The people of Mopa community in Kogi state have appealed to the Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, through a letter, written by the Mopa Welfare Society, to review and correct the unintentional exclusion of Mopa community from the recently announced grading of Traditional Rulers in the state.
In their appeal letter dated 29th of October 2021, Mopa Welfare Society and signed by Mr Dele Aluko stated that they want to bring to the attention of Governor Yahaya Bello the unusual and unanticipated exclusion of their Royal Fathers from the just pronounced grading and upgrading by the State Government.
The Society traced the historical antecedents of Mopa Traditional institutions, describing Mopa Kingdom as having a formal structure of traditional rulers, which has been existing ‘from time immemorial’.
They noted that Mopa is a combination of pre-existing communities (Odole and Iloke), each of which had their own Traditional Rulers. These Traditional Stools still exist till this day, but are yet to be graded by the State Government. They also observed that the predecessors of the current Elulu (Oba) of Mopa exercised authority, dating back to the colonial era, over the entire Yagbaland.
In addition, Mopa Kingdom has an illustrious and enviable track record of sincere, loyal and committed support and contribution of its people to the growth and development of the State and even the nation as a whole.
In a previous letter dated July 20, 2020 and submitted through the Chairman of the Mopamuro Traditional Council, a formal request had been made for the grading and upgrading of deserving Mopa Traditional Rulers. This letter also traced the rich historical antecedents of Mopa’s traditional institutions
While the Obas of Odole and Iloke had responsibility for their respective domains, the Balogun of Mopa was the third in command to the Elulu of Mopa and had responsibility for security and protecting and projecting the culture and tradition of the people. The second in command to the Elulu was the Shaaba or Otunba.
Despite this illustrious history and organized structure, Mopa Kingdom currently has only one First Class Traditional Ruler (Oba).
The letter traced this situation to the erroneous failure of the Sheikh Abdulkadir Chieftaincy Review Committee established by His Excellency Ibrahim Idris, former Governor of Kodi State, to grade those titles because they were vacant at the time. It was asserted that vacancy does not rob a traditional title of its status.
Mopa Citizens and stakeholders were therefore expectant that the situation would be ameliorated by the recent grading/upgrading exercise.
The letter observed, concerning the incumbent Obas, that “They have been performing their traditional functions and rites as expected of them, to their people and to our dear State without any financial compensation”. In this respect, we are of the strong opinion that royal fathers in Mopa Kingdom are qualified and deserving to be upgraded by this sensitive, responsive and caring government.
The Mopa Welfare Society noted, in their letter, that the exclusion of Mopa traditional rulers in the grading exercise left the people bewildered as their expectations were not met at all.
“Having appraised the results of the recent grading/upgrading exercise, we have come to the conclusion that the omission of Traditional Rulers from Mopa Kingdom must have been an unintentional oversight. Your Excellency, we are too well aware of your magnanimity, as aptly extended to virtually all the segments of the State”
The Community has therefore appealed to the Governor to use his good office to review and correct the unintentional exclusion of Mopa from the Traditional Rulers Grading Exercise.