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How Inikpi selfless sacrifice challenges Igala unity 

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How Inikpi selfless sacrifice challenges Igala unity 

As the November 16th, 2019 Kogi State Governoship election draws closer, the Igala of Kogi East senatorial district are using every opportunity to drum home the need for unity inspite of their diversity.
The senatorial district with the population of about 60% of the State had continued to produce the Governor of the State from inception untill the 2015 Governorship election when the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Prince Abubakar Audu died while coasting to victory.
The death of late Prince Abubakar Audu, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2015 Gubernatorial election created some measure of controversy in the state as the running mate to the late Audu James Faleke was denied to inherit the votes.
Rather, Yahaya Bello who is now the Governor that was the first runner up in the primary election was drafted to replace late Prince Audu in the supplementary election which he won and was sworn in as Governor.
Ever since then Kogi East has been struggling to find its feet in the political calculations of the state it had been leading and dominating for many years.
Hence, the 6th edition of the Igala Arise Magazine Leadership Awards and lectures provided another opportunity for the people to go back to the drawing board and restrategize for the upcoming 2019 Governorship election billed for the 16th of November this year.
Speaking with one accord last sunday, the Igala people who gathered at Ladi Kwali Hall, Abuja, venue of the 6th edition of the Arise Igala Leadership Awards and lectures, the speakers affirmed that Nigerians, Kogi East particularly needs the spirit of selflessness as exhibited by the legendary Inikpi for Nigeria to move forward.
They spoke against the backdrop of the misgovernance in the State especially the recent violence that was visited on the district during the 2019 general election when more that six persons lost their lives from thuggery and use of guns given to youths by politicians which they said was against the selfless sacrifice of the legendary Inikpi who gave up her life for the upliftment of the race.
The Arise Igala Magazine had consistently organised the annual award event where sons and daughters of the Igala who have excelled have been recognized, thereby sending a message of hope that will inspire people to explore their potentials.
Professor Emmy Idegu of the department of Theater, Film and Cannibal studies, University of Calabar said Nigerian youths and leaders needs to be selfless in service while speaking on a play he produced, titled ‘The legendary Inikpi’ written and directed by him, and performed by the department.
In the play, Inikpi agreed to be buried alive as sacrifice to save the kingdom from invasion by the Binin Kingdom.
“Essentially it talks about selfless sacrifice and selfless sacrifice is a thematic thrust that has no geopolitical boundary.”1
Professor Idegu used the analogy of the legendary Inikpi to drive home the point about the situation in Kogi State where leadership seems to have failed.
“Here is a case of a princess that the oracle divined has to be sacrificed by live burial so that the Igala Kingdom would be saved from an annihilation of an enemy invading forces. 
“When the father heard, naturally because of the love for her beloved daughter, he did not have the courage to let her know. Inikpi herself heard and walked up to the father and said, ‘if my death will give you and my people life I am ready to be sacrificed.’
She was sacrificed and that war was averted, I am talking about the Igala/Benin war not the Igala/Jukun war.
“The matter is, she volunteered to die for her people.  The moment we have leaders that are ready to Govern and live by the tenets of selflessness the state would frogleap, we are not asking them to sacrifice their children anymore.
“How much of our convenience,  how much of our intellect, our resources are we ready to selflessly make availlable to the people? “Untill we do that we have murdered sleep as Shakespeare would have it and we should not expect to sleep no matter the Senate’s we swallow.”
Speakibg against the background of the challenge of political violence, thuggery either before, during or after election.

