Attah Igala Tussle: Only Prince Opaluwa Okoliko secured VALID Nomination to be Attah Igala Designate, Aju Ameacho Stakeholders and Elder insist

  “the method of nomination by such a ruling house shall be an exercise under the headship of the eldest person in the ruling house, who sha...

 

“the method of nomination by such a ruling house shall be an exercise under the headship of the eldest person in the ruling house, who shall in consultation with principal members of the ruling house, screen, interview and nominate the rightful person to the throne

( Igala Area Traditional Council- Modification of Native Law and Custom: Order 2015 of Kogi State Government.
Every Nation, Ethnicity, Community or Society is guided by Social rule system which enables it function effectively, hence there are Social rules systems which include institutions such as norms, laws, regulations, taboos, customs, and a variety of guidelines and procedures. Thus, human life is rule governed and an attempt to cut corners and boycott the lawful way of doing things affects our identify, hinders progress and unity as a people.
 
Recall that in the ongoing selection to fill the vacant Stool of Attah Igala in Kogi State, series of unfortunate events of what can best be regarded as deliberately orchestrated dispute engulfed the earlier pronouncement by HRH Etemahi Igalamela and his Council of kingmakers over the choice of Ocholi Philip Opaluwa as Attah Igala.
 
It is equally no news that the latest sacrilegious decision of the Igala Area Traditional Council (IATC), headed by Eje Dekina, Alhaji Usman Obaje in acting capacity, acting on the purported resolution of her strange panel, headed by HRH Boniface Musa, Onu ifé (Ojogba) which abruptly recommended Mathew Opaluwa as Ata Igala Designate was also recently in a desperately sponsored social media news.
 
It therefore means, that, within a space of few months, the most respected Igala Kingdom had two (2) Ata Igala Designates announced at different times by different bodies for the sole purpose of mounting the throne same year. What a Cultural and systemic Malady?
The first recommendation of Ocholi Opaluwa done by Etemahi and his Council of kingmakers was greeted by several petitions, loaded with accusations of corrupt practices, procedural flaws and shady deals, hence, the nomination did not see the light of the day.
 
The second strange recommendation done by Igala Area Traditional Council has also not faired any better, as the so called recommendation by the Igala Area Traditional Council has no place either in law or the well guided tradition of the Igala people. As at the last count, not less than 18 different petitions from aspirants, stakeholders and interested parties alike have accompanied the charade.
 
But, in all of these Cultural acrimony, is the law being followed? Who amongst the aspirants jostling for the revered stool of Igala kingdom has the most valid nomination from eldest surviving person of Aju AmeAchor whose turn it is to produce the next Ata Igala in line with the mandatory requirement of Schedule 5 of the 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 gazetted edict of Kogi State Chieftaincy Law?
 
Schedule 5 of the Kogi State law in force that regulates the throne of Ata Igala, unambiguously states, and I quote, “the method of nomination by such a ruling house shall be an exercise under the headship of the eldest person in the ruling house, who shall in consultation with principal members of the ruling house, screen, interview and nominate the rightful person to the throne.”
In fulfilling this mandatory aspect of the gazette which ultimately puts the right of screening, interviewing and nominating the rightful person to the throne in the hands of the eldest person of the clan of Ameacho whose turn it is to produce the next Ata Igala therefore, HRH Chief Ogbobi Okpachi Omeje – 96 years of age, who also wears the bead of Onu Umomi, and currently the eldest and head of Ameacho clan summoned a meeting to his palace in October, 2020. 
 
According to the extract of that family meeting in our possession, most of those he summoned and who are currently causing confusion refused to attend the meeting probably for fear of being screened out as a result of perhaps, lack of knowledge of the custom and tradtion of the Igala people, inappropriate character disposition and what have you. It was reported in the meeting that, only three (3) persons subjected themselves to the screening of Chief Ogbobi Omeje, Onu Umomi in the presence of other critical and principal members of the clan. And at the end of the meeting, Prince Okoliko Opaluwa, son of HRH Chief Adebo Opaluwa Oguche Akpa was picked. His name was subsequently forwarded and presented to HRH Etemahi in-Council for onward forwarding to HRH Achadu Oko Ata as required by Law. 
 
HRH Chief Ogbobi Okpachi Omeje, Onu Umomi, did not stop there, he took alongside himself, several elders and Principal members of Ameacho ruling house before Etemahi to his palace at Ajaka where he, in collaboration with other stakeholders presented Prince Okoliko Opaluwa Oguche Akpa to him.
 
But surprisingly, Etamahi Igalamela Kingmakers threw the contest open and started demanding extorting an application fee of N50,000 each from all interested aspirants to the throne. This action of Igalamela Kingmakers to generate revenue and cause fierce tussle was frowned by pundits and stakeholders in Igala Kingdom. It generated the dispute that is breading today.
 
More importantly is the fact that note that Prince Okoliko Opaluwa was the first person that was presented to Etemahi amongst all other aspirants from the clan. When HRH Etemahi diregarded schedules and summoned all aspirants, Prince Okoliko Opaluwa was on hand and splendidly did justice to his claim to the throne all through sittings in Ajaka, Igalamela Local Government Area.
 
In respect to Schedule 2 of the 2015 gazette which reads, “preference shall be given to the eldest surviving son of an Ata Igala from the ruling house whose turn it is to produce the next Ata Igala.”
 
