Rejoinder: Why Governor Yahaya Bello Lost the Support of Ebira People

Engr. SARKI IDRIS ENESI writes A Rejoinder to The Press Interview of ALH. ADO IBRAHIM ATTA, The Ohinoyi of Ebiraland.

In double capacity as 1) 5th Plaintiff/Respondent in the Supreme Court Case No:SC 99/2009 and 2) The Initiator of INCONCLUSIVE ELECTION in Nigeria that ushered in His Excellency ALH. YAHAYA ADOZA BELLO as the first Ebira to become Governor of Kogi State; who is now being decampaigned by the said Press Interview granted Daily Trust by the Ohinoyi of Ebiraland. What an irony !

Re:WHY GOVERNOR BELLO LOST THE SUPPORT OF EBIRA PEOPLE

I hereby state categorically that the answers given by Ohinoyi of Ebiraland to virtually all questions raised are embodiment of fallacies and total distortion of Ebira History and not in the character of a true Anebira; particularly the vulgar ulterances on the person of our Late Chief Imam, a revered God-fearing man of Peace and Unity of Ebiraland. May Allah SWT forgive his sins (both the knowingly and the unknowingly) and grant him al jannah firdaus as final abode (Amin).

And regarding the Governor, other peoples rejoinders tend to have addressed issues therein raised. But I wish to add that Ado in his characteristic Machiavellian style was all along reaping where he did not sow. All Ebira people are living witnesses to the glaring supports Ado gave to Late Prince Audu and even hosted him in his so-called Azad Palace during the Electioneering Campaign; to the detriments of all Ebira Candidates. For him to now turn round and start claiming he ever gave any supports to any Ebira Aspirants is fallacious and with intent to reap where he did not sow; which he has been enjoying till he fell out with Governor Yahaya Bello which he now wants to make the world see as Governor Yahaya Bello losing support of Ebira People in a most unbecoming language of a Traditional Leader (not Ruler in the eyes of the Nigerian Constitution under the Presidential system of Government).

The whole world saw the trend of my arguments at the State Collation Centre on 22nd November 2015 that culminated in the Kogi State 2015 Governorship Election being declared INCONCLUSIVE; leading to SUPPLEMENTARY ELECTION vis-à-vis ANNOUNCEMENT OF AUDU’s Death and Choice of ALH. YAHAYA ADOZA BELLO who came 2nd in the APC Primaries of August 2015 as Audu’s Successor in the Supplementary Election which finally culminated in being Kogi State Governor till date. At the Collation Centre I was the Labour Party Agent and I sat by the APC Agent. At a stage, permission was sought that someone had an URGENT message for the APC Agent and it was granted. I overheard when she was told of Audu’s critical health condition and that she should ensure the election result be announced; hence my resolve to put up all the brilliant arguments to forestall that. As an Engineer, it was by Calculations and Design, I came up with the arguments one after the other and Allah SWT guided me in the sequence of arguments; APC having won 16 LGAs and leading PDP with a clear margin of 41,353 votes. I made INEC refer to the Electoral Act Guidelines and the Provisions therein; pertaining to Cancelled Votes which led to the Election being declared INCONCLUSIVE. But in the said Press Interview Ado wants the whole world to believe he made him Governor as a Godfather and that because the Governor does not allow him (Ado) to direct the affairs of Government, Ebira People have withdrawn supports for the Governor. In the contrary, he misled Government on many issues leading to the present predicaments. And in particular, because the Governor did not agree with him to dethrone the Ohis in line with his (Ado’s) Treaty with the Late Prince Abubakar Audu, he first fell out with the Governor; now compounded by their disagreement on the issue of removing the Chief Imam before his death. And of course when money was not exchanging hands as before, things would obviously fall apart !

