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Obaro of Kabba: The choice and Okun people’s disposition

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Obaro of Kabba: The choice and Okun people’s disposition

By John Akubo

Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State may have scored a political point on the recent appointment of a new Obaro of Kabba in the person of Solomon Owoniyi as it seemed to have recieved the Peoples approval going by previous experiences where violence characterized such appointment.
Majority of the ruling houses it was gathered were at home with the choice of Owoniyi, the retired customs officer as the new Obaro because of his wealth of experience as there were no reported cases of violence on account of his appointment.

The death on May 16 at the age of 71 years of late Obaro, Oba Michael Olobayo who was laid to rest on September 25th, 2016 created a vacuum that needed to be filled.
For almost two years the stool was vacant until recently when the Governor announced Owoniyi as the Obaro.
The homily of the Catholic Bishop of Lokoja diocese, Bishop Martin Olorunmolu at the burial / thanksgiving service of the late Obaro when he admonished the people to make the selection of the new Obaro a crisis –free one, to sustain the legacy of peaceful co-existence confirmed the fragile nature of the stool.

Hence it was with fanfare, pump and pageantry when the people of Kabba led by the speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly Kolawole Mathew trooped to Okene at the country home of Governor Bello on Sallah day to thank him for his choice that was devoid of violence among the people.
However, there was a discordant tune from Ilajo clan who produced the late Obaros in recent history of the Owe people as they rejected the choice of Owoniyi.
Their disagreement was contained in a statement that was signed by Chief Mark Olowosayo of the
Ajinuhi Ruling House, chief Stephen Ojo Bebeyi of the Ajibohokun Ruling House and Chief Paul Toluhi of the Mokelu Ruling House.
The Ilajo Royal Descendants of Kabba, the statement indicated is made up of the Mokelu, Ajinuhi and Ajibohokun Ruling Houses said they vehemently denounce, condemn and reject the choice of the said Chief Solomon Dele Owoniyi.
According to the Statement the newly appointed Obaro of Kabba is from the suburban village of Odolu which is a separate settlement outside Kabba with its own ruler, a Second Class Chief, as the Obaro and traditional ruler of Kabba.
“It is like a ruler of Agevba from Obehira, Olu of Ogori from Magongo, Ooni of Ife from Modakeke or Olu Adde from Egbeda-Egga.”
“We reject the choice of the said Owoniyi because it is not in consonance with the tradition and culture of Kabba/Oweland and it is an aberration in the Kabba/Oweland traditional setup and administration.
The statement described his appointment as an offensive embarrassment to the entire Okun traditional setup by making a commoner in Odolu the Head of Okun Traditional Council.
It reads, “When the late Chief Daniel O. Aka was wrongly and maliciously appointed as the Obaro of Kabba by the Northern Nigerian Chieftaincy Law (1960), the Ilajo Royal Family challenged the appointment and persisted until the title was restored to the Ilajo Royal Family by the Justice Sule Aremu Olagunju Tribunal of Inquiry.
“The tribunal affirmed the findings of other previous tribunals on the Obaro of Kabba issue and appointed His Royal Majesty Oba Michael F. S. Olobayo, Obaro Ero II to the throne of his forefathers in 1985.”
They further explained that the wrong appointment of Chief Daniel Aka who hailed from the Idogba family of Kabba and which made for political gains was challenged and opposed, because it was made from outside the traditional home of the throne and stool of the Obaro of Kabba which is in the Ilajo Royal Family.
“It must be clear therefore that this present appointment cannot pass without appropriate challenge. For even if we go by the Kogi State Edict No. 12 of 1995 which seeks to impose a new tradition/formula of rotation on the Stool of Obaro of Kabba, the said stool has only been taken away from Kabba and donated to Odolu as a bonus to that community leaving Kabba with nothing!
They called on the Government of Kogi State and the administration of Governor Yahaya Bello not to accept the temptation of playing politics with the sensitive traditional, cultural and spiritual sentiments and values of the people of Kabba and Oweland.
It avered that those who prompt Governor Yahaya Bello to take wrong steps and carry our wrong decisions, be they priests, bishops and business moguls, financial giants or, senior civil servants, have no roots to cherish, no traditions to preserve, no cultures to protect, no histories to admire and certainly no legacies to bequeath.
“They are nothing but wayward opportunists and despicable societal charlatans. We wish to stress firmly that chieftaincy is an issue and an element of history and not politics. To suggest therefore that because the Ilajo Royal Family is a “small percentage” and should hence be denied their divine inheritance is to commit racial murder and rob the entire Kabba/Oweland community of its generational essence.”
It likened the scenario to that of British royal family that nobody can attempt to stamp out their “numerical insignificant” to destroy the soul and the historical essence of Great Britain.
“We hope that the entire royalty in Nigeria will grasp the kernel of this press release and stand up to this affront by protecting its own kind, mindful of the saying that “what goes round comes round.”
They went further, to seek for an order of the Kogi State High Court to restrain the new Obaro from from parading himself as the Obaro of Kabba.
The court granted the order of interlocutory injunction restraining Chief Solomon Owoniyi from assuming the position.

