KING ETEMAHI AND THE ATTAH IGALA PROCESS

A very significant yet undiscussed aspect in the process of the cherished stool of Attah Igala, is the traditional Ita.

The Ita (history, idiom, proverbs and cultural rendition) is that session where Igala orature, Language, humour, Science, and kingship history is at its best.

For those who have had the previledge of following the proceedings of the last two Ita, the mastery, fluidity , wit and knowledge of the Etemahi, HRH Jacob Etuh, is remarkable (Takida). Even his detractors will acknowledge that he is indeed, a repertoire of Igala culture and tradition.

It is believed that the ancestors are active participants at the Ita session, though unseen, they witness the testimonies of the contestants and the King makers. It is therefore a sacred platform, where men must display truthful, sincere and honest accounts during the testimonies and witness sessions.

Very much like a traditional court hearing, the Ita session is traditionally the phase of revealations, where usurpers deceptionists and claimants must establish the veracity of their claims and counter claims. The last Ita session lived up to its traditional billing, the sessions were blunt, frank and yet, some time deliberately infused with half truths, innuendoes, and falsified narratives which some find hugely unnerving.

Some of the revealations, have left the contestants more bitter and angry than before the contest.

According to one of the very close participant of the process, “It was a no hold bars session, of course the idea is to discredit the other contestants, and I can tell you that the after-bitterness will not heal in a hurry. I can assure you that we have more revealations, if the King makers dont do the right thing, you know as they say, if you Tarka me I Dabo you”.

That is why the Etemahi, the Achadu and the traditional council must be guided by good conscience. For the King makers, it is a divine responsiblity where the stability and continuity of the Igala race depends. Therefore, the Etemahi, the Achadu and all Igala, including those politicising the process, must be reminded that the ancestors and of course the Igala people are watching and will ensure that tradition and the law setting the rules of the process are not tampered with.

For avoidance of doubt, the law clearly requires the Ajuameachor clan to screen, interview and appoint a candidate. The selected candidate must be based on the ever constant dictum in Igala culture and tradition where the eldest enjoys that natural right and can only pass it on to a younger if he willingly declines. Any thing outside these basic regulations is turning truth up side down.

For the Etemahi and the other kingmakers, money, politics, narrow interests must not becloud their judgement.

The Igala expects so much from the most respected King makers of the Igala Kingdom.

Ustaz Yakub Abutu Achegbulu.

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