By: Darlington Omonu
A river that forgets its source will certainly run dry; just as a man who forgets his culture will certainly get lost.
On 10th November, 2020, Idah witnessed the end of the funeral of the immediate past Attah of Igala, Idakwo Ameh Oboni; and this opened the doors of Etemahi for applications from suitable candidates to replace the late monarch.
Expectedly, the Etemahi’s panel charged with the responsibility of screening candidates has received over 10 applications and perhaps, a few more might still be received.
Of all the candidates who have applied, one of them has struck my emotion by his enthusiasm towards the Igala culture. He is the crux of this piece.
Prince Okoliko Adebo Opaluwa, though the youngest of all the contenders melted my heart and that of many others by a newfangled and exceptional display of cultural awareness today.
One would ordinarily think that because of his age and social status, Okoliko will merely want to be an “administrative” Attah, devoid of all cultural affinity, but nay! Before submitting his application to the panel today, the young prince was accompanied by hundreds of friends, well wishers and elders from Am’acho, Akogu, Aku and Ocholi houses of Attah dynasty; to two significant spots in Igala Kingdom, to wit; the tombs of Princess Inikpi and Princess Om’odoko respectively–two heroins who died for the kingdom centuries ago.
I watched him as he calmly and solemnly stated his case at these spots. He narrated how his grandfather, Opaluwa Ogwuche was deprived of ascending the throne of Attah despite being selected unanimously by all kingmakers in 1956, how a similar fate befell his father in 2012; and that he has now come to right this wrong, subject to the blessings of the princesses.
For me, this is a clear indication of the kind of Attah he would be. If as the youngest of all candidates, he is the only one who has deemed it fit to seek and obtain the blessings of these princesses, then it is safe to conclude that an aficionado of Igala culture is underway, he is Prince Okoliko and he has won my heart already.
As we continue to watch events unfold, I pray and hope that our kingmakers will be blessed with the requisite wisdom and courage to select the best candidate for us. Ultimately, a candidate who will promote and develop our cultural heritage, an aficionado of Igala culture.
It seems to me that, the candidate to do this is Prince Okoliko, I am convinced!
God bless Igala kingdom.