Tuesday, 13 September 2016


For long the Igede nation had been under the chiefdom of Idoma kingdom. While the origin of Idoma kingdom is traceable to the Kwararafa ancestry, Igede originated from Ora in Benin kingdom of the present day Edo state.

The migration of Igede from Benin kingdom to her present location in Benue state is well documented and traceable. The point here is that, the Igede people are unique and distinct in custom and tradition from the Idoma. Their subjugation to the Idoma chiefdom was a marriage of incompatibility.

There have been series of agitations and clamour for a separate chiefdom for the Igede people over the years but each time, the agitations always met with brickwall and vehemently resisted by the Ochi'Idoma, on the flimsy excuse that we are one citing the example that Igede son was the Ochi' Idoma the second.

With the passage of the Benue state chieftaincy amendment bill by the state House of Assembly recently, a new chapter has been opened for Igede to have a first class chief and a separate traditional council.

The struggle for freedom and self-determination is not just a mere request to the appropriate authorities, it requires, in addition to the request, dogged determination, resilient follow up and pressing the necessary keys without which the door to achievement of the desired results cannot be opened.

The granting of the first class chief status to the Igede people did not just see the light of day without the effort of one of our illustrious sons, Rt. Hon. Nick Eworo, Deputy Majority Leader and member representing Obi state constituency at the state House of Assembly.

The first class chief status was granted, but is on record that it would not have come through without the timely intervention of Rt. Hon. Eworo who came in from the left flank of the field using the already approved motion on the same issue by the House thereby outsmarting the antagonists of the request.

Worthy of commendation in this struggle for Igede first class and Paramount rulership, though the latter is yet to materialize, is yet another illustrious son and member of the state House of Assembly representing Oju 11, Hon. Mathew Ireh and supported by his colleague.

The group led by the President General of Omi NY' Igede, Chief Ode Enyi, Dr. Jonah Ogbaji, among others who worked tirelessly for the approval of the first class chief status for the Igede people, is also worthy of commendation.

Now that the request has been approved and the guidelines for the selection carefully enshrined in the document, the question that arises is, will the aspirants play the game according to the rule?

Prior to the time the present Ad' Oju and Ad' Obi were elevated to the second class chiefs, Adutu Igede was the highest traditional ruler in Igedeland. The passing into the ancestral world of the first Adutu Igede, late Chief Ikande Idikwu, saw political manipulation and power play orchestrated by the political power broker, to select a replacement for the Adutu Igede.

The abuse of the traditional method of selecting a replacement for the stool saw the abrogation of that stool consequent upon the elevation of district heads to the same second class chief status thereby silencing the Adutu Igede stool.

As a people with unique cultural and traditional heritage, this time around, we should not allow petit politics to meddle into the affairs of the traditional institution so that justice, equity and good conscience can be the guiding factors for deciding any matters before the Igede King, when installed in due time.

Meanwhile, I want to congratulate all those that struggled to make the passage of the bill possible.
To every thing in life, time and chance happened to them all.

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