Uk’Omu Igala Organization, an umbrella body for all socio-cultural organizations in Kogi East, has called on Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello to rethink his query to Ohinoyi of Ebira, Dr Ado Ibrahim, for not properly welcoming President Muhammadu Buhari during the president’s visit to Okene in December, 2022.
In a statement signed by the group’s National Leader, Mr David Abutu, and National Secretary, Dr Sabestine Abu, Uk’Omu Igala said the Ebira traditional institution, represented by the Ohinoyi, should not be subjected to humiliation, in the form of a query which has been given wide publicity in the media.
The statement said, “The state government claimed that the Ohinoyi of Ebira, Dr Ado Ibrahim, did not come out to receive President Muhammadu Buhari during the commissioning of Ohinoyi’s new palace. We understand that the Ohinoyi has responded to the query. It is important for the state government and the palace to discuss this matter in an atmosphere devoid of rancour, to ensure that the culture and tradition of Ebira people are not compromised and brought to disrepute.”
The organization said in the past traditional rulers in the state, including former Attah Igala and Ohinoyi of Ebira, had been issued queries by state governments over issues that could be discussed and resolved amicably.
The group added that, “it is not in anyone’s interest for us to wash our dirty linen in public, especially considering the fact that in many of the 36 states of the Federation, traditional institutions are respected, revered, and not subjected to this kind of humiliation. Traditional rulers are the custodians of the people’s culture; they must not be subjected to authoritarian tendencies of political leaders.
“It is an act hypocrisy and a desecration of the people’s custom and tradition for a State Governor who before his election will geniflate for a traditional ruler while seeking his blessings for election, but turn around to desecrate the throne when assumed office without any cogent reason.
“We call on Governor Yahaya Bello, who is a son of Ebira land and should know better, not to use his office to continue in the dangerous trend of humiliating traditional royal stools.”