It barred Owoniyi from doing anything relating to the position of the Obaro of Kabba pending the determination of the substansive motion.
The presiding Judge, Justice M. M. Gwatana ordered that the Kogi State government and the state chieftancy and Local Government Affairs that were joined in the suit refrain from taking further action to recognize Owoniyi or any other person, except from the Ilajo Royal family as a person that has the right to the chieftaincy of Obaro of Kabba pending the hearing and determination of the motion of notice.

The Ilajo Royal family had approached the court challenging Owoniyi’s appointment as the Obaro of Kabba on the ground that he is not a member of the royal family.

They sought that the court declare the Ilajo Royal family as the custodian of the chieftaincy stool and the only family that can occupy the revered stool.
They maintained that his appointment was politically motivated.
However, Governor Bello at the his country home during the ‘thank you visit’ vowed to appease the aggrieved persons as he declared that the court injunction had been vacated.
In his words, “By the special grace of God I am going to prevail and talk to those that are aggrieved to sheath their swords and I am confident that we shall resolve all the differences and work together as one big family.”
According to him, ‘About few days ago when I spoke with you and I learnt that there was a Court injunction, I did promise you to relax your mind that the injunction shall be vacated and it has been vacated, so go about as the Obaro of Kabba.
“Nothing good happens that some persons would not feel aggrieved one way or the other.
Bello said the emergence of the Obaro is God’s making, he is the choice of Almighty God.
“The people of Kabba and Owe Land decided to select from among themselves the righteous, the very noble and pious one. The very charisma man who is worthy to represent the people.
“You did the great job I thank you all. You have demonstrated that in Kabba, Owe Land, Okun land you have men of character and integrity. The man you chose is very hardworking and highly connected home and abroad.
He said the people’s choice had made his job very easy as all he needed to do was to assent and approve of their choice.
According to him, he learnt that the appointment and coronation of the former Obaro who joined his ancestors was characterized by a lot of violence.
“In this present administration, we follow due process, we.dont impose and it is through that process that the new Obaro emerged. We were not expecting anything less than the peace and joy that greeted his emergence. “Very soon the coronation would follow suit. In this Government we don’t condone violence from across the length and breadth of the State.”
He said all those with perchance for pepertrating violence, crime and criminality would face the full wrath of the law.
He commended the Okun people for maintaining orderliness, peace and tranquility in Kabba and Okun Land.
Bello indicated that to put matter to rest the date for the corronation of the new Obaro would take place on or before the second week of September. He promised to build a befitting palace for the Obaro.
“I am also aware that we don’t have a befitting palace for the Obaro, though we are facing a lot of hardship, I will leave that legacy behind.
“We would build a benefiting palace for the Obaro in Kabba so that when you receive visitors from home and abroad they would know that it is the traditional home of the Okun people.”
He urge the people to give him the necessary support, and prayers.
In his response the Obaro elect expressed gratitude to God who has made it possible.
“In our own part of Kabba we last tasted the Obaro stool 137 years ago so we thank God, we thank the Governor for doing the right thing, for following due process, for obeying the wish of God and what the community wanted.
“I feel elated that God has used me to take back our crown from where it has been for a long time illegally .”
About the Governors promise to bring the aggrieved party together he said they are all the same people.
“There are 13 clans and twelve of them endorsed me, the only dissenting clan would be brought on board.”
The Speaker, Mathew Kolawole explained that what informed my dicision to lead a delegation to Bello’s country home was to thank him for the good he did by appointing the new Obaro.
He said their joy stemmed from the fact that the appointment of a new Obaro is always characterized by violence leading to loss of lives but in the current situation the people were happy because they were at home with the choice.
“Since the people were peaceful moving about their businesses without rancor I felt it was necessary I led them to come and say thank you to the Governor.”
“As you can hear from the Governor, he has promised to invite the other group that were not at home with the choice to placate them and seek peace.
“He had sent me to invite them to see him some two weeks back but due to an emergency he traveled and it could not hold but as soon as the Sallah holiday is done with, he will invite them.”
He said, the Ilajo were prepared to come for the peace talks.
On whether the acceptance by the people of the choice of Obaro will translate to electoral fortune for the APC and the Governor he said surely it will boost the party’s chances as Kabba that used to be predominantly PDP before he defected would now embrace the APC from what has happened based on the emergence of the new Obaro being the choice of the choice of the people.
“APC will win with landslide. I can tell you from what I have heard and seen, the Governor’s election would be victory all the way as Kabba would be a no go area for any other candidate in the 2019 election. APC will lead.”

