SELECTING A NEW ATTA: A Call For Deep Thinking--Okeme Okpanachi

"...It will be unfair to the Igala people if a person who has exhausted his service years is brought to retire into this demanding offi...

"...It will be unfair to the Igala people if a person who has exhausted his service years is brought to retire into this demanding office"

Once upon a time, the stool of Atta Igala was more of a "privilege to reign" than a "call the serve". That was when all that was required to occupy the stool was to be entitled to it. It did not matter if the person seeking to occupy the stool had the requisite ability and desire to lead his people in the best of their interest.
That was the era an Atta was a law unto himself with unlimited powers and privileges; but with no obligation.
Gradually, things began to change, Atta was no longer just a lord over his people, but a lord in service of his people. This became ripe with the advent of the colonialists; wherein Atta had to represent, strive, negotiate, permute and even lobby on behalf of his people.
The social status and age of an Atta became important as his responsibilities began to expand. this era coincided with the emergence of Atta Ameh Oboni, the youngest Atta on record. It is safe to conclude that Ameh Oboni passes for the most famous Atta, with several developmental achievements to his credit, including; the Idah aerodrome, construction of long stairs down to Ocheche river, construction of the first mud fence round the palace, etc.
While people agree that Ameh Oboni is the most famous Atta of all times, little is said about the fact that he is still the youngest person to ever occupy that stool; and this is the essence of this intervention.
Ameh Oboni's age at the time he became Atta has been estimated to be between 31 and 33; and I am convinced that this was exactly why he was able to achieve such feat.
For emphasis, In 1946, Atta Ameh Oboni ascended the throne at the young age of 33
In 1956, Attah Aliyu Otulukpe Obaje ascended the throne at the age of 36.
In 2016, At the young age of 15, Chukwuka Noah Akaeze I lost his father on the 5th of January, 2016, to replace King Obi Akaeze Edward Ofulue III, as king of Ubulu-Uku Kingdom in Delta State, following the vacancy of leadership in the Kingdom, the successor to the throne, the young Prince had to take up the position.
However, at the time of this arrangement, Chukwuka was still in a secondary school in the UK and wasn’t set to return to Nigeria till he was 20 or 21 years old. Therefore, his uncle Anthony Ofulue was chosen to act as his Regent until Obi Chukwuka’s return.
King Benjamin Ikenchukwu, Dein, KEAGBOREKUZI I,
ascended the throne after the unfortunate death of his father in 1979. He was 2 years and four months when his father died. He grew up and studied in Buckingham Palace UK for 27 years before finally returning to his Kingdom in the year 2000.
The record of the AGBOR Monarch as the youngest Monarch was recorded in the Guinness Book of record in 1981.
Considering the jet-age which we are, an Atta should not just be smart, he should be a technocrat who is up and doing; and all these qualities are more likely to be found in a youth. Apart from these, a young Atta is likely to reign longer, what this means is that it will guarantee a focused and lasting administration.
Now that Igala Kingdom is again confronted with the task of choosing another Atta, those saddled with this responsibility must think deep, they must ensure that the stool is not made a retiring ground for tired and retired people. The stool is not a place to rest, it is a place to sit and serve; and it will be unfair to the Igala people if a person who has exhausted his service years is brought to retire into this demanding office.
In accordance with Kogi State Government Gazette titled : 'Igala Area Traditional Council (Modification of Native Law and Custom) Order, 2015 Procedure and Regulation for the Selection and Ascension to the Stool of Attah Igala' signed by Kogi State Governor in 2015, Which places Aju Ameacho Royal clan as the next in line of ascension, the Igala Kingmakers are faced with an herculean task to think deep to select a young and vibrant Atta Igala designate from this clan based on the aforementioned points.
Prince Opaluwa Okoliko
is a young crown Prince from Aju Ameacho clan. He is vibrant, an experienced and well gromed for the task.
Born and bread in Igala Land, the young prince grew within locals, culture and tradition of the Igala people. His late father HRH Adebo Opaluwa painstaking nutured him to the climax of Integrity, Charisma and good Character. He schooled in Ugwolawo Ofu Local Government then proceeded to Kogi State University where he obtained a Degree in English and Literary Studies.
Prince Okoliko after s compulsory National Youth Service in Oyo State took up an Admin job at Kogi State Local Government Service Commission as a Personnel officer on grade level 8 and redeployed to Ibaj LGA. He then took up a Graduate Assistant job at Federal Polytechnic Idah as a Lecturer in General Studies GNS- English. Okoliko joined Afribank Nigeria Plc as an Executive Assistant Banking and Credits and was redeployed to Keffi Nasarawa state. The young Prince then moved to Diamond Bank Plc as a Relationship Manager, an MSME Development.
Prince Opaluwa became the Managing Director of Olaypoon Nigeria Limited with a wide spectrum of Estate and Maintenance jobs in Abuja.
He holds a Master of Arts in English Language from Nasarawa State University.
Opaluwa was employed in Federal Airports Authority Abuja as Principal Customer Service Officer on grade level 12, a position he held till 2017 when he was appointed as A Senior Special Assistant to Kogi State Governor, a position he used to create employment opportunities for some Igala youths. He has been an advocate of community development, peace and security in Kogi State.
In 2020 he was re appointed as a Senior Special Assistant to Kogi State Governor on Federal Agencies a position he holds till now.
Opaluwa Okoliko has great love and passion for Igala Nation, he is a good listener, accessable and courageous.
The odds of this tussle favours him. He is a candidate to beat.
Long live Igala Kingdom.
-Okeme Okpanachi, Kogi State.

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ANYIGBALEFT: SELECTING A NEW ATTA: A Call For Deep Thinking--Okeme Okpanachi
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