Igala Land: When Silence is Golden

Attah Michael Ameh Oboni II

By Ajogwu Jerry Ochada

Abomi Igala!
I bring you greetings from the rich cultural lineage bequeathed by Attah Ayegba Om’Idoko. Ane Igala is a kingdom that was contested but NEVER subdued.

Yesterday (2nd of June 2020) will forever remain green in the minds of ‘Amaju Ayegba’ but it is time we learn from experience and past mistakes.

Recall that during the November 2019 Kogi gubernatorial elections, our Igala brethren stormed the social media dishing out PU results as it was collated. I queried this outing and told many callers who called my line trying to know electoral results to wait for INEC announcement and breakdown; I told them I am not INEC and cannot celebrate polling units results when election is ongoing and strategies are yielding results and unfolding.

We all saw the outcome. While our brethren were busy celebrating polling units results, we were dazed by the Kano semblance tsunami that rolled in from Kogi Central. How many persons of Ebira or Okun extraction did you see or read on their timelines brandishing Facebook or pulling results?

The result our brethren hurriedly posted and pasted on Facebook did not see the light of the day. Facebook is not a competent court of law or electoral tribunal but we cannot deny the power of social media. Be that as it may, our brethren have succeeded in using this space ONLY as a duel ground without traces of unity.

The case concerning ownership of Lokoja and Koton-Karfe was filed by the late Attah of Igala, Alh Aliyu Obaje. It was re-instituted by the incumbent Attah, Michael Ameh Oboni II in 2017. Judgment was delivered in favour of His Royal Highness because even the pages of history are rich with evidence concerning the land.

The whole confusion was instigated by the British colonialists who were guilty of annexing territories with reckless abandonment. Returning the land to the original owner calls for celebration but the recent wild jubilation is a miscalculated hullabaloo. Take it or leave it!

Let’s get it straight:

1. The case has lingered for years without anyone of us having knowledge of it perhaps because of the attitudinal defects of our people who can fight any positive development even when they are beneficiaries.

2. The wild jubilation especially on social media can incite violence. Cases of land disputes are treated with caution because the land in question are occupied by our brethren (till thy kingdom come). Our brothers and sisters from another mother are occupying the contested territories. We all belong to the Kwararafa family.

3. The judgment can be appealed and it is not yet over until it is over.

4. No doubt, common sense is not common but we MUST learn how to succeed together as one indefatigable nation (the Igala race) or perish together as fools. Ojo ki kor! But we must learn how to practice decorum by keeping our chill.

5. We are striving on how to return power to Ane Igala and our people are jubilating on social media because of Lokoja and Ajaokuta that we did not know how our ancestors leased it to the colonial masters. I think focus is the watchword and too much of everything is bad.

Attah Igala prior to this time fought the secret battles that heralded the judgment because silence is golden. Today, the same man we all criticized (including myself) is now our HERO.

Do not get it twisted! I am not criticizing ongoing jubilations (at least in totality) but let’s apply common sense. We must learn how to choose our battles by learning when to unite, jubilate and criticize because we are tenants living in a small world and our actions or inaction can ruin our limited opportunities.

For those who are on standby to criticize my stance for bringing this to public readership, this is the only forum it can be addressed because we have failed to learn bitter lessons from past aberrations and the ghost of overindulgence is still hunting us.

May the reign of Attah Ameh Oboni II be long and fulfilled…..

Amomayemi! Me ki kpedoh biyen…..ibe kibuwa jor!


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