‘I hate when people confuse Education with intelligence.You can have a degree and still be an idiot”.(facebook, July,2019).
Education, according to Wikipedia(2019) is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits. Educational methods include story telling, discussion, teaching, training, and directed research. It further notes that Education frequently takes place under the guidance of educators, however learners may also educate themselves. Education can take place in formal or informal settings and any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts may be considered educational. The methodology of teaching is called pedagogy.
The Wikipedia (2019) also defines Politics as a set of activities associated with the governance of a country, or an area. It involves making decisions that apply to members of a group. It refers to achieving and exercising positions of governance – organized control over a human community, particularly a state. In modern nation-states, people have formed political parties to represent their ideas.They agree to take the same position on many issues and agree to support the same changes to law and the same. A variety of methods are deployed in politics, which include promoting one’s own political views among people, negotiation with other political subjects, making laws, and exercising force, including warfare against adversaries. Politics is exercised on a wide range of social levels, from clans and tribes of traditional societies, through modern local governments,companies and institutions up to sovereign states, to the international level.
In the light of the above my paper will discuss the Role of Education in the Political development of the Igala.
Needless to define the Igala, it is my assumption and view that as a people the Igala clearly, at least those of us here clearly know who we are or our ancestry.
It will be important anyway for the purpose of this discussion to interrogate what defines the Igala. I call this the Igala Cultural ethics. These ethos form the Igala world view and define Igala civilization. They are if you want the foundation of Igala religious, political, social and economic life.
IGALA MORAL ETHOS.
There are principally five fundamental elements of Igala ethical believe system –what I call the Igala ethos-It is reflected in the desire of the Igala to always preserve themselves as an indivisible and in dissolvable social community-these thrust gave birth to Ufedo (love), Ogecha (truth), Uredo (Peace), Udama (Unity), and Unyogba (progress) as Igala social ground norms-. The ordinary Igala man will always show love especially to a visitor, he wouldn’t steal- he was honest and will always stand for the truth.
There is an Igala axiom which says “enekpakaachoojojiwenegama’ which means that a capable person is different from a huge person. A capable person in Igala society is an intelligent fellow who is trained to make impossible possible, who can add value to the society and whose presence can inspire abundant courage.It is the famous writer Samuel Huntington(1996) in his cerebral publication – The Clash of Civilizations, who stated that – people define themselves in terms of ancestry, religion, history, values, customs, and institutions. They identify with cultural groups, tribes, ethnic groups, religious communities, nations and at the broadest level civilizations.
First the Igala are a very civilized people, with well-established core values. Jacob Abdullahi(2006) copiously makes the point in his book –The First Nigerian people. He says of the Igala, we are well cultured, peaceful, trust worthy reliable and God fearing. The Igala recognize that they are all children of the Attah royal family. For this reason, you may not find any true born of an Igala man or woman involved in stealing not to talk of armed robbery except he or she is of mixed blood. In those days intermarriages were not allowed, slaves were allowed to marry themselves. An Igala man will not accept ‘agbabi’ a disputed child whose father is not sure. In another instance, if a man from another tribe is impregnating a daughter the child will never be accepted as belonging to the land, he will not be happy staying in the land because of the insult he will receive not knowing his own father-‘this culture may have depopulated Igala land’.
Abdullahi further notes that the Igala have something to sell honesty-that is why about 70percent armorers in both the police and armed forces today are Igalas. That is why 70 percent of fuel attendants in the filling stations in north today are Igalas because they will not see raw cash and run away with it. For being brave, sincere and knowledgeable our people are employed as close aides to important people like Presidents, Ministers and Governors. You find our people as drivers to this important people.
A notable feature of the traditional values is the unalloyed hospitality the inhabitants show to visitors, Abdullahi in his book recounts -A European visitor 3rd September 1841 reads-having waited from 7-10 in the morning to no purpose, we expressed a wish to go and see the town to which the princes had no objection. We went to one of the markets to purchase something to eat, as we began to feel hungry but unfortunately we had brought no cowries with us. One of the natives observing our perplexity presented me with several cowries. I could not but admire his conduct for evidently endeavored to do it so that nobody should him and that the white man should not be exposed to shame by receiving a present from a black man.