On electoral violence in Kogi State, the eastern flank particularly is a sorry story. “It’s alarmingly disheartening with avoidable tragedy. That a people would be so disoriented with themselves to the extent of carrying guns to shoot one another, something is wrong somewhere, something is fundamentally wrong somewhere and it is strange to the Igala culture that I know. 
“I cannot claimed to know too much of the Igala culture but as a professor of Igala study and a cultural scholar, I should be able to scratch the surface of the matter at stake that what is happening in Kogi East is alien to our culture, history, tradition and indigenous political history and monarchical setup.”
“However, whatever has a begining must have an end. I do know that the moment the leadership grasps the understanding of that the tenets of leadership is about selfless sacrifice, it will not be a do or die affair.  
“The moment political leadership understands that essentially leadership comes from God and that you are first and foremost answerable to God they will not abet, they will not encourage violence but what is happening now in Kogi East is a matter of political misadventure and I say this with due respect.
He said the incumbent Governor Yahaya Bello did not even know from the onset that he would be a Governor, having emerged on account of the death of the one that was winning that election. 
“Here is a case of a Governor who is a youth that is in his late forties,  who holds a lot of promise for the youth. A Governor that has a lot of challenges like any other Governor. “From my understanding and the happening in that State compared with other States of this country he is governor that has not done well as far as giving hope for the youth is concerned. 
“I don’t belong to any party, it may interest you to note that I did not even vote in the last election because I was disenfranchised. If the Governor sits down to know that he became Governor because Prince Abubakar Audu died, the fact that he became a Governor by this tragedy that befell a people shouldn’t he Govern with fear of God?
The issue of violence prompted the paramount ruler of the land the Attah Igala, His Royal Highness, Michael Ameh Oboni II, to invoke the traditional ritual to course the perpetrators using his office as Attah.
To set the ball rolling, a former minister of health architect Gabriel Aduku in his opening prayers and braking of Kola nut prayed against the turn out of event when brothers kill brothers because of politics which was not known with the Igalas.
He prayed that those who destroyed the land by arming youths, nemesis of the land should take its course on them.
According to him, “A saying in Igala has it that, he who deliberately kills the land, the land will kill. It means what is not good, what the elders have rejected that you know will affect the ethnic group, one should not champion it because it would consume you also. That is why they say the household of he who fights is that of grass.
“You will see that all those who are armed by politicians to use guns against their own brothers don’t live long because they will also breed children that would want to do same, their leanage would not be organised.”

The former minister indicated that other Governments in Northern Nigeria respects the Igala race for its tradional political hegemony adding that if it is not brought back it would be like wiping out the race.
Continuing Aduku said, in administration the Attah of Igala is the paramount ruler of the Igala.
He extolled the royal leadership of Attah, describing him as the father of all. 
“He is the one that appoints all the traditional chiefs in Igalaland for the kingdom. When we were young the Igalas were acclaimed for their natural administration which is above that of every tribe.”
“They should not bring political thuggery to any part of Igalaland as the poverty and hunger is not only in Igalaland but is affecting the entire country. 
“Inikpi died for the sake of the Kingdom. She paid the supreme price. Attah killed her own beloved daughter for the sake of the Igala Kingdom. 
“The Igala race should not be seen to be using guns during election. 
We would not have a Governor that will lord it over us. A Governor is to be the Governor for the people.”

Hence the Director Diaspora Center, University of Abuja professor Mabel I. E. Evwierhoma in a paper she presented at the event captured it vividly that,
“A people united by a single, cardinal purpose are difficult to defeat. The binding cords of unity are very difficult to untie or break where there is a single knot of determination to attain development. 
“The quest for development is not the preserve of educated people, nor the rights of the powerful and influential. Once development is the goal, the processes to facilitate it should be put in place by different segments of the society.”
She said no people gain from unilateral, development, or one activated and demonstrated by a single lone individual who exploits a position of leadership or control to facilitate development. 
“People must contribute to the indices of development. Such development is all-encompassing and generates tributaries of equity that reach and benefit people irrespective of class, age, gender, or other social categories. To this writer, the centrality of people to development cannot be gainsaid.  
“Our subject of focus today is Princess Inikpi and how she saved the day in Igala land by providing a rewarding escape from annihilation of Igala land. 
“This may sound as a veritable alternative to war, a desperate means to avoid combat and ensure peace.
Some may wander that the supreme sacrifice resulting from war or self immolation, or ritual suicide still amounts to the loss of life that could have contributed to population growth and therefore, development. 