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Obaro of Kabba joins Ooni of Ife for Aje festival – Ipinmisho

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Obaro of Kabba joins Ooni of Ife for Aje festival  – Ipinmisho

The Obaro of Kabba and the Chairman, Okun Traditional Council, His Royal Majesty, Oba Solomon Dele Owoniyi is billed to join the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi to celebrate the 2021 Aje Festival.

This was contained in a statement issued by the spokesman of the Royal father, Tunde Ipinmisho.

The statement indicated that the Kabba monarch’s trip to Ile-Ife, Osun State tomorrow is to honour an invitation to be the guest of the Arole O’odua, the Ooni of Ife.
It stated further that the festival will hold in the ancient city on Monday, February 22, 2021.
  .

According to the statement, the Obaro will be accompanied on the trip by leading traditional rulers in Okunland.

The royal father was the Chairman of the Obalufon Festival and Annual Lecture which held in Ile-Ife on Friday, December 18, 2020.

“The Aje Festival is expected to give a new breath of life to the commercial and economic activities of not only in Ile-Ife and environs, but the entire Yorubaland and Nigeria at large.”

“Prayers will be offered by top spiritual leaders, royal fathers and religious leaders to seek the intervention of the Almighty God in the economic difficulties facing the nation.”

Those attending the festival will all be dressed in white attire, symbolizing purity, peace, unity and progress, the statement added.

Market women and men are also expected to display their wares, food stuffs and other articles of trade for the array of visitors who would be in the Cradle of the Yoruba Race to savour the gifts bestowed upon the flourishing land of Ile Ife.

Oba Ogunwusi will be the grand host while the famous Yoruba entrepreneur, Princess Toyin Kolade will be the host.

The Obaro and his delegation are expected back in Kabba on Tuesday.

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Silver jubilee celebration: ICDA felicitates with Eje of Dekina

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Silver jubilee celebration: ICDA felicitates with Eje of Dekina

By Labaran Tijani, Lokoja.

The Igala Cultural Development Association (ICDA) has congratulated His Royal Highness (HRH), Eje of Dekina, Dr Usman Obaje as he marks 25-year on the throne.

In a congratulatory message signed by the incorporated trustees chairman of the Board of ICDA, Dr Omakoji Oyiguh, which was made available to newsmen in Lokoja on Saturday, the board chairman said the reign of HRH (Dr) Usman Obaje has been very peaceful.