Embedded in Igala ethos is an established tradition of leadership , of Order and discipline. Miachi (2006) states –in any society there are rules and regulations serving as code of conduct for members.In order to maintain law and order such rules and regulations or simply the norms of the society have to be obeyed and any deviance may be punished in one way or the other by the elders or in modern times by law enforcement agents. Among the Igala in the former times the punishment could range from a strong public warning through a public physical and mental torture to enforced poisoning at the village square. Such sever punishments are given to miscreants because public derelicts cause immeasurable damage to the existing normative structure of the society. Radcliff Brown also cited by Miachi states that a return to the status quo (the normal) is necessary and restoration is dependent on a public act that will make all members of the society aware of the seriousness of the offence as well as making the erring member aware of the need for obeying operative norms of the society.’ Prevention they say is better than cure.
Talking about the leadership structure in Igala land, Boston(1966) states that -relative seniority is a major constituent of clan relationships, and in all Igala clans one of the chief functions of clanship is the creation of a pattern of authority based on descent. Boston further notes that the logical outcome of this hierarchical arrangement is that the most senior member of the uppermost age-group has authority over the whole clan-the Igala recognize this by making the position into an important clan office of ‘ogujoolopu’
Boston further narrates that the authority by the OgujoOopu within the clan is moral and ritual in character and the office is important not so much administratively as forming a symbol of clan unity.Its holder mediates between the living and dead members of the clan by standing next in order of seniority to the ancestors themselves,and his home is an important centre carried on within the family-the appointed title holder only can be senior to the OgijoOlopu or becomes the OgijoOlupu by virtue of his appointment.
In Igala tradition, Okwute is the physical symbolism of office or power.
Those holding Okwute as the spiritual and political head in their respective jurisdictions.Those holding Okwute in any capacity in Igala society are expected to be morally equipped to guide against actions that will bring Okwute to disrepute. The holders of Okwute are expected to be pure, judicious in action and must be disciplined persons. The nature of food they eat, the type of women they have contact with and their public conduct must reflect the ethical standards which Okwute symbolizes. I once had a face to face discussion with veteran Broadcaster, Engineer Amana who gave me a life account of the Olopu idealogy in Igala cosmology, himself a living witness of the era. Society was led in a disciplined moral, political, socio-religious order. There was respect,there was communalism people sat together to eat every evening in spite of polygamy, no orphans and widows as everyone was protected by the clan.
The OgijoOlopu was the authority he had the ears of the ancestors and he was revered.Authority of Attah on the throne is only regulated by Okwute and Onunoja, ojanonu (social theory which says that both the ruler and the ruled has legal status).
By definition, Okwute is a physical symbolism of oath of office. It is an ancestral golden sword of law handed over to history by the dead ancestors to enable them speak from the grave. It is an instrument of intervention by the gods in the relationship between the weak and strong, small and big, powerful and powerless. The balance of power therefore rotates among the living, the dead and the unborn in Igala society. While the Attah of Igala remains the Chief Priest and as the holder of Okwute. Other chiefs below him were equally entitled to hold Okwute as the spiritual and political heads in their respective jurisdictions.
Those holding Okwute in any capacity in Igala society are expected to be morally equipped, to guide against actions that will bring Okwute into disrepute. The holders of Okwute are expected to be pure, judicious in actions and must be disciplined persons. The nature of food they eat and the water they drink, the type of women they may have contact with and their public conducts must reflect the ethical standards which Okwute symbolizes.
While the Attah of Igala remains the Chief Priest and as the holder of Okwute. Other chiefs below him were equally entitled to hold Okwute as the spiritual and political heads in their respective jurisdictions.
Whoever misappropriates the property or misdirected himself in the sharing of the assets to the rightful beneficiaries will be punished by the Okwute. Penalty for such offences are usually death and if the ancestors temper justice with mercy, it will be serious sickness for the deviants. Land as the common property of any given Igala community is a collective patrimony.
