Igala: Speaking in discordant tunes

Ichi Igala, Odu Igala Project

By Lawrence Oji

The Igala nation is the 9th largest ethnic group in Nigeria with abundant potentials both in human and natural resources yet we are lacking in so many things.

For one, leadership is one of the greatest problems the Igalas have had over the years, this forms the fulcrum from which the Igalas have been having “Kpangolo balls ” a kind of dance that has no direction.

We have no cohesive leadership that would lead us effectively; Stephen Achema would have been one but he was cut short at the time he tried to find his bearings. Those we had looked up to had failed us in one way or the other.

And this is why we have not been able to find our voice, the Ukomu Igala which was founded on the hope that it would be the unifying voice of the Igala people has not been able to find its feet simply because of the lacklustre attitudes of the few who are supposed to be the arrow head.

The Yorubas have Afenifere, Igbos have Ohaneze, the Ikweres have Nzuko Ikwere and even Tiv have theirs, all these groups speak as a voice for their people. Where are the Igalas in this realm?

Self centeredness and pride are the two major problems that have bedeviled the Igala nation over the years and until we have been able to put away these attitudes, we will continue to dance in circles.

Pride has brought about discriminatory tendencies, for one, dialectal variation has given some Igalas false sense of superiority over others, for instance, an Ibaji man is not seen to be a true Igala, or is it an Ankpa or Olamaboro man who is believed to be speaking “Akpoto”? Dialectal variation should not be used to assess the true Igala man.

The recent lost of the exalted seat of governance in kogi state was as a result of our inability to stand and define our position as a formidable group in the Kogi state project, I think therefore, that what has happened would has taught us one or two lessons.

There are young men and women of Igala extraction who we can rally round to bring about change in our actions and attitudes in order to move Igala nation forward. People like Atayi Babs, Inaju Inaju, Victor Adoji, Awulu Attah, Hajiya Baiwa and other formidable people who have the interest of Igala and have spoken gloriously on the way forward for the Igala people.

It takes few to bring about change and it is high time we began to take actions because the inactions of people who can bring about change in a nation is detrimental and injurious to the many who are onlookers, or so I thought.


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