And on the Ebira Paramount Chieftaincy, it is not a TRADITIONAL Stool (as Ado wants the world to believe) but a STATUTORY Stool; being a Warrant Chieftaincy Stool created as “CHIEF OF IGBIRRA” and a 3rd Class Stool on 18th January 1923; by upgrading IBRAHIM CHOGUDO ONORUIZA from District Head which he started with in 1917. Prior to his appointment, he was a Tax Assessment Scribe and Interpreter to the White man while his maternal Grandfather, OMADIVI ABONIKA was the Nominal District Head because there was actually no Substantive District Head until after Omadivi’s death in 1917; the position prominent Ebiras vied for and for some reasons the young Ibrahim was preferred. It could be recalled that OMADIVI proclaimed himself ATTA sequel to his successive failures in his bid to become Ohindase and Ozumi. His father, Oji being Ozi Ogu of Upake origin, he was denied the Ozumi Stool on the ground that he was not a direct descendant of Okaritu. In the case of Ohindase, he was rejected on the ground that it’s only Ezi Ogu of Evini lineage that is entitled to the Stool. Omadivi Abonika had no option than go to his maternal Kinsmen, Ezi Onoko of Eganyi and negotiated for the moribund Honorary Title of AJI ATTA (Aju Atta); given to Omonesa Ajigara, the Son of Otada who was born by an Idah Princess; the daughter of Awuru Akiko, the brother of Ocheje Onokpa from Aju Akumabi Lineage of Idah Ruling House. The Royal Gift of ” Irapa Ibagi Masquerade” was given to the said Omenesa Ajigara with the encomium, “Ata’ai Aji va’aji Awuru Akiko, Ajaku Onokpa……Ango”; which translates to ” Ada’ai Ajigara va’azi Awuru Akiko, Aninohuoje Ohinoyi Onokpa…..Ango”; “Ango” in Jukun means “Grandson”; used here as an acholade, ” Oh! Grandson”. Hence the encomium simply means “Elder Ajigara is the grandson of Awuru Akiko in the Royal House of Onokpa; Ocheje Onokpa was Ata’Idah from Akumabi Lineage and this introduction of the Recipient of the Royal Gift was made by the Donor, Attah Amocheje c.1865 AD in appreciation of the role played by Omenesa Ajigara by proffering solution for the Eradication of Small Pox epidemics, ” OGA ATTA”. Omenesa was recognised as “AJU ATTA” then corrupted in archaic Ebira as ” AJI ATTA” but changed to “ATTA” by Omadivi Abonika who went to Opia’s Compound of Abara Akeniriku of Ezi Onoko in Eganyi and brought the said “Irapa Ibagi”alongside with Ebe festival to Okene and proclaimed himself as ATTA. While Ibagi was denied outing during Echane, his movement was also restricted to Okene initially until when Ibrahim Onoruoiza, as the District Head who was brought up with his Maternal Kinsmen, adopted ATTA as a Surname; whence Ebe was extended to Kuroko, in particular, Obairi Compound his Patnernal home; not even the whole of Adavi. From the foregoing, the nomenclature, ATTA, was modified, rebranded and imported into Okene with a bastardised and meaningless encomium, ” Atta, Aji vajawuru Akiko, Ajaku Enepago” by OMADIVI who was tnot known as Atta I nor IBRAHIM ONORUOIZA Atta II. Whither Atta III which Ado Ibrahim is claiming as Family or Paramount Title in Ebira Patrilineal system ? According to the ” Sarauta of Igbirra and its Administration “, Attaru Omadivi was never addressed as ATTA on any official records; ATTA being an exotic (strange) Title unknown to the bulk of Igbirra Tribe. The only Title in use was OHINOYI (equivalent to SARKI in Hausa )which means CHIEF. Hence CHIEF OF IGBIRRA, the Title IBRAHIM ONORUOIZA was officially recognised with till his Exile in 1954; inherited by MUHAMADU SANI OMOLORI in 1956 but the Ebira People vide a Referendum at the end of the same year changed the Title to OHINOYI OF IGBIRRA (see 1956 Kabba Provincial Annual Report); gazetted in 1963 by the Northern Regional Government; carried over to Kwara State in 1967; upgraded to 1st Class Status in 1972 as OHINOYI OF EBIRALAND/VICE CHAIRMAN, KWARA STATE COUNCIL OF CHIEFS; further carried over to Kogi State in 1991; recognized by Law No 7 of 1992 as OHINOYI OF EBIRALAND/VICE PRESIDENT KOGI STATE COUNCIL OF CHIEFS; the Position held by HRH ALH. MUHAMMADU SANI OMOLORI till his Death on 10th July, 1996.