Please, kindly note the unambiguous words there, ” *Eldest Surviving Son of An Ata Igala.”*
The clear bottom line there is this; in the clan of Ameacho, there is no direct surviving son of HRM Ata Oguche Akpa who ruled last in the clan of Ameacho in 1919, alive anymore and such privileges can not therefore be imported from non existing direct son of Ata Oguche Akpa to either a grandson or great grandson. It therefore leaves room more to the eldest person of the clan who shall pick from the pool of either of the two categories left. And that is exactly what HRH Chief Ogbobi Okpachi Omeje, Onu Umomi did by nominating and recommending the most vibrant, knowledgeable and academically qualified of all in the person of Prince Okoliko Opaluwa. Part of the reasons given by Aju Ameacho elders to select the young Prince is the fact that Prince Okoliko’s father championed the re inclusion of Aju Ameacho and Aju Akogwu clan through his petition to Kogi State Government in 2013 and after he Hrh Adeboh Peter Opaluwa the then Eje Ofu lost his bid to be Attah Igala. Late Adebo coordinated stakeholders and members of the four Ruling Houses of Ata Igala Dynasty to demand for Justice for the other two Ruling houses that were going on extinction. This was graciously done by Governor Idris Ichalla Wada to bring peace and harmony, Justice and fair play to the houses. More so that when the late Adebo Opaluwa fought for this Gazzatte, none of his younger brothers contesting today we’re feasible in the struggle. According to Mr Amos Ochalifu, one would have thought that the some few members of Aju Ameacho clan having stayed out of the Ata throne for 102 years, they will support and field a Young Prince rather those in their 70″s. It is on this basis therefore and more that elders of the clan met and decided to honour the memory of their late Hero by resolving to recommend his son Prince Opaluwa Okoliko as the next Attah Igala.
 
For the purpose of clarity and brief information, the following is laid bare for our consumption and unbiased scrutiny:
Samuel Opaluwa was nominated by DCP Jacob Yahaya Etuh -77 years from AmeAchor ruling house with proof of date of birth. An action which is contrary to the schedule.
 
Mathew Opaluwa was nominated by pastor williams -65 years from Aju Ocholi ruling house and not even an elder from his Aju Ameacho clan. Along the line of tussle, he was said to have sneaked in one aged man who is not known to his clan all in the bid to satisfy schedule 5 of the 2015 Gazzatte an action that is contrary to the edict
Ocholi Opaluwa was nominated by Peter Achimugu Oguche of Ameacho ruling house – 84 years with proof of date of birth contrary to the law
Isah Achimugu Oguche was nominated by his own younger brother contrary to schedule 5 of the Chieftaincy law.
 
Okoliko Opaluwa was validly nominated by HRH Chief Ogbobi Okpachi Omeje, Onu Umomi – 96 years of Ameacho ruling house with proof of date of birth in accordance to the 2015 edict.
Schedule 5 of the 2015 gazette says, the method of nomination by the ruling house whose turn it is to produce the next Ata Igala must be an exercise under the eldest surviving person of the ruling house whose turn it is to produce the next Ata and who shall in collaboration with other relevant stakeholders of the clan screen, interview and nominate the rightful person for the throne.
 
From the above, you should be the judge who actually secured the most valid nomination.
Even despite satisfying the place of Kogi State law and the Custom and Tradition of our people, we must note that the 2006 law of which the one of 2015 is an appendage (supplementary) qualifies those who are members of ruling house of a Chieftaincy stool to vie for the stool.
 
Mall Isah Idakwo Oguche Akpa from Aju Ameacho Ruling House emphasized that the selection of who becomes Ata had never been based on seniority from time immemorial but good conduct, physical fitness, sound knowledge of Igala culture and tradition and above all the endorsement of the eldest surviving Son of the family.
 
Note, Ata Ameh Oboni and Dr Ali Obaje became Ata Igala at very prime age and both had uncles and other persons who Senior them in the family but nature and the land smiled at them.
 
1. Akogu was senior to Akumabi who became Ata after Ayegba.
2. Ohiemi Edino, Odoma Ebehi etc were senior to Ameacho who died in the process of coronation before another of his younger brother, Itodo Aduga stepped in.
3.Aju Akumabi: Okolo Ocheje was senior to Obaje Ocheje who became Ata. Achimugwu Obaje was senior to Otulukpe Obaje who became Ata.
4. Ame Ocheje was Grandson of Itodo Aduga who became Ata ahead of his Uncles Ohiemi (Agbaji) and others.
5. Aju Akogu: Ajeka Abutu (Abuhia) was senior to Ekele Aga who became Ata. Amaga was youngest of his father’s children but he became Ata.
6.Aju Ocholi: Onoja was senior to Akwu Odiba who became Ata. Ogaji Akwu was senior to Oboni Akwu who became Ata.
7. Aju Ameacho: in 1956, Opaluwa Oguche was selected for the throne ahead of his elder brother Adaji Oguche.
Also Mall Danladi Ina Abutu the of Aju Ameacho clan stressed that , in situations like this; The Executive Governor in Council is empowered by law in section 6(1)(2) of the 2006 Chiefs Appointment and Deposition law of Kogi State to set up panel of inquiry on any dispute arising from Chieftaincy matters in the State.
” in case of any dispute in the appointment of any Chieftaincy Stool, the Governor shall have the power to constitute a panel of inquiry into the dispute”
It is therefore our that Alhaji Yahaya Bello, Executive Governor of Kogi State will salvage this situation and ensure justice is served.
 
 
Chief Emakoji Amana, writes from Idah.

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ANYIGBALEFT: Attah Igala Tussle: Only Prince Opaluwa Okoliko secured VALID Nomination to be Attah Igala Designate, Aju Ameacho Stakeholders and Elder insist
Attah Igala Tussle: Only Prince Opaluwa Okoliko secured VALID Nomination to be Attah Igala Designate, Aju Ameacho Stakeholders and Elder insist
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