By: Achimugwu Ikani
Except there is any change of things, all is now set for the screening of all 15 candidates who are aspiring to occupy the sacred stool of Atta Igala, with Ameacho House fielding the most candidates. In fact, people have advised candidates from the other 3 houses to withdraw their applications, stressing that it is the turn of Ameacho.
The contention that it is the turn of Ameacho is anchored on the provisions of the Igala Area Traditional Council (Modification of Native Law and Custom) Order 2015, Procedure and Regulation for Selection and Ascension to the Stool of Attah Igala, gazetted by Kogi State of Nigeria.
So, where was this gazette when Ameacho and perhaps, Akogwu were skipped during the last tussle for Atta in 2012? There was none and this was the basis the Late Adebo Opaluwa was denied, just like his father, Opaluwa Ogwuche was denied in 1956.
Adebo who was the reigning Eje Ofu at the time of the last contest lost to Idakwo Ameh of Ocholi House. Adebo was advised by friends and well wishers to challenge the enthronement of Idakwo in court, but Adebo refused, citing the fact that subjecting the tussle for Atta before a court that will be possibly presided by a non-Igala would amount to desecrating the throne and bringing the entire kingdom to disrepute and ridicule. He rather approached the state government under the leadership of Idris Wada to make a law; stating the order of rotation in a clear and unambiguous manner; to avoid such disputes in future times, this, Wada heeded and after due consultation, the much talked about 2015 Gazette was birthed.
Today, Abedo is not alive to enjoy the outcome of this gazette, but his children and the entire Ameacho clan are. Without mincing words, I am particularly glad that his son is in the race; and he seems to be the choice of many.
In 2012, I wrote this about Adebo after he lost the contest for Atta:
“…one will expect him to struggle for this position with all aggression, rather, he has been calm and watching events to unfold naturally. He deserves an award for peace”
There is a lesson to be learnt for the patience and wisdom of the Late Adebo, a big lesson. It is not all matters that should be subjected to litigation.
If Adebo had gone to court, perhaps, the matter would have still been pending at the Court of Appeal or so, but ultimately, there would not have been any gazette for Ameacho clan to rely on in laying their claims as it is being done today.
May God bless the soul of Adebo Opaluwa and may God garnish us with such wisdom; to know when to walk, when to run and when to fly away.