Land is the biggest economic material in Igala land. Anybody that holds the Okwute at any level in Igala society is the custodian of the people’s land and its natural resources within his jurisdiction. Therefore, the Okwute is not only a legitimate apparatus of authority or Oath of office, it is also the symbol of law and order, a commanding force of peace and cohesiveness. The Okwute is the traditional testament which reinforces the spiritual control of the living by the dead in terms of social justice and code of conduct. It is the heart of Igala patrimonial theology, which stands as the godhead of the society.
Onunoja, ojanonu is another vital element in Igala native politics which islike Okwute. That social contract is called “Onunojanonu”. It means that the chief owns the subject and the subject owns the chief”. By this theory, the chief could not act like the proverbial Queen that does no wrong. Rather, the actions and words of Attah of Igala, chiefs or Onus are no longer unquestionable. They are subject to what modern liberal democracies call accountability or the contract between the governor and the governed.
“OnunojaOjanonu” as a political philosophy in Igala society is a wider concept. It does not stop on accountability alone. It has something to do with what Salmond called the “purpose of government” or Rousseau’s theory of social contract or Rule of Law. Furthermore, it could be compared with John Locke’s Social theory that “all powers given with trust for attaining an end, being limited by that end, whenever that end is manifestly neglected or opposed, the trust must necessary be forfeited and the power devolves into hands of those that gave it, who may place a new where they shall think best for their safety and security”.
“Onunoja Ojanonu” could be likened to what the celebrated American opponent of slavery William Henry Steward averred as “High law”, or William Godwin’s man and Edmund Burke’s Political Reason.
According to Musa(2014), Onunoja Ojanonu is “Law of laws and sovereign of sovereign” which gives legitimacy to the actions of the rulers and the ruled. It is the heart of Igala social and political discipline by which the majority and minority, the powerful and powerless, the ruler and the ruled are held in restrain in the interest of the society.
In short, “Onunoja Ojanonu” is an unwritten prescriptive Igala constitutional philosophy or doctrine of utility which promotes happiness for the greatest number. It is the ground-norm for the realization of the best by mass of men and a kind of ideological anchor for curbing the authoritarian excesses of both the ruler and the ruled. It insists that power has to be used according to the virtue of its authority, and that the servant should not be more powerful than the master.
Igala people were guided in the past by this theory of power and authority.
The Igala usually invested their trusts in the hands of somebody who would know that he is a servant. Though the Attah of Igala is vested with the responsibilities of law and order in the land, there are things he should not do in actions or in words. If in his exercising his instrument of office, he becomes arrogant and insensitive to the yearnings of his people or he is no longer approachable by his subjects. If by the virtue of his office, the Attah of Igala yielded to the lust of his office, and he started to waylay the wife/wives of his subject or suffer his subjects unnecessarily or do anything contrary to the oath of his office, the institutional philosophy of Igala people called “Onunojaojanonu”empowers the governed to revolt against the power of Attah that is on the throne.
According to Musa(2014), Consensus formation among Igala people is another heritage. Before any political or social decision is taken in the society. Consultations are made here and there to reduce the likelihood of divided opinions on a certain line of action is ignored. The moment you overlook an Igala man, either through Commission or omission that will be regarded as an affront or insult. Not necessarily because your ideas are not good but only to prove to you that everybody has a stake in the decision. As a result of this, consensus formation processes in Igala society is a delicate and sensitive issue. The family as the platform of Igala communal life is the centre for consensus generation. Elders and age-groups remain the basis for social articulation. When the leaders of thought (elders) decide about a given issue, they will contact the youths through the Achokobia. If the Achokobia informs the youths and they agree, it means the bill have sailed through. Assuming the youths disagreed with the decision of the elders, the Achokobia will equally pass the opinions of the youths to the elders. In case it is stalemated, the youths and elders will discuss the sources of disagreement in the open. Whatever decisions emerged on that day will be sealed as final. The logical outcome of this collective decision is collective responsibility. That is why the Igala people are known for “yes as yes” and no as no”. The fortunate thing in Igala traditional society is the use of dialogue to reach a consensus. Once a decision is taken on a particular issue, and it was collectively agreed on. Anybody who later disagreed will be forced out of the ethnic organizations that operates in the community or penalized.
