A popular African proverb comes to mind immediately I perused the list of ministerial nominees submitted by President Muhammadu Buhari: “a river that forgets its source is destined to dry”. It beats my wild imagination how the once upon a time most favoured breeds across the Niger, fell within a twinkle of an eye to this present stage in the spheres of politics.
No doubts, everything is possible on the political terrain but ane-Igala from the time of our ancestors never witnessed defeat or failure. We were classified as the most favoured political breeds in the Middle-belt region but the reverse is now the case.
Recall that during the Second Republic, the present day Kogi State was under Benue State, yet we successfully produced the Deputy Governor in the person of Alhaji Sule Iyaji without much rancor with other ethnic groups in Benue. It was an easy scale of dominance perhaps because our leaders; traditional and political actors worked together as team players for the triumph of political victory at any given instance. This was an epoch making time which unfortunately can now be read on the pages of history because a contemporary measure of politics from the unlimited scope of Igala land is filled with hatred, malice, supremacy tussle coupled with jaundiced foresights of egocentrism.
With the contemporary unfolding events in the political landscape of Kogi State and Nigeria at large, we are supposed to be united now than ever before with reasons not farfetched; the lines seems not to be falling in pleasant because we have sold our inheritance, yet we are quick to deceive ourselves with fake vibes stationed on the myopic venture of Igala agenda.
If we must sip the remaining prospects leaking from the cultural calabash of the most chanted agenda, we must be ready to go back to the drawing board to strategize before the November gubernatorial election else it is another shaming season to count our loss. Kudos to the limited but not tired elder statesmen of Igala origin who despite all odds and insults hurled at them by their own kinsmen, refused to trash their struggle for the betterment of the Igala race.
Worthy of note at this juncture is Sir Alex Kadiri whom I have not met all my life but will continue to admire his political intelligence and goodwill from a distance; at least for deeming it necessary to galvanize the remainder of sane political actors who are willing to heed to his fatherly advice garnered from his many years of political experience. I will strive not to be economical with the truth in this discourse.
Chief Amodu Ali also attempted to develop a pathway for our people and it is on record that he attracted some educational institutions to ane Igala in the time past but I have reservations for the recent screening committee which he played a key role; political participation is key and a veritable tool for development but political competition should not be featured especially at the moment when the land of our ancestors is suffering political distress.
In other words, the surviving class of Igala political elites should endeavor to play advisory roles by shunning the negative temptations of cunningly sending their “heirs to the throne” to contest elective position even when we are not practicing a monarchical system of government. It is only in a traditional set up, that leadership is rotated among the ruling houses. Kogi State is not a patriarchal enclave and the beacons of leadership should not be treated with kids gloves.
Where are the friends of Dr Stephen Achema? Does it mean nobody tapped from his political ideologies? Do we still remember that for Late Achema, it was all about “abomi Igala” despite all he faced? These poser brings us back to the lines where we got it wrong. Igala leaders ascend leadership ladders without mentoring younger leaders to take over their positions whenever they transit to the great beyond.
At the moment, we (abomi Igala) are suffering from the inglorious deficits of not learning or tapping from the wealth of experience of the first generation of Igala political bridge builders and to worsening the already escalated scenario, the present day young and agile upcoming generation can be graded as self acclaimed comrades on rampage; they are ready to bootlick any government in power for personal benefits devoid of communal interest.
Brethren! It is not an ample time to throw tantrums by fashioning needless blame games but it is unarguably the ripe time to effect the needful by arming our political interaction with the best dictates of sincerity of purpose.
How did we get to this stage where the supposed Igala political elders are much interested in building bloodline political dynasties while our land continue to suffer the wrath of their obsessed indulgence? Who will save ane Igala from the present quagmire? It is so sad the old time emerging future giant is now crippled and compelled to beg at the political market square for consideration and survival. Be assured that we are not cursed but we urgently need to overhaul our political process, interference and yearnings else we would not get it right thus deviating to be mocked by former admirers.
After the demise of Barrister James Ocholi, it took special intervention before the appointment of Professor Stephen Ocheni in replacement as a junior minister and the recent nomination for screening of ministers did not feature the name of anybody from Igala extraction yet some politically myopic cursed breeds are attracting the wrath of the gods by sheepishly positing “it should not be all about the Igalas”. I am less perturbed and it should not solely be about the Igalas because we are not the only ethnic group in Kogi State but it calls for concerns to unravel the mystery: what pushed us out of the political radar and limelight to the abyss of minority politics?
In all honesty to my readers, hatred and disunity which is inherent amongst our people is the leading factor that buried our political dreams in the mass grave of disillusionment. Our present day political leaders are much interested in building political circles than committing themselves to render good governance; they careless about the human, capital and communal development of ane Igala but are weakly ready to improvise the best ways to remain in power showcasing obvious lack of political will, relevance or power.
Abomi Igala! We must ALL be interested about our political value which is sinking fast even before the commencement of the voyage – 2019 Kogi Gubernatorial Election – yet everybody is mute as if our political ship is sailing smoothly.
Permit me to reiterate that everybody cannot be the governor of Kogi State at the same time but everybody can join hands together to produce somebody who is reputably tested and trusted. However, for the Igalas to produce a consensus candidate, we must be united and speak with one voice. What we have at the moment is an association of ethnic saboteurs who are tactically in attendance of meetings to report the best resolutions to our oppressors who in turn fight us because our scheming was leaked out by our own kinsmen.
For the Igalas to unite, our youths must bury their penchant style of venturing into politics to cause confusion amongst the supposed Igala league of political elders just for money; peanuts that will never satisfy their foul hunger or thirst.
Also, Igala youths must not allow any politician to use them as thugs. If thuggery is beneficial to the youths, politicians should start sponsoring their biological siblings and children as thugs. Be wise!
It is instructive at this juncture to call on numerous political racketeering groups disguising and duping unsuspecting aspirants by endorsing their ambitions to desist from this negative trend. It is not a time to hide under any fallacious umbrella to dupe aspirants but a time to unite our best political arsenals and wherewithal for the prosperity of the Igala race. It is time to unite because a stitch in time saves nine. Abomi Igala! Let us bury our pride by working together to develop a paradigm that can propel our beloved land to greater heights before it is too late.
Ane Igala MUST nyogba!
– Ajogwu Jerry Ochada