And regarding Ado’s Appointment as Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, it became a subject of litigation because he did not apply as stipulated by the Statute of the Throne, Edict 3 of6th May 1997. The then Ebira Area Traditional Council, recognised by the Edict as KINGMAKERS did not comply with the PROVISIONS of the Edict in the Selection of the Ohinoyi of Ebiraland; using the Government White Paper and Law No 7 of 1992 as at 9th May 1997 Council Meeting and appointed him vide a so called EDE-ATTAH Letter dated 19th July,1996; recommending Ado Ibrahim as ATTA III OF EBIRALAND; instead of OHINOYI OF EBIRALAND; shutting out all other bonafide Ebira sons in the Contest. On 23rd June, 1997, he went to the ridiculous extent of demanding a Change of Title from Kogi State Council of Chiefs; from OHINOYI OF EBIRALAND to ATTA III OF EBIRALAND which was rejected. This prompted me (Engr. Sarki & 5 Others) to suit Kogi State Government in which he was co- joined as the 13th Defendant. Even when the Case was still in Court, Ado was still pressing for the Change of Title and he wrote the Secretary to the State Government but it was again rejected. When the issue of STATUTE BARRED Action was first raised, the High Court was made to realise that the Appointment Process was not completed since he was only a DE FACTO Ruler and not a DE JEURE Ruler as he was not yet installed and had not taken Oath of Office. And the Case commenced in earnest. After years of Legal gymnastics and tricks by his Counsel, he (Ado) was DETHRONED by Anyigba High Court followed by Abuja Appeal Court but the Case was suddenly upturned at the Supreme Court by JSC Inyang Okoro, JSC Sylvester Ngwuta and 3 Others on 5th June 2015 on the Technical ground that we did not file the Case within three months of Ado’s Appointment Letter dated 2nd June,1997. On the Floor of the Supreme Court, that fateful day I angrily pronounced a CURSE that Allah SWT in his infinite powers and wisdom will bring shame on the Supreme Court Judges that decided to arm-twist the Ebiras by retaining Ado Ibrahim on the Ohinoyi Throne; under the guise that the Suit did not commence within 3 Months of the Appointment Letter dated 2nd June 1997; after purportedly receiving their share of the proceeds of the Sale of Obu Marble Site within Okpella/Okene Sector to which AICO ADO IBRAHIM & Co LTD laid claim of Mining Lease vide a fake Certificate No 0000103 NO.2541ML; now a subject of litigations;Suit Nos: FHC/ B/7/2016 and FHC/B/74/2016 Between BUA INTL LTD Vs DANGOTE & ORS refers. The Sale was just before the 5th June 2015 Supreme Court Judgement. We were not unaware of the conflict between the Okpella Community and Ado Ibrahim who even purportedly threatened the Community with armed Thugs that invaded the Community; sequel to which we the Respondents had to write for Security cover as our own lives were equally being threatened. Some of the surving Plaintiffs/ Respondents fled from their homes. Thank God Allah SWT visited his wrath on the duo of Inyang and Ngwuta as the first Supreme Court Judges suspended on account of Corruption and possession of huge foreign currencies in their homes, after a raid following a tip off. Allahu Akbar !