IGALA EDUCATED ELITES
Talking about the era of modern Education, Musa(2014 ) draws our attention to the following historical facts-In the Balewa Administration shortly after independence Igala was represented by Hashim Adaji, Mr Daniel Ogbadu, Peter Achimugu they were early elites with average education who served as Ministers in the then Northern Regional Government.
In Kwara, the following held positions – AbubakarAdamu, Alhaji S.S Amego, Mr Peter Tokula, Mr Musa Okedi and Alhaji Abdullahi Ibrahim during the David Bamigboye Regime. In Benue, we had Dr Moses Egene Adah, Mr Isah Odoma, Paul Achimigu and Moses Ogu. Dr Alex Kadiri – DG Water resources, Capt. Ataboh as MD of Nigeria Airways, M.A Braimoh as DG National Boundary Adjustment Commission, Prof . J.A Abalaka DG SON, Musa Otigba, Daniel Akoh Board of NNPC, Dr Nath Ejiga MD NAFCON, Eng Bob Alfa MD NNSL, Col Usman, Isaac Alfa, Rear Admiral Ibrahim Ogohi.
According to Musa, the first Igala academician to take his stand in history to serve his community was Dr. Moses Egene Adah. He was one of the pioneer Commissioners on the creation of Benue State. A seasoned intellectual, full of dazzling insights and combative intellect, he never lagged behind in Igala social struggles. He was not given to aggressive politics. Thus, he became a forgotten eagle in the recent sharing of political power in Igala social circle.
How old was Egene Adah when he was appointed Commissioner? In the 1979, Dr. Abubakar Usman, Dr. Yahaya E. Atanu and Dr. Samson S. Ameh dropped their academic robes for politics. As luck may have it, Dr. Abubakar Usman and Dr. Yahaya E. Attanu were elected as Honourable Members of the House of Representatives under the National Party of Nigeria (NPN). But Dr. S.S. Ameh of NPN lost to Mr. Bala Onoja of GNPP in the contest to the Benue State House of Assembly from Ogugu Constituency. Dr. Abubakar Usman, as an economist who knew the law of supply and demand in building support base in politics was extremely generous. His office was on daily basis filled to the brim and he lavished both attention and money on his Igala constituency. Till death robbed us of his service to humanity, he was never tired of us. People predicted his longevity on the political corridor if not death. Because he knew what it takes to be on the pinnacle of power.
Dr. S. S. Ameh, one of the three heavyweight academicians that graced Igala politics in 1979, re-contested election in 1983 into Benue State House of Assembly and won on NPN ticket. Dr. Ameh lost in the first instance in 1979 because he was not part of the common cause as at the time he contested. But when he succumbed and learnt that in politics there is no morality that makes defeat sweet, he repossessed his glory. When the second republic of Shehu Shagari regime was toppled by Gen. Muhammed Buhari, Dr. S. S. Ameh went back to his normal habitat, lecturing and practicing law, never to show face in the political darkroom.
Under General Ibrahim Babangida regime, three Igala high-ranking intellectuals got political appointments. They were Prof. F. A. Idachaba as the VC of Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Prof. J.A Abalaka, Director General, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), and Dr. Alex Kadiri, Director General, Federal Ministry of Water Resources.
Even when their appointments have no direct bearings on Igala, Prof. Idachaba and Prof. Abalaka lived up to the expectations of Igala by not fearing to recruit competent Igala into their organizations. They demonstrated that knowledge must create a compelling spectacle for validity and self-recognition. They knew that opportunity comes but once and they stood gallantly in the magnitude of intellectual intensity that made real men to act in favour of their social realities.
In the House of Representatives, Abubakar Abutu,Yahaya Atanu, Mallam Sahihu, Dr Usman. There were also other notable Igalas on the political turf. People like Steven Achema, Robert Audu, Suleiman Achimugu MD PPMC, Abubakar Abdulrahman MD Nigerian Railways, Lami Amodu ES UBEC.etc etc.
