The Chairman of Kogi State Traditional Council and Attah of Igalaland, Dr. Michael Ameh Oboni II has lambasted the roles of the previous Governors of the state of Igala extraction for detaching themselves from core Igala Culture.
The Attah also blamed them for allowing the 1963 proscription of their festivals by the Premier of Northern Region, who described it as fetish and against the tenets of the Islamic faith.
Dr. Ameh Oboni was speaking on Wednesday while performing the traditional breaking of the Kola nut at the Banquet Hall of Kogi State Government House in Lokoja when he led other high ranking members of Igala Traditional Institution on a thank you visit to the governor over his decision to reverse the age-long proscription.
The Attah was quick to give his theory as to why the past Governors decided not to give much interest to the issue, and described it as a great disservice to the race as cultural identity was important to every society.
He described late Governor Abubakar Audu as a man who originated from a part of Igalaland that located in the forest region, and so, he never really understood the tradition of the people.
The traditional ruler said former Governor Ibrahim Idris came to power after being mostly far away from the true nature of the Igala Culture because he lived his life in various parts of the coutry including Onitsha, Minna, Sokoto and Abuja.
He also described former Governor Idris Wada as a man is more in tune with the Islamic tradition than embracing the Igala Culture, hence his own decision not to give much thought to the issue of its proscription.
Dr. Ameh Oboni therefore thanked the decision of the Governor to lift the ban, saying it was a demonstration of his upbringing as a man who lived among his people and saw and appreciated their traditional ways of life, hence the decision.
Kogi, the Attah said, is not only the confluence of Rivers Niger and Benue, but also of cultures, traditions and languages, saying unity of the people was an important factor in the discussion of development.
“Overzealous people gave the Igala Culture a bad name and sent it into exile on altar of religion thereby trapping the Igala people in limbo for over 65 years. Thank you (Governor Yahaya Bello) for rescuing our people from it,” the Attah stressed.
“A people without culture are lost. They are neither here nor there. We are languishing in pain because of the way our culture have been adulterated and made to laid waste. We are prepared to revive it and free our people from the shackles,” he concluded.