The Igala Kingdom in Kogi State has claimed again that Ihima in Okehi Local Government of the State used to be under Igala Kingdom.
In a statement, responding to Channels TV “misinterpretation of interview with Attah,” the President of Arise Igala Kingdom Grassroot Sensitisation Initiative, Onoja J. Okpanachi said: “Attah Igala had an Ambassador in Ihima before the arrival of Ebira from Koto after parting ways with their other brothers.
“The balkanization of the pre-colonial Igala State was designed intentionally to reduce the power of the revered Igala State. One of the negative impacts is the continuous attempt to annex Ajaokuta because it fell into the old Kabba Province, while other parts of Igala Kingdom were shared into other provinces thereby reducing the control of the Attah Igala in colonial arrangement of ‘divide and rule’.
The Igala Kingdom claimed that Ibrahim Onoruoiza, the first Paramount Chief/Attah/Ohinoyi of Ebiraland was part of an investigation during the colonial era and it was concluded that Ajaokuta was founded by an Igala.
It said that Atta Ibrahim Onoruoiza went further to propose that the traditional structure be maintained by the lineage of the founder.
“All these records are there in the archive of the Northern Nigeria. In particular, Memos with reference No. 30631/69 (16th of February, 1939) and No. 851/19A (28TH February, 1939) from Kabba Province settled this matter of founders and owners of Ajaokuta.”
The Igala Kingdom said that Igala and Ebira were never enemies, adding that Igala Kingdom has always provided leadership and protection to many ethnic groups of the great Kwararafa Kingdom including Ebira.
“Igala Kingdom was long established before the settlement of Ebira in Okene and surroundings.
“So, in setting the record straight, our mission is restoration, peace, unity and progress of the people and the state.”