We are Partners in Progress – Attah of Igalla
From Lokoja the capital of Kogi State to the historical city of Idah is over 200 kilometers, it was situated on the eastern bank of Niger river, the city is a home to the powerful king of Igala Nation Chief Micheal Ameh Oboni, man of high reputation, leader of every magnitude, unbiased Nigerian, people’s leader, a banker of every magnitude. The town is civilize economically, politically and morally going by its position since the ancient time to date that it become a home to every person who sat his legs on its sand.
Receiving the members of Association of Youth for the promotion of peace in northern Nigeria in his palace that went to the historic town to seek his blessing on their journey of returning normalcy in the region, he said: I am so happy to received you in my palace though we are in the process of remodeling it, next time when you visit us you will be surprise to see how it was transform to a beautiful edifice of great standard.
According to the powerful king “Igala people is situated east of the river Niger and Benue confluence and astride the Niger in Lokoja, Kogi state of Nigeria. The covers and area of about 13,665 square kilometers The Igala population is estimated at two million, they can also be found in Delta, Anambra and Edo states of Nigeria. The Igala language is closely related to the Yoruba and Itsekiri languages.
The Igalas are ruled by a figure called the “Attah”. The word Attah means ‘Father’ and the full title of the ruler is ‘Attah Igala’, meaning, the Father of Igalas (the Igala word for King is Onu). Although “Attah” means “father”‘, female rulership is recognized and Igala has had female rulers in the past. Among the most revered Attahs of the Igala kingdom are Attah Ayegba Oma Idoko and Atta Ameh Oboni. According to oral tradition, Attah Ayegba Oma Idoko offered his most beloved daughter, Inikpi to ensure that the Igalas win a war of liberation from the Jukuns’ dominance. Attah Ameh Oboni is known to be very brave and resolute. He is revered for his stiff resistance of the British and his struggles to uphold some ancient traditions of the Igalas. When he got wind of a plan to depose and exile him by the British, he committed suicide by hanging himself to forestall the plan; he is regarded by most Igalas as the last real Attah Igala. The traditional Igala society is largely agrarian, although fishing is also a mainstay of the people especially the Igalas of the riverine Idah area.
The central geographical location of the Igala people has exposed them to a wide variety of linguistic as well as cultural influences from other ethnic groups in the country. Notable among these are the Igbira, the Bini, the Igbo, the Hausa, the Idoma and the Yoruba ethnic groups. However, the most significant relationship, by far, is that between the Igala and the Yoruba peoples. “When our ancestors start ruling here, we went to war four times, first of all with our mother kingdom that is Jukun, we went to Benin and fight with the for 3yrs, it is there we come across coconut for the first time, so we bought it from there and named it Oba nut meaning coconut from Igboland, by then our people divide into two some cross the river Niger and stay where we are today and others stay there. He went further to reveal to his guests that the reason behind wearing earrings has to do with immortalizing of woman who is the second Attah, a warrior of every standard who fought many battles and won during her days one of such is with Benin kingdom. The gate under construction is where our warriors used to assemble after every victory. When Jukun come to Idah to fight with their masquerades that can destroy every enemy, we poisoned our rivers, when they arrive in the evening, they approach the river after drinking from it they start falling and dyeing, it is through this channel we achieve victory over them.
He said Nigeria is peaceful when I did my NYSC at Mortgage Bank Bauchi in 1981 and when it is over, I do not want leave because of how it become second home to me. The Almighty God is one and we have one country called Nigeria, we should try as much as we can to avoid anything that can divide us God forbid our disintegration because if one find himself in Mali or Cameroon or Niger he is going to regret. It is always pain me about the situation we found ourselves today where we no more love each other, when you went to abroad people will come to you with open hands but here at home one will say he did not like me simply because my face is black, and he knows I did not created myself, we should never run away from what belong to us, the issue of insecurity facing us today come as result of bad attitude of youth who are not respecting their parents.
Earlier in his speech, the National Chairman of the association, Prince Muh’d Sambo Gusau inform the paramount ruler that, they were in his palace to commend his leadership qualities that bring innovation to the life of citizens of Kogi state and beyond since he assumed duty to date which is 7months. He added that “We are here to seek your blessing and your words of wisdom that can enable us to achieve our aims and objectives, the throne of Attah of Igala play significant roles in building what is called northern Nigeria and the country at large.” As you know, our country is facing serious security challenges more especially in our region, which we all believe and pray that with our coming together, the issue will become history.
Alkammawa writes from No 4 Coronation Crescent Kaduna, 08155092812 email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Do not hesitate to leave your opinion in the comment section below.
To contact Abusidiqu.com for Article Submission and Advertisement or General inquiry, send a mail to email@example.com