By Felix Omachoko
One of the major problems of Igala land is that we hardly recognize our heros and we don’t celebrate our living legends. It’s when we use our hands to bring them down that we will start regretting all our actions and by then, it’s too late.
When late Achema was alive, only a few believed in his struggles for the unity and development of Igala nation. We called him all sorts of names until we brought him down. Like the case of Jesus our blessed savior, He was judged, condemned and rejected by his own people. It was immediately he gave up the ghost that they realized they have just crucified the Messiah.
Same thing happened to Ameh Oboni the great of blessed memory by the parents of those whose actions and inactions have become a ravaging cankerworm eating deep into the fabrics of our kingdom today. A glimpse of history reveals;
there was an Association then known as Ayingba Igala development club that was used in fronting most of the petitions and protests against Attah Ameh Oboni till his sad death. When he went to defend himself before the Council of the British led Colonial Government then, and because he has no Western education, those first Igala elites who were to interpret his speech; instead of saying directly what he said, they interpreted the opposite situation and that worsened the relationship of the Attah and the White people.
Such was the level of bitterness ladened conspiracy that still has its remnants today in our kingdom. This Igala associated PHD against Igala continued even against the likes of late, Senator Ogbadu, late prince Abubakar of blessed memory and others.
When Prince Abubakar Audu was alive; because of his passion for Igala nation when he was in the old Benue State as Commissioner for Finance, he influenced so many projects ranging from roads, Hospitals etc to Igala land. It was this display of love towards his father land that made Late Dr Aliu Ocheja Otulukpe Obaje and other Igala leaders to call him to contest for his first term as the first Executive Governor of the State in 1991.
As soon as he emerged, he made sure he touched the entire Igala Roads: from Idah, Ejule, Ayingba, Ankpa including Ankpa township roads, Ofugo down to Inye, Ola, Ogodu down to Bassa, electricity to places like Imane, Ola, Inye, Ofugu, Ogodu, enjenma etc. In the days of Audu, you dare not kill in Igala land.
Once you take the life of another, your journey to jail becomes a sure bet. I could still remember as a young person then, the name” Koton-Karfy” was like a ringing bell in everyone’s ears and mind and as such, everyone stayed away from crime knowing fully well the consequences. Knowing his people, late Audu ensured a just and equal society.
He brought Prince Abubakar Audu University to the East, Kogi poly to Lokoja as well as, Obajana cement all in just one year. Others are Confluence Beach Hotel, Graphic News Paper, Radio station, Commissioner’s quarters, Shopping mall, Assembly Complex, Lugard House etc. Amidst all these, Audu’s problems started from Igala people. Some of the elites who expected him to share the state’s common patrimony with them but he refused ganged up against him and suddenly as usual with the Igala PhD style, we started labelling him with all sorts of names.
We told the world he was arrogant, and many other unprintable names. May his Soul rest in peace!.
I can say it anywhere that the problems Audu faced while he was alive started with the Igala people.
Then, they formed a cabal that brought His Excellency, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris (former Governor). Thank God for the magnificent work he did in Igala land for the 9 years he spent in power. We have electricity everywhere, industries, good road networks, quality healthcare, good drinking water in all the nooks and crannies of Igala land particularly in Icheke where he hails from. I am sure his Omala people are happy with him for such feat.
Some say Audu didn’t make anyone.
Let’s first acknowledge that the maker of anyone alone is God Almighty. And that same God propels our destiny and greatness through others; The following personalities were made through Audu: Sen. Alex Kadri, Sen. Nicholas Yahaya Ugbane, Hajia Halima Alfa, Alhaji Hassan Enape, late Alhaji Isah Liberty, Asta, and a host of others both Politically or business wise. Now! How were these people able to sustain the leadership chain? Who got better through some of these persons asides their Family Members? Although, some of them tried in that regards.
The fact remains crystal clear that aside the late Adoja, these old generation of leaders in various capacities of public endeavor really disappointed and deliberately took us for ignorant ride for many years.
Then came His Excellency, Capt. Idris Ichalla Wada of Dekina LGA, the largest undoubtedly in sub-sahara Africa.
I am very certain too that Dekina people are happy till date with his 4 year tenure. He gave them quality roads, water, electricity, hospitals and many other life changing infrastructures. Well, Dekina people know better.
Our sons were in POWER but, our youths are jobless, our people drank from filty Stream water, no roads, no electricity, no industry, no healthcare facilities yet, we were home to thuggery and senseless killings.
Then, by divine providence came Governor Yahaya Bello. God made sure Igala bad leaders did not benefit from their sins of destroying their own brother at the eve of his victory. Like hope was lost, God divinely raised new generation of leaders for Igala nation; For the very first time, we have youths of no wealthy backgrounds in government in different positions as Member, House of Assembly, Administrators, the former leader of ELF, Dr. Usman Ogbo now Rector, Kogi State Polytechnic.
Despite all the efforts of these set of Igala leaders to succeed, we keep trying to pull them down on a daily basis for reasons only best known to us. But, God Almighty who has kept them so far, will continue to shame their enemies.
Few days ago, I saw the media space littered with all kinds of accusations and counter accusations over an ICDA issue that could easily be resolved among brethren. Yet, we choose to wash our dirty linens outside. Our impulses at politicizing almost everything is becoming to much unbearable.
Such will not lead us to any good. We must learn to draw the lines when it matters most. Everything is not all about politics, and politics is not everything.
Leadership and connections is not about Facebook noisemaking or number of brainless articles on a daily basis. If you cannot use your so called influence to touch lives as well as, attract development to your people, then you are worst than a fraudster.
The IGALA nation is advised to kill her seemingly ever growing PHD disposition and this it must do very fast otherwise, our journey to Greatness will continue to hit the brick wall.
May we learn from our past mistakes to better the future.
God bless Ane Ayegba.
Felix Omachoko writes from Oda Ojiji kingdom.