In the course of writing this paper I came across a very valueable material, it had been laying on my table for probably decades but I didn’t quite appreciate it till my research forced me to engage it. The Book WHO IS WHO in Igala land a compendium of ‘Successful’ Igala people. I was fascinated by its depth and resourcefulness. You will be glad to be Igala if you went through the Biographical documentary-in it you will read about highly educated Igala people, who have schooled all over the world, the diversity of Professionalism is indeed most inspiring –Architects, Engineers, Doctors, Professors, Health workers etc the Professional diversity is unending. But what kind of Education do they have. What value for the leadership challenge facing the Igala people-I must also acknowledge the works of one S.A Ayegba who has spent time in the recent tracing Igala people across the Niger and expanding the horizon of Igala Elites in Diaspora-In Ebonyi, Delta, Bayelsa, Edo, Anambra etc.
But the critical question to ask at this juncture is what have Igala elites done with positions they have collected in the past?
THE CHALLENGE OF LEADERSHIP
Speaking on the developmental challenges and the question leadership in Igala land, Omede(2015) notes that we are confronted by astronomical upsurge of crimes and criminality. There are high rate of kidnapping, thuggery, health challenges and maternal mortality ratio, chronic poverty in our land, the ghost workers syndrome, skyrocketed unemployment rate amongst our youths, dampen and fallen morale of our civil servants, unpaid pensioners. Others are the poor political representation and high rate of corruption and sharp practices.
He adds that a substantial proportion of multiplicity of problems/crisis facing the Igala nation are self-inflicted; ranging from lack of internal cooperation and synergy amongst Igala to inadequate attention to the core values of our people. What must however be emphasized here strongly is that our self-inflicting tendency and action have opened much space for external forces to penetrate and compound the problem.
Omede believes that what we strongly need in Igalaland is a visionary, inspirational transformational and transactional leadership. He cites Munroe(2005.2) who stated that: “A good leadership should have the capacity to influence others through inspiration, motivated by a person, generated by vision, produced by a conviction and ignited by a purpose”.
He believes that the real signs of the lack of development in Igala land are –
a. Absence of Unity:
c. Lack of effective and Selfless Leadership:
Added to this is lack of respect and indiscipline.
THE EMERGING SCENARIO
In recent time, two issues have emerged that significantly define the future of the Igala Nation and its people. Interestingly, the institutions and dramatic persona are by all means educated.
1. is the political group called ‘Kogi East Elders Council’ that was set up to select a candidate or candidates for the Igala people in the forthcoming elections. I believe that the move was necessitated by the imperative for the Igala nation to work as a united, indivisible and united ethnic group. This may also be consequent to complaints by observers that the political landscape is populated by too many Igala candidates which may lead to the Igala shortchanging themselves in rivalry. Ironically, in the Kogi Political equation, the general Myth is that the Igala people are a constant united entity. The Igala is credited with the ability to quickly unite in the face of challenges and will always protect their ethnic interests.
Perhaps it is in actualization of this possibility or character that the committee of elders met to prone down candidates of Igala extraction to avoid internal conflicts ahead of the November 2019 Gubernatorial elections. Unfortunately, the work of the Committee left the political class more divided and the people even more confused. So what went wrong?
According to a report I read on an On line Publication titled ‘Kogi Vanguard’ while putting this together, and I quote –
‘Senator Dr Ahmadu Ali’s committee is null and void and had little or no effect, if taken, saying the job of the committee was long wound down, soon after It’s last recommendations to the paramount ruler of Igala land, with the current status and the position of Attah Igala, the board of trustees Chairman, having endorsed Kogi Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello for a second term in office, he has constrained the entire resolution of KEC as shreds of paper of no any value of any sort.’ It goes on to say that ‘anything short of the Senator Ahmadu Ali, ceasing to take any further action, will be regarded as a deliberate and calculated attempt in alliance with the current administration in Kogi, to weaken the ranks and files of aspirants who were determined to wrest power from the current trend of corrupt and insensitive leaders piloting the affairs of the state’.
