HISTORY OF ANNUNCIATION CATHOLIC COLLEGE IRRUA OLD BOYS ASSOCIATION (A.C.C.I.O.B.A)
The formation and sustenance of annunciation catholic college, Irrua old boys association (A.C.C.I.O.B.A.) are excellent lessons in determination, perseverance and sacrifice. The association faced very serious threats when the military Junta took over all schools including Annunciation catholic college Irrua and re-named our alma mater, Irrua grammar school, in 1974. It is happily now history that through the effort of the old boys association, the name of the college was restored back after some years.
Annunciation catholic college, Irrua old boys association started as independent branch associations that were not inter-linked in any way. The first known branch of the association formed in Benin in 1967 under the leadership of Mr. Ambrose E. Ikuenobe, a pioneer student of the college. He strove to bring together all the old boys in Benin City and environs and this formed the nucleus of the association. The branch had a constitution that limited it to Benin branch alone. As time progressed, other branches were formed in Lagos, Warri and Port Harcourt. Although the branches were independent of each other, they were however able to work co-operatively to organize the silver jubilee of the college in 1980. The celebration of the silver jubilee was very successful. It was from the experience gained from the co-operation of the branches on that occasion that the desire to form the national body of the association arose.
There is no doubt that the branches of the association faced problems of survival. A main reason for this was the tendency to believe that the old boys association was meant for the “successful” old boys. Such faulty reasoning made it extremely difficult in the formative years to get the association to stabilize. However in Benin City the task of the formation and sustenance f the branch were facilitated and enhanced by the determination, zeal and personal sacrifices of the founding fathers. The formation growth and sustenance of Benin branch cannot be discussed without giving credit to the roles played by Mr. Ambrose E. Ikuenobe, Dr. Izokun Ethiobhio and Dr. joseph Itotoh. Those three were the tripod on which stood the association in Benin. Late Prince Joe Arabone, Engineers J.O. Odenore and M.O. Yesufu enthusiastically supported them among others. Thus Benin branch had been piloted and nurtured to date by the following.
Mr. Ambrose E. Ikuenobe
Dr. izokun Ethiobho
Dr. Christopher Ileli
Mr. Albert Imaguezegie
Engr. M.O. Yesufu
Mr. Abraham Ikuenobe
Mr. Ben Aburime
Dr. John C. Ihongbe
Dr. Wallace Edokpa
Mr. Macaulay Inegbedion
Thus Benin branch has had till date twelve chairman. Other branches have also had their own histories from formation till the present time.
As at today there the following branches of the association:
(i) Benin branch
(ii) Home branch
(iii) Lagos branch
(iv) Warri branch
(v) port-Harcourt branch
(vi) Abuja branch
(vii) Kaduna branch
All the above members from various branches who drafted the constitution were constituted into the national protem executive because Benin was the center of activities it also served as the engine house of the emerging national body. Consequently, the chairman of Benin branch became the first protem president of the association. In the same way the Benin branch secretary at time became the first protem national secretary and the secretariat was located in Benin City. Thus engr. M.O. Yesufu was the first protem national president while Mr. M.A.O. Inegbedion served as the first protem national secretary.
The first meeting of members from the various branches took place at Immaculate Conception College, compound Benin City on 7th December 1985. A total of thirty old students representing the different branches attended the meeting. A significant decision was that the head of branches should be known as chairmen and the national head should be president.
The draft constitution of the association was finally approved on 14th April 1987. After the approval of the constitution, the protem executive still operated for almost two years before a substantive executive was finally constituted on 6th may 1989. Below is the report that was presented on that occasion just before the constitution of the first substantive national executive which Arches J.O.R. Adaba of Lagos branch had the rare privilege of leading.