“EIYE KOZOMETU EBIRA KENE, EMETU’EVU”

However, after the legal gymnastics, Ado’s APPOINTMENT LETTER AS “OHINOYI OF EBIRALAND” dated 2nd June 1997 was upheld; alongside the Ascension Modality, EDICT 3 of 6th May, 1997 (see Photos below). And for the Highlights of the Edict, see the following amongst others viz:-
2) THE STOOL OF THE PARAMONT RULER OF EBIRALAND WHO SHALL BE KNOWN AS OHINOYI IS HEREBY ESTALISHED.
3a) ASCENSION TO THE THRONE OF OHINOYI OF EBIRALAND WHENEVER IT IS VACANT SHALL BE BY ROTATION AMONG THE FIVE (5) TRADITIONAL DISTRICTS IN EBIRALAND.

b) FOR AVOIDANCE OF DOUBT THE FIVE TRADITIONAL DISTRICTS ARE: ADAVI, OKENGWE, IHIMA, EIKA AND EGANYI.

The Edict sealed itself as follows:-
8) NO PROVISIONS OF ANY LAW OF THE STATE IN FORCE SHALL INVALIDATE THE PROVISIONS OF THIS EDICT.
What Ado has to realise from our history is that Ebira People abhor Feudalism in all ramifications and that we are Republican as a result of the Royal Descent of our Ancestral Father, ITA’AZI ATTANUJE whose root is traceable to the Jukun Royal House via Idah Royal House and that Dynastic Leadership in Ebiraland is not feasible as all Ebira Native Clans are Royal and Ruling Clans as instituted by the OTARU CHIEFTAINCY. Our Republicanism and Sociology are similar to the Idomas and Tivs (see Patrick Wilmot’s book, “The Nigerian Stateless Societies”. And the Ebiras were never conquered by any known invasions; not even Invasions by the then powerful Binis (16th-17th Century; the Yoruba Invasions (17th-18th Century) nor the Nupe/Fulani Jihads of the 19th Century. For details, see R.E Bradbury’s Benin Studies and Michael Mason’s Foundation of Bida Kingdom pgs 76-77 in particular. This is popular ” Ireku Anajinomoh” in Ebira History and the leading Warlord was “ONUKOKO AJAKU JARAPA, AJINOMOH ANEBIRA KEREKERE”; not OMDIVI as Ado wants the world to believe ! Other notable warriors included ACHEGIDI OKINO, ADANUJU, AJE, ANYOGO, OTASE etc.

But in the said Press Interview Ado claims the Supreme Court Judgement authorised him to use ATTA III and OHINOYI OF EBIRALAND when the Appointment Letter reads OHINOYI OF EBIRALAND. I am hereby recommending to Kogi State Government to ask him to come forward with the said Appointment Letter and the Supreme Court Judgement for Screening; failing which he should be given appropriate Disciplinary actions. And for boasting that the Supreme Court Judgement can not be challenged, I hope he will not push us to petition NJC to reconstitute another Panel to retry the Case; particularly now that JSC Inyang Okoro and JSC Sylvester Ngwuta are suspended on charges of Corruption and are facing trials. We have all along allowed the SLEEPING DOG TO LIE because of his age and in the interest of the peaceful coexistence of Ebira People. We are now more pre-occupied with the Socio- politico-economic development of Ebiraland. This should be the watchword of the good people of Ebiraland while at the same time it should be on record that Ebira people abhor any form of autocratic, despotic or tyrannical leadership to avert history repeating itself. So, Ado Ibrahim should forget establishing his dream ATTA DYNASTY in Ebiraland in this 21st Century in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The words, Ebira Kingdom he uses should stop forthwith as we were never conquered and as such our fatherland is EBIRALAND and every true and free- born Ebira is a PRINCE or PRINCESS. NO BODY IS HIS SUBJECT IN EBIRALAND ! !! !!!

This is for historic truth, posterity and the records.

Engr. SARKI IDRIS ENESI, Agidima Ochinyaginyagi Jr.
(Respondent SC:99/2009)

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