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Group alleges attacks on Igala over land judgement

Group alleges attacks on Igala over land judgement
June 28
16:09 2020
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The Uk’Omu Igala Organisation (UIO), an umbrella organisation for all socio-cultural groups in Kogi east, has kicked against “unprovoked attacks” on Igala indigenes over a court judgement that expanded the kingdom.

Abdul Amade, UIO national leader, said in a statement at the weekend that some groups have resorted to insulting and attacking the Igala kingdom since the judgement was delivered.

In a judgement delivered on June 2, 2020, a federal high court in Lokoja granted Idakwo Ameh Oboni, the attah Igala, ownership of Ajaokuta, Lokoja and Koton Karfe LGAs.

The judgment generated tension in the state, with indigenes of the affected LGAs insisting that they do not belong to Igala kingdom.

While Ebira are the dominant ethnic group in Ajaokuta, the people of Oworo, Ebira, Nupe and Bassa are the main groups in Lokoja and Koton-Karfe.

The court also ruled that a N10 billion compensation should be paid to Igala kingdom, after granting the plaintiff’s prayer on the basis of an 1841 agreement between the British colony and the traditional ruler at the time.

“The courageous judgment, widely commended by a cross-section of Nigerians and the international community, has been variously attacked by some ethnic communities in Kogi State,” UIO said.

”As if it were a call to arms, these groups have taken to an out of the ark, old-fashioned way of handling the pronouncement of the judiciary – insults, provocative action, and threats of fire and brimstone.

“As a sign of maturity, Igala sons and daughters have restrained themselves from entering into the mud, because the truth, like the sun, has no hiding place.”

The group said the court judgement was based on “incontrovertible truth which cannot be overturned by insults and naked threats”.

It said “enough is enough” as it will “no longer entertain foolish arguments and insults on Igala kingdom“.

Our silence since the insults was not an indicator of cowardice or the lack of response to the ignorance and falsehood being peddled on the social media and other platforms,” it said.

“We salute the courage of Agaba’idu, Attah Igala, His Royal Majesty Idakwo Micheal Ameh Oboni, who, despite provocations, has maintained his calm and prevailed on his subjects against responding to false and irritating reactions to the judgment.

“The matter of the ownership of Ajaokuta and Lokoja has taken a judicial dimension, and anyone who has issues with the initial judgement should demonstrate his interest by going to the court of law.”

UIO called on the Kogi state government and security agencies to “bring to book all criminally-minded persons, who, puffed up by undue ethnic bigotry, have continued to threaten Igala kingdom with unprovoked violence”.

“All Ebira, Okun and other interested parties in Kogi State, who are not comfortable with the judgment to seek redress in a court of law instead of hurling insults on Igala people,” it said.

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