The paper wondered ‘the double edge interest of Senator Ali committee, even after creating a very serious disaffection between the top contenders of the stool to Kogi governor from the eastern part, to narrow down the chances of the aspirants out to confront the current.’
The publication continues “Igala Vanguard warns on the consequences of already outlawed decisions of KEC, that was derived on personal interest of the members and principal actors, to shortchange the bright chances of the people Kogi east returning to the leadership of the state. It urged the general public to disregard the impending decisions and position of Senator DrAhmadu Ali, as an afterthought, self centred and not the collective bargaining of the people’ “At this trying period, the good people of Kogi east had resolved to approach the leadership position in the two main political party’s with all seriousness it deserves, saying anything short of that, is unacceptable and indecision on the part of the current handlers”
I believe that the above is obviously a complete montage of crisis and lack of confidence, a recipe for confusion.
The second matter is the Speech that his Majesty the Attah Igala made at the Villa on behalf of the Kogi Council of Chiefs in his capacity as Chairman. The uproar that greeted the partisan Political content of that speech is yet to settle. I believe that the Attah has been called out for two reasons, one by calling for the endorsement of the Current Governor who is not Igala, he may have ‘unwittingly‘ jettisoned the other Igala potential candidates who are indeed his own Children.
I believe it was a very difficult assignment for his Majesty and even more worrying for him the reverberations that followed. But here is my thesis – the Igala Kingdom is facing a major struggle of its existential definition, it is in the middle of a conflict of civilization. How much can Igala Education be infused as interventionist strategy. Are there past traditions and education to draw from?
The Igala must begin to Discuss – Oluka Anuku – most of the distortions we have are due to lack of internal discussions especially among the rulers and the led. Ojanonutakonu no ja. The leadership must acquire the education of collective dialogue and resolution. Where there is a buy in there is consensus. Achema was famous as Igala leader because he wasn’t tied to his partisan routes. He was ever willing to discuss and negotiate with his brothers in the other camp in the larger Igala interest he collaborated with Prince Audu when the future of Igala land was at stake and Igala won.
Had the Attah consulted his Children in spite of and across their political biases before the Abuja trip perhaps a solution would have evolved? Don’t forget that a cardinal principle of the ethical relationship of the Attah as defined in the Ojanonutakonunoja philosophy requires a collaborate balance of power between the King and the people.
The tool for negotiation is lacking- there is no political situation that cannot be redressed, when two brothers come to a point of stalemate negotiations must take place.
Permit me to draw your attention to a political reality (at least for now) I came upon when retrospecting on the question of political leadership in Igala and the spatial position of roles. I realized that the political architecture of Igala land is driven by the traditional oligarchs -after all it is a very old institution. There is virtually no political leader that didn’t ride on the platform of the traditional structure- the royal institution for support, they more or less ensured that Audu beat Achema to emerge Governor, Audu (Adoja Attah) himself being a traditional title holder of the AttahInstitution. Achema was better ‘educated’ with a Doctorate in Veterinary medicine. Ibrahim Idris came on Board also carrying the traditional badge of Omachi Attah, he contested against several educated persons but their education couldn’t beat the education and influence of the Royalty. Increasingly the role of educated elites started finishing in Igala politics from the times of Yahaya Atanu, Abubakar Usman etc. perhaps Ahmadu Ali remains the most accomplished educated elite of his era but even him was Ochada Attah.
The tradition institution remains the domino factor in Igala Politics and this perhaps explains the ‘wisdom’ of the state government in taking his Majesty to Abuja.
The point I’m making is that we should explore the long cherished education in our traditional institutions to move our land forward. How did the Igala Kingdom survive for centuries, there must be have been sustainable strategies for leadership on which it operated.
There are some very interesting intrusions into Igala Cosmic philosophy – Eneomuneme. These are emerging phenomenon that are challenging time tested and long standing Igala value systems and they are symptomatic of the apparent gradual dissolution of the Igala civilization and its Moral/ethical good. As stated earlier the Igala value system was Ufedo, Udama, Unyogba. Today what we see is a total deviation with very negative effects on our collective aspiration.
