Ebira youth in Kogi Central Senatorial zone, under the umbrella of Ebira Youth Congress (EYC), has warned that members will not stand aloof and watch Igala people, at the Kogi East Senatorial zone, to use what it called “judicial abracadabra” to rob Ebiraland of Ajaokuta where the nation’s steel project is located.
At a press conference yesterday, June 23, at Utenyi in Eganyi District of Ajaokuta Local Government Area, the EYC called on all the people of goodwill to call Igala people to order, even as it promised to embark on efforts at averting ethnic conflicts “being orchestrated by the inconceivable claim of ownership of Ajaokuta land by the Igalas.”
In a text read by the President-General, Malam Baba Abdulrazak, the EYC, described the recent judgment ceding Ajaokuta to Igala Kingdom as “one provocation too many!”
The full text of the conference is reproduced here:
We, the leadership of the youths of Ebira, under the aegis of Ebira Youth Congress (EYC), the apex socio-cultural organization of the youths of Ebira ethnic nationality both at home and in diaspora, have critically reviewed recent developments in Kogi state and deemed apt to call this press briefing to bring to your knowledge and indeed, that of the whole world, the mindless and relentless efforts by our neighbours at the eastern flank of Kogi state, the Igalas, to rob us of our God-given lands and other resources through judicial *“abracadabra”! This conference is in furtherance of our efforts aimed at averting ethnic conflicts being orchestrated by the inconceivable claim of ownership of Ajaokuta land by the Igalas.
The recent incongruous judgment of the Federal High Court sitting in Lokoja, which curiously ceded Ajaokuta, Lokoja and Koton Karfe Local Government Areas to the Atta Igala is one provocation too many!
It should be placed on record that since the creation of Kogi State, the Igalas have been behaving as *IMPERIAL LORDS; as if they own the entire state by CONQUEST! This nauseating attitude of our brethren from across-the-Niger has only but succeeded in engendering needless acrimony and mutual suspicion among component ethnic groups, with their attendant negative effects on the peace and development of the state.
The rest of Kogites, particularly Ebira youths still nurse the wounds resulting from the acute denial and gross marginalization Ebira were subjected to by successive Igala-led regimes. We will not forget in a hurry how the late Prince Abubakar Audu led-government created the botched lopsided local government councils that sought to subjugate other ethnic groups in the state to Igala dreamed hegemony.
With heavy heart, we recall that this misrule sent some of our vibrant youths to their untimely graves when they protested against the injustices; not to mention our youth leaders who were unjustly detained and man-handled alongside other unimaginable deprivations meted on us by the referenced past governments.
This time around, Ebira and her youths are wiser not to allow anything that will lead to disequilibrium in the peace and even -development of the state that Governor Yahaya Bello’s administration has been pursuing even at the detriment of his personal comfort and that of his immediate community. *To say that we have conceded too much to the Igalas to appease their greedy gods will be an understatement!*
At this juncture, we would like to ask the Igalas and their monarch the following pertinent questions: *At what point in their history did they realize that the land of Ajaokuta was part of their kingdom? This is because: 1. They, Igalas, were, first in Onitsha province; 2. They were in the defunct Kabba province and ditto Benue State before the birth of Kogi state. Interestingly, in all of these sojournings, the Igalas never knew they had Ajaokuta to pack in their journey bags. Or is that the Igalas also forgot to mention anywhere in their relatively recent agitations for the creation of Okura state that Ajaokuta belonged to them? This our brothers’ greed and provocations know no bounds!*
This mad territorial ambition was what killed the late Saddam Hussein of Iraq when he sought to annex Kuwait as part of the old Babylonian empire in the twentieth century. We hasten to caution the Igalas to tame their greed!
Let our Igala neighbors be told that Ebiraland was never a conquered land and cannot be available now through judicial conquest or any other unholy manipulations.
Whoever thinks that the youths of Ebiraland will stand aloof and watch this broad daylight robbery unchallenged must be living in a fool’s paradise- such a person or persons are free to remain asleep.
It will do them (the Igalas) good to know how the Ebiras and Ebira Kotos left Idah to their present abode. If they do, it will be clear to them that Aajokuta was never part of their kingdom.
This insane territorial claim has no place in modern day national and international boundary management and administration. The Igalas must be told in an unambiguous terms!
As the chairman of the Kogi State Traditional Council, the Atta Igala occupies a fatherhood position to the entire state and ought not to have been seen chasing and championing a divisive agenda; an agenda that is antithetical to the unity efforts of Governor Yahaya Bello. The Ebira Youth Congress will like to place on record the maturity, so far, displayed by His Royal Majesty, Alh. (Dr.) Ado Ibrahim, the Ohinoyi Ebira in this sensitive matter. He has been able to calm nerves and thread the part of peace and civility. And he himself has remained calm and calculative even in the face of this unwarranted provocation. That is leadership, and we are proud of this Royal father!
We are forced to ask: where lies the Atta’s moral standing to continue to preside over the Kogi State Traditional Council?* Against this background, *we call on the appropriate quarters to, in the interest of peace and togetherness, immediately institutionalize a rotational template for the chairmanship position of the Council.
We must understand that, in the distribution of both material and human resources in Kogi State, *there are enough for every tribe’s needs and not enough for the Igala’s greed!*
Conclusively, as a peaceful people, the youths of Ebiraland would like to once again reiterate their determination to remain unprovoked and will continue to toe the part of peace and civility in seeking redress as the state governor, Alh. Yahaya Adoza Bello has pleaded.
Ebira youths, be assured once again that as the Lord Lives, this *procured “corona 2020” judgment against our ancestral heritage shall not stand. No matter how long it takes, justice has always prevailed against injustice. And this will not be different.