The message reads in part, “lest we forget, Kogi State University, Anyigba, now, Prince Abubakar Audu University in Dekina local government was established during his reign. And some social amenities like pipebone/borehole water, electricity and feeder roads in that part of the State had their greater impact on the land during his period”.

“As you clock 25 years on the throne, may you receive more wisdom, strength and wherewithal to continue to tend your domain, nay the Igala nation to the desired height.

The ICDA board Chairman therefore enjoined people of Igala extraction to supported and cooperate with HRH, Dr Usman Obaje and other custodians of the tradition of the land in their efforts to bring the Igala nation out of the woods, wishing him peaceful reign, long life and prosperity.

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ICDA BoT Chairman petitions IGP over threat to life

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ICDA BoT Chairman petitions IGP over threat to life

By Friday Idachaba
Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Igala Cultural Development Association (ICDA), Dr Simeon Oyiguh has petitioned the Inspector General of Police (IGP) over alleged threat to his life and other members of the association’s Interim Management Committee.

In a letter of Safe Our Soul (SOS) to the IGP made available to newsmen on Saturday in Lokoja, Oyiguh said the petition had become imperative to forestall danger and possible attack on him and members of the board and the committee.

It is also to check any form of embarrassment and wilful hindrances to smooth operation of the Association.

In the letter dated January 15, 2021 the BoT Chairman alleged that the ousted national President of the ICDA, one Sadiq Amodu Abubakar, in a recent on-line video that went viral.

Oyiguh who is also Chairman of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Kogi State chapter said that the video authored and anchored by Abubakar threatened in Igala language to destroy him and two other members of the Caretaker committee.

In the petition titled “Impersonation and threat to life”, Oyiguh said that he was moved to Lodge the “report against Sadiq Abubakar before the IGP and Director General of the Department of State Security (DSS) in view of the manner the threats were conveyed.

“He has courageously, fearlessly and brazenly recorded a video in Igala language where he openly threatened me (Oyiguh) and two others and made the video go viral”, Oyiguh said.

The BoT Chairman added that he would have ordinarily disregarded the threat in the video but given his position and the nature of the threat taking due cognizance of those encouraging him (Abubakar), he had to alert the heads of law enforcement agencies.

Oyiguh chronicled in the petition on hindsight, the “birth” of ICDA and how he met Abubakar as well as registration of the association at corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Abuja with the Board of Trustees members.

He added that all the members (Abubakar inclusive), consented to the terms of aggrement on formation, membership, function or operation and dissolution, including discipline of any erring leader or member.

“These and other regulations were stipulated in the association’s constitution before it was duly registered with the assistance of a legal practitioner.

“We began to fall apart when he started to involve the organization in political activities against the vision and mission, objectives, goals and aspirations of the organization”, he explained.

Oyiguh further explained that following repeated disagreements with the majority of the BoT members, the Executive Committee of the association led by Abubakar was dissolved.

He said that the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) was communicated by the Board and the then paramount ruler of Igala kingdom, the Attah Igala, late Dr Micheal Idakwo Ameh II.

He accordingly, condemned the activities of the ousted President which including frivolous giving of chieftaincy titles and awards to individuals without recourse to the palace.

The petition hinted further that Abubakar caused to be forged, the official document of Igala Area Traditional Council purportedly signed by Yunusa O. Idachaba, the Secretary of the Council.

It added that he disrespectfully went ahead to host an Annual General Meeting and Award Ceremony on the 1st of August, 2020 after the dissolution of his executive committee members.

An action which drew the ire of Attah Igala who addressed the forgers of the document as “Imbeciles” with pronouncement of curses”.

According to the petition before the IG and DSS, among others, the BoT Chairman urged the Inspector of General of Police to invite Sadiq Amodu Abubakar to explain his desperation that has led him to

The petitioner had urged the heads of security agencies to question Abubakar on his continued impersonation as President of ICDA and the use same platform to threaten lives.

Oyiguh also urged that Abubakar should be made to sign an undertaking that should anything happen to any of those mentioned in the video, he should be held responsible. (NAN)

FDJ/

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