The recipient of the award for Arise Igala Man of the year, Barrister Ogu Onoja (SAN) said there is nothing like jumping the guns for the youth to work and earn whatever they want to get in life adding that the award is meant to spur other youths to work hard in their chosen field.
He said he recieved the man of the year in 2017 and now in 2019 saying he is proud of  it. 
“The secret is, try to be good to everybody by taking other people’s problem as your own problem and lead by example by being a mentor to those that needs mentorship. 
“I recieve every Igala person as my brother. I am a person that believes in the Igala culture that is why I am the chairman of the Igala Heritage Foundation. 
“I believe that the foundation of the greatness of the Igala race should start from our culture. Those beautiful things in our culture we should embrace them. “In Igala culture we believe in leadership and sacrifice. I think that is exemplified by the sacrifice of Inikpi. There is no any other sacrifice than that again. For somebody not to be killed but to be buried alive it is a great thing. 
“That is what we should expect any Igala person to imbibe in this dispensation that Igalas are going behind, we need the Inikpi spirit to revive the Igala in our educational pursuits, our culture, our ability, our capacity, even in our tradition and political life.
“We need the Inikpi spirit to revive what is good in Igala. That is why I am happy with what I saw today in the playlet of the Inikpi story. It is a big message to the Igalas that are betraying the Igala course. “They should now know that Inikpi did not betray her people but sacrificed her life for the development of the Kingdom. We need such spirit and sacrifices. 
“In this dispensation such spirit is lacking and that was the begining of Igala foundation that made the race the nation they are.
“We are all proud of the Arise Igala Magazine. As a young man you washed your hands so clean, you have been invited to dine with the elders. The Igalas have benefited from you having made them your focus by promoting the culture and putting it on the national and international platforms.”
For the former chairman of Idah Local Paul ukwenya said the Arise Igala magazine is one of the platform that will project the culture and tradition of the race. 
“It focuses and gives a visionary direction to the Igala race. The Arise Igala identifies with the Igala sons and daughters who have excelled in their different professions. 
“It is a step in emmancipating the race. If this effort is consolidated in Igala land it would be a better place for all. It integrates us by bringing us together in unity which is our strenght.”

He observed, that the kingdom is disintegrated along the political lines is not a good sign, Igala must go back to the basis. 
“Without culture it is difficult to harness the potentials of the people. Just like the British Government where the Queen is the ceremonial head of the Government. Until we are able to identify with our culture and tradition we will continue to lose the target and I think until that time in the course of development our emancipation would be very far from us. 
“Platforms like this should bring us together to be our brothers keeper and give us direction for our development. With capacity leadership the Igala Nation would have a reason to celebrate soon.
“The youths must be conscious of their potentials and avoid the ways of thuggery when leaders used them as tools for violence.”
A Governorship aspirant on the platform of PDP Dr.Idris Omede decried the level of violence and the amount of weapon in the hands of the youth in Igala land.
He called on the Federal Government to to mop up the land of such weapons that were given to thugs for them to win election, saying now that elections are over they can be used for kidnapping and other crimes.

Another award reciepient Pharm Peter Idu he is elated because the award is coming from his own people. 
“Arise Igala is a symbol of all Igalas both at home and in the Diaspora. If such an organisation should give me an award I cherish the award.” 
When Igalas were fewer there is tendency that there would be more unity, now I assure you with the population of the Igala being the seventh largest tribe it is difficult to have a united Igala. 
“The thing is we could have a united agenda, If you want Igala to come to one place and say we are all United it does not happen not even in any tribe. 
“But once we have a cause we want to pursue it would work. There would always be political differences.”

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Osakwe asks Buhari to embrace Dialogue over South-West Crisis

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Osakwe asks Buhari to embrace Dialogue over South-West Crisis

The Federal Government must embrace dialogue as a means to end ongoing crisis in the South-West Nigeria, former Presidential candidate of the Democratic Peoples Party (DPP), in the 2019 general elections, Ambassador Felix Johnsom Osakwe has said.

While expressing concerns over the state of affairs in a statement made available to newsmen yesterday, he urged President Muhammedu Buhari to seek for amicable ways to resolve the crisis rather than using any aggressive confrontation that could make things worse.

He stressed that since the country has been effected by COVID -19 pandemic, security challenges and economic downturn at this time, there was a need for the federal government and President Muhammadu Buhari to take responsibility to ensuring that the stabiltiy of the country was not compromised.

