By Ajogwu Jerry Ochada
I bring you fraternal greetings from the rich cultural tabernacle of Ayegba Oma’Idoko; a renowned Ata, revered for fostering our ethnic unity as a trigger of many conquests and a pathfinder of relevant, untiring contributions to our race.
It is on the altars of his creed and inputs that I wish to bring to fore, the withering ethical premium bequeathed by our ancestors even though we have deviated under the guise of modern day religion to trash our values and norms.
As one of the growing opportunist of these ‘borrowed religions’, I cannot assert in bold stance that we have lost touch with our ancestors because I may not be richly rooted with our deep cultural heritage but we must learn how to steer the way forward or perish together without a formidable headway; if we must succeed as a race, we must evolve another prudent phase.
This subject is made public because of the wider coverage of the new media, else it would have been a door-to-door task by the author.
Be that as it may, critics should not adduce that the writer is on a voyage of washing our dirty linen in public. Uneke du’unyi ta i oko la’n (apologies for my poor writing of the Igala language)
A flashback to the past years of our dominance as a race illustrates the superiority and prowess of the Igala nation.
The organisation of our traditional authorities was second to none; we were not cited as the Igala community even before the coming of the White colonialists; we were known as the Igala nation with the Ata of Igala wielding supreme authority and lordship over some non Igala speaking territories.
No doubts, the Elephant is the logo, inscribed on the Igala flag from time immemorial — it signifies strength beyond boundaries — and is still trending till date.
How did we get here?
Who incurred the wrath of the gods?
Brethren! It is suicidal to believe the existence of God quashing the craves of the gods because you believe in the liberation power of your religion and cannot serve two masters. But one of the Holy Books clearly envisaged, “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God”.
The writer is not advocating for blood offerings or a collective libation by our people but it is pertinent to state here that the various traditional institutions and intercessors must return to the drawing board to communicate and appease the gods even though the gods cannot be blamed because we urgently need a revolution of the mindset.
We have shunned the loving spirits of our ancestors to unite forces with our oppressors.
I am not a Prophet of doom but this is an era of adversity and we must be united in order to heal our nation.
The growing pace of disunity amongst our people is too shameful to behold. But woe betide thee if you are guilty as charged.
Recently, many shallow minded personalities embraced the accessibility of the various social media platforms to cyber-lash a misconstrued Egbira self-acclaimed activist, after she pitched tents with her brother whom she fought ‘zealously’ prior to this time.
On a personal assessment, I think this is just the beginning, many other kinsmen of the incumbent leader of our beloved state will still do same in no distant time because they are not like us (Abo’Igala).
Do we still have the likes of Dr Achema of blessed memory in the Igala nation? Not at all!
Reasons not farfetched, peruse the list of the rising number of notable Igala sons aspiring to govern Kogi state and you will agree with me that even in this era of adversity, we are not united.
Let us borrow from the true spirit of patriotism displayed by Dr Stephen Oma’koji Achema when he sacrificed his ambitions for the triumph of the late Prince Abubakar Audu for the sake of Ane Igala.
Today, every ‘anana’ of Igala extraction wants to become the governor of Kogi state; even those who never contributed any quota to the development of Igala land or Kogi state are gunning for Lugard House.
To further worsen the already escalated scenario, unconfirmed sources hints that some aspirants are sponsored by Pharaoh to divide the numerical strength of the supposed votes from Kogi East.
May the spirit of our ancestors hasten the homecoming of anyone sponsored for such heinous mission!
Akpa ane, ane ki fu kpa…..
Still on the political scene, we have a shameless league of dignified sycophants trading their measured destinies for crumbs by affiliating with failures to wreck untold havoc on our people.
We must understand the sincere fact that as humans, our presence on earth is a timed journey, one day, somehow, somewhere we shall all exit the world according to the will of our creator.
What will you be remembered for?
Omaye! We must learn how to sacrifice our present sufferings for the betterment of our land instead of the habitual way of colluding with Pharaoh to hold your own kinsmen to ransom.
I implore anyone, propagating this act to pray for forgiveness and retrace your steps before it is too late. Posterity will judge all our deeds and karma is a beast.
I must not end this line without saluting the innovations and improved idealism of Ata Ameh Oboni II.
Just recently, he inspired the celebration of Ocho festival which was abandoned for decades. On a similar note, he reignited the celebrations of other festivals by removing the ban.
May your reign be long and fulfilled!
The ‘Igalanisation of the Ayegba race’ is a call for every son and daughter of Ane Igala extraction to think ‘Igala’ and work assiduously towards the growth and development of the Igala race.
We can advance as a troop embarking on a voyage for communal revival but we shall fail as individuals aiming for self aggrandisement. This is a wake up call.
We must learn how to succeed together as brothers hence we perish together as fools.
Ojo’kidugbo meh chaka!
©Ajogwu Jerry 2018