It was with great shock and serious embarrassment to the people that the Attah Igala Palace viewed the report on Channels Television News at 10pm on Sunday, June 14, 2020 concerning the interview granted by His Royal Majesty, Agabaidu, Attah Igala, Dr. Idakwo Michael Ameh Oboni II.
The Palace which holds Channels Television in high esteem as one of the most respected News Platforms in Nigeria was terribly disappointed with the manner in which their reporter packaged and presented the interview with HRM, Attah Igala – the part of Attah Igala was chopped off only to present to the public what the reporter so desired, while leaving out the core message of HRM, Attah Igala which calls for peace, unity and proper education of our people on important aspects of history. What the Palace has done with the case and the eventual judgment, was to set the record straight and thank God the evidences tendered did the job and history is being corrected.
Again, the Palace is very disappointed at the reporter’s copious cynical motive to mislead members of the public by sending out a video that suggests that Attah Igala was celebrating the court judgment when in real sense the video was not related in any way to the court judgment as pushed by the Channels Television reporter. If the Reporter needed a video clip he would have asked the Palace or at least verified any of such (in his possession) before putting it on air. Painfully, that video clip the reporter attached to that report was from a visit of HRM, Attah Igala to Lagos in 2017 – an event that is totally different from what the reporter sent out to the public via a respectable platform such as Channels Television.
For the record, what the Attah Igala has done was legal and the right way to go about issues in a civilized society. He is not the first to do this but he has to pursue this to a logical conclusion through the judicial system as the case has always been swept under the carpet. It is in pursuit of his fundamental human rights and records to be set straight – the history of Nigeria being taught in our schools is fundamental and should be revived. If it were, the noise going on about the judgment wouldn’t have been as many would have long been exposed to the truth.
Even Atta 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 and so he (Atta Ibrahim Onoruoiza) went further to propose 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.
Unfortunately, the Channels Television reporter, instead of staying with the key message of HRM, Attah Igala which actually originated from his own question during the interview (the recorded audio of which we have) decided to mislead members of the public through wrong video that has nothing to do with the story. We do not expect such unprofessional conduct from a reporter of a reputable news media like Channels Television.
The reporter would have stayed to the call for peace and the historical facts as stated by Attah Igala; Igala and Ebira (Igbirra) were never enemies; 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; 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 impact 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’.
So, in setting the record straight, our mission is restoration, peace, unity and progress of the people and the state.
On this note, the Palace demand an apology from the Channels Television and warned that henceforth, an interview with HRM, Attah Igala should not be treated like interview with any other person on the roadside.
Onoja J. Okpanachi
ARISE IGALA Grassroots Sensitization Initiative