Without sounding like an ethnic jingoist, let me retrospect to the election that ‘divinely’ brought His Excellency the Youthful Yahaya Bello, so many Igala sons contested the Primaries and they fought it to the bitter end even when it became obvious that ethnic re-alignments were on going and that some delegates were going to vote their ‘sons’. Nobody agreed for the other and Bello emerged second. Had they put their thoughts together they would have emerged 1st, second and third and perhaps an Ugbane will be Governor today and may be Gabaidu wouldn’t have been ‘persuaded‘ against culture and tradition, to endorse ‘Eneomune’ when ‘Amomaunyi’ or ‘AmomaEte’ are in the race. I am afraid that as we approach 2019 the same scenario may play out. Only recently I noticed a sudden out surge of Gubernatorial candidates from almost every local government area of Igala land.
As I begin to wind down, I am beginning to see an ‘own goal’ syndrome among the Igala. I am beginning to see an implosion of Igala civilization wherein we are becoming our own worst enemies. As I compare the Igala civilization to the civilizations like the British, what I have seen is that inspite of the seeming implosion of the British civilization, the have kept the values and ethos of the leadership and nationality intact. Even with America’s self-inflicted esteem, deteriorating over the unguarded and unmeasured comments of Trump and the consequent scorn it enjoys across the world, the American democratic ethos and the national verve remains intact.
I recall in 1980 at the SBS in Ugbokolo, when a group of young Igala campus politicians led by Honorable Positive Ihiabe ‘arrogantly’ concluded that Igala candidates were sure to win all the available electoral seats on account of our population, thereby shunning all overtures by the Idoma for a power sharing arrangement. Of course the advance was rejected by the Igala team forcing the Idoma to go into alliance with the Tiv, the result was a severe trouncing of the Igala candidates, the pain of loss was aggravated when the campus was shut down on account of violent protest by us the Igala – all our strategy to use ‘inyelekpe’ and our famed mysterious power on the Tiv and Idoma yielded no results. We scored ourselves an own goal.
We must avoid the own goal Syndrome- I am beginning to think that there is an evolving syndrome, away from the realities of the past when perhaps the Igala contended with the external forces, we were then most united and formidable, we annexed and conquered territories. It seem those are gone, we are now our own enemies but that is certainly wrong if we must develop. We have ephemeral enemies in poverty and underdevelopment, we must be united to conquer them. We must result to Igala Education, re interrogate our traditional institutions and values- especially of Ufedo, Uredo, Unyoba and teach them to this generation and generations yet unborn.
Unfortunately, what we have now are direct reversals of our ethos – instead of Ufedo, we have Ulaka, Uredo, we have Ubie, Unyogba-Ubi. Envy, back stabbing, Uji- Injustice, Oji-stealing, Onekpa killing out of Ulaka-these are the new values sadly.
As a people we are not educating ourselves enough, not by building of schools but education of the mind, of culture and tradition. We have left our core leadership values to all kinds of pervasive negative intrusions- Children now teach and train themselves- imagine the crop of leaders we now produce- ritualistic, corruption enmeshed power grabbers- thuggery.
We must interrogate our education process- we must apply intelligence to our strategic intervention pursuits.
Intelligence according to the Wikipedia has been defined in many ways, including: the capacity for logic, understanding, self-awareness, learning, emotional knowledge, reasoning, planning, creativity, critical thinking, and problem solving, the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills.” Also intellectual/mental capacity, intellect, mind, brain, brains, brainpower, powers of reasoning, judgment, reason, reasoning, understanding, comprehension, acumen, wit, sense, insight, perceptiveness, perception,perspicacity, penetration, discernment, sharpness, quickness of mind, quick-wittedness, smartness, canniness, astuteness, intuition, acuity, alertness, cleverness, brilliance, aptness, ability, giftedness, talent; informal braininess”
The Igala are naturally intelligent, where is our reputed intelligence.
– Professor Aduku Armstrong Idachaba (PhD)
Director, Broadcast Monitoring,
Director General’s office, National Broadcasting Commission.