He noted that as an Ambassador for Peace with the Universal Peace Federation, he was worried about the deteriorating situation and the Federal government’s confrontational stance about the matter especially with regards to the Pro-Yoruba activist and agitator, Sunday Igboho.

” I am strongly of the opinion that what Mr. President needs to do now is to embrace peaceful dialogue and be the father of the entire nation. He should push for peace and call the agitating parties to a parley and get them to resolve the issues. There is already a lot of tension in the air and considering how tenuous 2020 was for us all, it is only appropriate that as we get on about building back better and rebuilding our economy, we don’t tear down what small wins we have recorded by inciting and perpetuating more conflicts, either explicitly or by complicity,” he said.

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AESID hails Ebonyi CP, warns against intimidation of judges by state govt

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AESID hails Ebonyi CP, warns against intimidation of judges by state govt

The Association of Ebonyi State Indigenes in the Diaspora (AESID) has warned the state government to stop intimidating Judges in the cause of their duties, even as it commended the new Commissioner of Police for being professional.

The Ebonyi indigenes said the agents of state government were trying to manipulate the judiciary into causing trouble in the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.

In a statement released by its President, Amb. Paschal Oluchukwu, on Sunday in Abuja, the association said the goal is to continue to cause division in the PDP by having the Nwebonyi group parade as a factional State Exco of the PDP through Suit No: HAB/161/2020 with Roy Umahi as the lead counsel to the Plaintiffs.

“We condemn, whole and entire the desperate attempts to use the Judiciary to achieve the threat of being in APC and sponsoring crises and divisions in the PDP.”

While commending the Ebonyi Judiciary for remaining firm as the last hope of the common man, the statement charges it to remain steadfast and unwavering.

“Already, we have read in the media through the former Assistant Financial Secretary of the Nwebonyi group who recently dumped the camp, Linus Ogazi how Governor Umahi divided the Excos in order to create a parallel faction of the party.

“AESID is also aware of the threats and intimidations that the young man has been receiving since he made the disclosures and wishes to call on Security agencies to call the Governor, his brothers and the Speaker of the State’s House of Assembly who have been dishing out threats to him to order. They should be held responsible for whatever happens to Mr. Ogazi.”

On the activities of the new Commissioner of Police, CP Aliyu Garba, the group thanked the police for their professional role in ensuring that those who staged a protest recently at the state High Court were dispelled peacefully.

“We, however wish to counsel the new CP to remain as professional and apolitical as his erstwhile colleague, CP Philip Maku who has been transferred from the state.

“AESID also calls on security agencies and INEC to obey the order of Justice I. E. Ekwo of the Abuja Federal High Court in Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/1609/2020 restraining David Umahi’s faction of the PDP in Ebonyi State led by the gadfly, Nwebonyi and his cohorts from parading themselves as officers of the Party. They should therefore provide security and accord protection to the Udeogu-led Exco to legitimately takeover the State Secretariat of the Party for the interest of justice, peace and unity of the opposition party.

“AESID lastly commends the Udeogu-led Excos and indeed, the teeming members of PDP for their calmness, steadfastness and resoluteness amidst attacks and wanton provocations by Governor Umahi and his surrogates. For in the end, it shall indeed, be proven to all that Ebonyi is PDP and PDP is Ebonyi State and Umahi is only a solo naked dance in his new political voyage!”

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APC disowns notice on postponement of Membership registration exercise

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APC disowns notice on postponement of  Membership registration exercise

The All progressives Congress (APC) has disclaimed “Notice” in circulation and ascribed to the APC CECPC National Secretary, Sen. John J. Akpan Udoedeghe Ph.D.

The party describes the notice as fake and highly mischievous.

This was contained in a statement that was issued in Abuja, Saturday by its National Secretary
Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) Sen. John J. Akpan Udoedeghe.

The Statement reads, “The APC membership registration, revalidation and update exercise remains on course and commences as scheduled in the attached timetable.

“As earlier announced, the CECPC has approved the constitution of State Membership Registration Committees for the Party’s nationwide membership registration, revalidation and update exercise. This will be followed by a train-the-trainer workshop.”

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