The Unity of Purpose in Igala Nation

Community leaders at a Project IGALA event in Odu ochele

By Mohammed Lawal Ibrahim

The unity of purpose and oneness that is the hallmark of Igala unity and strength is gradually eluding us. This assertion may not be accepted by all but let us consider the following empirical scenarios.

There exists today a term of “dichotomy between East and West” i.e. Ankpa versus Idah and Dekina axes, each feeling superior and more “civilized” than the other. This is evidently rubbing on Igala political system and It has tended to surface or underline discourse between the axes, it further gave rise to the usage of the term, Akpoto by the Idah extraction and Eju-ogba by the Ankpa area.

This is not only a misnomer but intentionally derogatory and deceptive. The Igalas are confronted with a lot of challenges in this era and some of these can be sub-divided into social, moral and political challenges. The most paramount to this is political.

Today, politics in Igala land has taken a disturbing trend, characterized with violence, destruction of lives and properties, some may say it is healthy for democracy but it’s limitations stopped when rancour begins.

The rhetorical question is, where exactly is that sense of purpose and unity that has always been the hallmark of lgalas strength?

Socially, we have began to embrace other people’s culture to the detriment of our own, though it is widely accepted that culture is said to be dynamic, but such dynamism must not mean abandoning our own in totality but rather developing it without necessarily destroying it. It is about time we revisit and revived the Igala culture to enhance morality and value for the folklore amongst our younger generation.

The tomorrow of our youths depend largely on what they do socially today, acculturation tend to affects the morality of our people negatively, respect for elders, obedience to the constituted authorities, hard work, dedication, and self-respect all are paramount and embedded in the Igala culture.

Is today not here? Yesterday we prepared for today. Ayegba Oma-Idoko prepared for today. Tomorrow is here, today let us consider it to be our tomorrow that we have waited too long for, Having said that, the onus is on the leaders to consolidate on the foundations of yesterday. The youth must be sensitised to avoid desperation in all spheres of life.

Let all of those who are genuinely interested in building this great land of our ancestors come forward and they will earn the support of Abutu Eje , Amana Abogili, Okoliko, Akumabi, Itodo Aduga, Ayegba Oma-Idoko and a host of others whose labours are not be in vain. But those who are only interested in exploiting and destroying this great land of ours shall earn the anger and wrath of the people including the ancestors and their tomorrow shall be filled with misery and grief.

Ibrahim writes from FCT – Abuja

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