Some years ago when I began to source for materials and documentations that could enable the writing of this book, amongst the confronting challenges includes the fact that there were no adequate and concise tales about this legend.
Not in the Igala oral literature, nor in her artifacts, idols or ritual collections. All that was available was that the legend EBULÉJONU was the first and only Igala female Attah [King] and she ruled before King Ayegba.
Of course, that was not enough to set into drama or even enough to capture the personality of this great legend, thus I had no choice than to source for more materials.
And in doing that I had to return to the Igala mask and masquerading, tracing the meanings of different inscriptions on sculptures and different designs on art works and carvings. I also looked closely at the sequence and phrases in Igala rituals and the references in her chants, incantations, proverbs, riddles and idioms.
I equally studied the Igala choral dirge, humming and fluting, their local weapons and talisman.
Through this the personality of the legend EBULÉJONU began to unfold it self,this compared me to go to Alaché, then to Ahfaà, and then to Omàgedé to see for my self the sites of the ritual migration of the Igala people, as first led by Abutu Ejé, then EBULÉJONU and lastly his younger brother Aganapojù.
Another source that also helped me unveil the contributions of EBULÉJONU to the Igala people,includes the tracing and finding of the war bracelet often wore by ancient Idah warriors.
These bracelets according to Pa J.A Adaji, Pa S.T Odiba, Pa B.U Ogala and Tom Miachi, it was first seen in Idah when EBULÉJONU led idah on a war against the ancient Benin kingdom.
Pa J.A Adaji claimed that this war was not largely celebrated compared to other wars,and this was because the option of EBULÉJONU becoming the Attah[king] was not welcome by many.
Even in the folklore and tales by moon light, little or nothing was always said about this war,and gradually this great sacrifice died away with EBULÉJONU’s generation.
Therefore the book “EBULÉJONU” is not just a play, but an assembled account of a part of Igala history that was not documented out of patriarchall jealousy, it is a narration of a war intentionally forgotten, a bravery obviously ignored, and most of all, a legend poorly admonished over the centuries.
The book EBULÉJONU also attempt to identify the Igala regards for womanism and feminism, by portraying the vital role the Igala women play in the Igala society.
The book also attempted to look at the issues of leadership and through the character of EBULÉJONU, it pin points ways by which better leadership could be actualize in a tribe, state and nation where good leadership has become a continuous challenge.
Before I go ahead to unveil this book,let my gratitude be with Prof. J.S Illah, whose publications and research on Igala masquerade and rituals, and also his fatherly concern for me has made this book very exceptional.
Ladies and gentlemen,with nothing else to say again, and a high sense of humility, I introduce to you the new book “EBULÉJONU” and the new and latest author Jacob Unekwu Agada.
It is my strong hope that you will get a copy of this book to know the concise story of EBULÉJONU and her contributions to the medieval struggles of the igala people.
– Jacob Unekwu Agada