By: Kelvin Oluseyi Eleta
Having being abreast with the developments surrounding the issue of the Chairmanship of the Council of Traditional Rulers in Kogi State, our people needs to revisit history and not get political with royal stools.
Long before now, has never the throne of the Attah of Igala (a first class stool) superior to that of the Obaro of Kabba (also a first class stool). Kindly read on…
Ever since the Northern Protectorate was created in 1900 when the British took over the ruling of the area from the then Royal Niger Company, Igala people has always been under the ruling of the Kabba people (politically).
The Igala kingdom was founded by Abutu- Eje in the 16th century. The kingdom was ruled by nine high officials called the Igala Mela who are custodians of the sacred Earth shrine and other entities. The Igala people according to history are known to be migrators; moving from Egypt, across the deserts and finally settled at now Brono, and they were Aborigines in the land. Not until they arrived at their current settlement, with their ancestral home in Idah; where they also have the stool of the Attah of Igala.
The Igala Kingdom is influenced by Jukun people, Yoruba people, Igbo people, and Bini People.
Counting from Abutu Eje (first Attah of Igala), we have the Independence Era Attah, British Occupation Era Attah, and the Independent Nigeria Attah. Altogether, we’ve had 28 Attah of Igala who has occupied the ancestral stool of Abutu Eje.
Considering Kabba on the other hand. A town who has long been a victim of bad politics and has been deprived of so many opportunities for growth. Kabba has been a prominent town ever since the inception of Nigeria as a country. Due to her strategic geographical location, the town enjoyed robust attention during the colonial and even post colonial era.
Kabba was a province in old Northern Nigeria after Britain took over administration of the area from the Royal Niger Company in 1900, as earlier mentioned. The British originally divided the area into eleven provinces which were: Bauchi, Bida, Bornu, Kabba, Kontagora, Lower Benue or Nassarawa, Illorin, Muri, Sokoto, Upper Bema, and Zaria.
Judging from the listed ancient cities and towns above, one could clearly deduce that Kabba has been grossly marginalized over decades. Most of these provinces has either been upgraded to a State, or given tremendous opportunities for growth and modern transformation. If things were to be as destined, Obaro of Kabba should be as prominent as Emir of Zauzau in Zaria.
In 1903 six more provinces were added; five following the Sokoto-Kano campaign, and also Gwandu province, making a total of 17. The number of provinces was reduced to 13 in 1911, and 12 after World War I. In 1926 Adamawa and Plateau became new provinces.
During this period, the Igala people reports every of their dealings to Kabba province. The stool of the Obaro of Kabba has long been established even before the town became a province (one the the factors considered). The current Obaro of Kabba, Oba Dele Awoniyi, is the 44th crowned Obaro of Kabba. How then can you compare 44 to 29?
The issue of rotating the Chairmanship of the State Council of Kings is probably arising for the first time, because Governor Yahaya Bello is a leader known to always do the right thing. The people clamoring for rotation knows that GYB is their best shot to see to the actualization of their agenda.
Kabba lost her political relevance because the region has been marginalized at the state level for over 20 years of governance. If an Okun man was to be the first elected democratic Governor of the State, then we would not be debating this at all.
Kabba should for once be given her well deserved attention. The town deserves to take her rightful place as history has it.
I have more to say, and omitting the stool of the Ohinoyi of Ebira land was intentional (a discuss for another day).