By Sule Isa Akagwu Kpaleko
The recent happening in Igala nation calls for spiritual cleansing from all perspectives, be it traditional, religious and socio-cultural perspective.
Though going by my faith, I will have accepted whatever that happened as an act of God but the multiple occurrence of events in Igala land needs urgent attention as it may metamorphosis into a disastrous trend.
The genesis of our difficulty was the death of Prince Abubakar Audu which unfortunately changed the mantle of leadership in the state from Igala Nation to other axis. As if that was not enough, our Honorable Minister, a dogged Barrister, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Hon James Ocholi died almost a few months after Prince Audu through a ghastly motor accident, further distabilising the leadership traits of the people of Kogi east.
Indeed Igala Nation is at its trial time, we have lost relevance in the scheme of things both at the state and national level, this assertion might not be accepted by all, but we can make reference to the the following happenings to draw a conclusion: we have no Minister, no Permanent Secretary, no Federal Commissioner, no Ambassador, no top officers in the military and para-military.
Though it is widely accepted that marginalisation is not only bad but painful, and it is even more painful when the majority are been marginalized by the minority.
After the death of these aforementioned illustrious sons of Igala Nation, development, social cohesion and spirit of oneness began to elude us. Envy, hatred, kidnapping, armed robbery, killing, sectionalism and all forms of barbaric activities began their supreme reign in our land.
Politicians have become so desperate for any available political position for their selfish interest, morality has been killed and buried by our generation without remorse, thuggery and cultism activities have become more lucrative and rewarding amongst the youth to the detriment of their certificates.
Let me use some of this conflict resolution approach with social hypotheses devoid of political compromise to ameliorate Igala nation’s challenges to a bearing minimum. This include: Traditional, Religion and Socio-Cultural Approach
Traditional approach: As the name implies, this approach has to do with our traditional institutions, a supposed father of all sons and daughters of Igala origin both at home and in diaspora. In an ideal African society that exhibit our cultural norms and value, the traditional institutions are seen to be sacred, apolitical, fair and just in their dealings, but where the reverse becomes the practice, it brings hatred, division and unrest among the people. A call for unity of purpose by an unjust traditional institution might not see the light of the day, a case study of Igala nation. Nevertheless, the institution can embark on a cleansing exercise to enhance productivity, attitudinal change, peaceful coexistence and prosperity in the land.
Religious Approach: the various denominations in Igala land, the Christians, Muslims, Orthodox, Pentecostal and all the religious houses should take it as a duty to embark on regular sermon against faulty leadership and mal-administration of our leaders and the various social vices that have enveloped our society. There is equally an urgent need for special prayers and fasting session to invoke the Almighty God for the betterment and peaceful coexistence among the people. All the Imams and Pastors must embark on this special prayers for the cleansing of Igala land from the shackles of under-development that have engulfed our land.
Socio-Cultural Approach: The need to embark and revive our cultural heritage to showcase our rich cultural traits and folklore to the world is very crucial at this material time. The ITALO festival needs to be revived as urgent as possible without any political influence as an avenue to itemize our challenges and proffer possible possible solutions. The objective is also to unite all sons and daughters of Igala origin. The EGBE festival at Egume is another heritage that needs international coverage aside the sacrificial theme for the land. The OGANYI festivals at Ankpa and Idah, Ocho and Onoko Festivals and the IBEGU festival across all towns in Igalaland need to be showcased to the world and further enhance our peaceful coexistence.
This call for unity and peaceful coexistence is very crucial for all and sundry to help regain our lost glory in the comity of all ethnic nationalities. The enlightenment program must start from our various homes, family, association, pressure groups, schools, organising lectures and symposiums on the value of human life and the the need to unite for a better tomorrow.
Our people must grow from the retardation of ÒMÀWÈDÈ and take responsibility in the scheme of things, that is the only way our generation can have the replica of Dr Steven Achema (Politics without bitterness), Prince Abubakar Audu (Developmental politics), Alh Jibrin Echocho (Afribank empowerment) Hajia Salamatu Baiwa (FAAN empowerment) Prof. Francis Idachaba (Igala Education Foundation) Dr Ibrahim Wada (IVF inventor) Rear Admiral Jibrin Usman (Okura Naval School) Alh Siaka Alfa (Empowerment) ASTA (empowerment) and other silent sons and daughters of Igala extraction.