters. Despite the challenges, the family persevered and continued to cherish the memories of their loved ones.

Religion

Chief Boro Clever Ige-Edaba was baptized into the Christian faith as an infant and remained steadfast in his Anglican beliefs throughout his life. His maternal grandfather, Chief J. Gbalidigha Oku, who was a British-trained carpenter at the Brass Consulate, played a significant role in shaping his religious upbringing. Chief Oku was not only an Evangelist but also the founder of St. Bartholomew’s Anglican Church in Emakalakala.

Chief Boro Clever Ige-Edaba, following in the footsteps of his grandfather, continued to uphold his Anglican faith. He actively supported the church in various activities, such as harvest celebrations, bazaars, and other events, consistently contributing to the church’s well-being and participation until his passing. His commitment to his Anglican faith reflected a deep-rooted connection to his family’s religious heritage.

Chieftaincy Title

In recognition of Chief Boro Clever Ige-Edaba’s substantial contributions to the Emakalakala community and the broader Nigerian state, the community decided to honor him in 1972. As a testament to his achievements, he was conferred with a chieftaincy title, being bestowed with the honorific title of Aribo II of Emakalakala. This recognition symbolized the appreciation and respect of his community for his outstanding service and commitment.

His Death

Chief Boro Clever Ige-Edaba, a formidable Land Surveyor and custodian of Ogbia history, succumbed to a liver-related illness and passed away in Port Harcourt sometime in 1999. His legacy as a dedicated professional and historian continues to be remembered and appreciated by those whose lives he touched.

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Abalijay
"Timeless Persons" is a personal blog project created by me with the aim of sharing the biographies of remarkable individuals from the Niger Delta region and beyond. The blog serves as a platform to captivate and stimulate your thoughts, encouraging reflection on the past, fostering a positive mindset in the present, and inspiring hope for a better future.