By Bamidele Oyekale
Nothing exemplifies, the decadence, illegality and immorality that has assaulted Igala today more than the ongoing process of choosing an Attah for the Igala people.
Video recordings going round clearly establish the corruption that has greeted the process.
First class chiefs accusing each other of collection of monies and throwing away the law and tradition.
From the Etemahi to the Ejeh Dekina, the facts of corruption and illegal circumvention of process is already established. The Etamahi recommended the youngest of the Opaluwa Oguche children – Ocholi Opaluwa, the Boniface Musa led panel turned that down and recommended Mathew Alaji Opaluwa.
Information available to us indicate that the Igala Area Traditional council was not given any chance to discuss the report- the Ag Chairman told the council that whoever was displeased by their recommendations should go to court.
In all of this tussle and corruption what was established is a deliberate eagerness to rubbish the law and tradition,sadly many of the opportunists are claiming support of the State government.
The law is settled. The ruling house whose is it to present a candidate shall meet, screen, interview and select a candidate -The ruling house whose turn to rule is Ajuameachor Ruling house and they can be found all over Igala land not at Idah alone. The ruling house meet, screened, interviewed and selected Samuel Opaluwa. At that Ajuameachor family meeting, Mathew Alaji Opaluwa with others accepted the choice of Samual Opaluwa, who is also the eldest son.
The law and Igala tradition clearly establish that preference shall be given to the eldest child. Every true Igala son and daughter knows that this is the tradtion and it is documented in the 2015 law.
As we speak only Samuel Opaluwa has met this two provisions of the law, being the eldest and having been rightfully chosen by the family.
It is therefore alarming and disturbing that none of the panels thought of him worthy because of his lack of money and lack of political influencers has become an albatross, even when family facts indicate that he actually used his hard earned resources as a public servant to sponsor and pay the school fees of his younger ones, who are now desperate to seize what is duly his.
To smear his name they alleged that he is physically incapacitated but that was thrown out of the window, when he physically attended and participated in all the panel sittings, driving himself to the locations, shaking hands and writing memos.
Evidence of his physical fitness is attested to by the Boniface Musa panel, it also established that he is the eldest and the most qualified, but the panel now created a new criteria- he has no social standing – how they came about that obviously only money can explain.
Then, they said he has no endorsement of the other ruling houses – there is no provision like that, the law says the candidate who is selected by the ruling house whose turn it is to lead shall be presented to the other 3 for purpose of bonding only, not endorsement.
The Ajuameachor followed the process and forwarded his name to the 4 ruling homes, who also strangely, had their own candidates.
The Attah institution is a long lasting tradition, how we conclude this process will establish the stability of the process.
The state government has done so much so far by being neutral. It’s time to follow the rule of law.
The government must test the process on the law- that is the safest and most reasonable thing to do. Give justice to all citizens not those who play God by strength of their money.
For Concerned Igala indigenes World wide