The Maigari, traditional head of Lokoja, the capital of Kogi State, Alh. Kabiru Mohammadu Maikarfi III, has described the Attah Igala Iboni Idoko, as ignorant, barbaric and overambitious by seeking to expand Igala Kingdom to his domain.
In a statement today, June 9, the Maigari of Lokoja said: “we, the natives and indigenes of Lokoja are Nupe/Bassa Nges and not Igalas, neither have our people or any part of our territory been under the control of the Atah Igala at any time in history, NEVER!
“That we are totally disappointed at the show of ignorance, delusion, greed, barbaric and the over-ambitiousness of HRM Michael Iboni Idoko, the Atah Igala as demonstrated in his ill-advised claim to lands and territories outside his Kingdom in this age and century based on recent transactions with the colonial administrators without a recourse to long standing history of our people.”
The Lokoja traditional head said that the recent Court Judgment of the Federal High Court between the Atah Igala and the Attorney General of the Federal Government of Nigeria on the 2nd day of June, 2020, granting to the claimant, HRM Michael Iboni Idoko, the Atah Igala the possession of Ajaokuta, Koton Karfe and particularly Lokoja as being part of the Igala Kingdom is not acceptable in any civilised society in this 21st century.
“I, HRH Alh. Kabiru Mohammadu Maikarfi III, The Maigari of Lokoja, hereby express unreservedly the resolve of the Lokoja Traditional Council on behalf of the good, peaceful, accommodating, law abiding and bona-fide natives of Lokoja and its surrounding communities as follows:
“That even though we are known to respect the rule of law, we totally and unequivocally reject the ruling of the Federal High Court of the 2nd day of June, 2020 in its entirety especially because,
a). We are not joined in the matter, neither is our defense sought.
b). We have occupied and lived on our side of the Niger River beyond Idah for more than ten centuries without any encumbrances from the Igalas, nor from any other tribe within the entire neighborhood.
c). We therefore, consider the ruling of the Federal High Court granting Lokoja, Ajaokuta and Koton Karfe to the Atah Igala a mischievous, biased and a premeditated script intended to destabilize the polity and thereby render the State ungovernable.
d). We are aware of the clamour by many to gain control over Ajaokuta because of the apparent potentials and possible benefits that the Steel Industry could present. However, Geregu which is an older community is a clear testimony of our presence and occupation of that axis and not that of Atah or the Igalas.
“In the light of the above, we advise HRM Michael Iboni Idoko to desist from his obnoxious and overambitious claim in order to maintain and preserve the peaceful, mutual and harmonious relationships that has existed among the different ethnic nationalities within Kogi State. To this end, I implore the State Government, under the leadership of His Excellency Yahaya Adoza Bello to stop this evil before it blossom.
“In the same vein, I urge my good and peace loving people of Lokoja to remain calm, peaceful and law-abiding as we explore all legal avenues and instruments to get redress.”