Posted by News Express | 29 March 2021 | 704 times
By YUSUF ABUBAKAR
The road that leads to Abejukolo Ife, one of the famous Igala native towns, came back to life after over a decade at the 25th anniversary of the paramount ruler of Ife Kingdom, HRH Chief Boniface Usman Musa, which also marked the conferment of the traditional title, Ochada Onu’Ife on a former PDP governorship aspirant, businessman and philanthropist, Alhaji (Chief) Abubakar Ibrahim Idris, among others.
Idris hails from Abejukolo, the headquarters of Omala Local Government Area. The Peoples Democratic Party governorship aspirant had campaigned vigorously in his constituency, among other places, during the build-up to the November 16, 2021 gubernatorial election in Kogi State.
Coincidentally, as a son of the soil and scion of the former governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris, the occasion did not attract the indigenes of the area alone but people from all walks of life as well as the political class of all shades and opinions, both within Kogi State and beyond.
The two days event that was kick-started with the conferment of the chieftaincy title on Abubakar Idris and other prominent sons of Igala land, started on Friday, February 26, 2021.
But, before the event, many political followers, business partners and supporters thronged both his offices and residence in Abuja, Lokoja, Anyigba and Abejukolo, to show solidarity and support for the honour bestowed on him by the Ojogba of Ife.
This was different from the preparatory stage that started a few days to the event, which relived the activities of both at Abejukolo and its environs for the singular occasion.
Between Thursday and Friday, February 25 and 26, the roads that led to Lokoja, the state capital, Anyigba and Abejukolo became a beehive of activities with heavy vehicular movements as hotels in the area were fully booked by visitors of both the conferee and silver jubilee event.
As a devout Muslim, Ahaji Abubakar was welcomed by a tumultuous crowd both in Anyigba and Abejukolo for the grand occasion and coronation.
He started the event as he attended the weekly Juma’at prayers in his ancestral town, Abejukolo Central Mosque where the Chief Imam prayed for long life to the former governorship aspirant and his followers as well as the return of good old days to the ancient town of Abejukolo and Igala land.
He also prayed fervently for the former governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris and the new Central Mosque project, development of Abejukolo, the local government and the entire Igala land, Kogi State in general.
In his usual character, Abubakar Idris extended his gratitude to the numerous travelers from far and near that took time to honour his invitation.
These include business associates, friends, contemporaries, political associates, politicians of different shades and opinions as well as thousands of supporters who waited at his residence.
This is in addition to side attractions of local dancers and singers, artistes, pro-Alhaji Abubakar Ibrahim Idris political family, kinsmen and women, and other title-holders, both from within and outside the state.
The event also attracted members of the most vibrant association of both the elite and prominent sons and daughters of Ife Development Association (IDA) from Lokoja, with representatives from Lagos, Kano, Abuja, Jos, Port-Harcourt, Enugu, Ibadan and other parts of the country, including the Diaspora to honour both Idris and the Ojogba.
According to some members of the IDA, the attendance was mandatory because of the singular honour bestowed on the former governorship aspirant to detonate some insinuations.
“We are here with delegates of this formidable body all over the world to prove to the Igala nation, Kogi State, that we are happy with the singular honour given to our son, Abubakar Ibrahim Idris, as Ochada Onu'Ife”, Tokula, as he refused to mention his name.
“As you are aware, many events led to this development, be it political or otherwise; but, today, we are proving to the whole world that he is our son, and we are pleased with him to form part of our supreme council of traditional heritage,” he further said.
“Let the Igala race know from today that your own is your own no matter what, devoid of political divide, we honour him for his prominence, his contributions to the economic and political development of Ife kingdom as we expect more from him in the nearest future,” he added.
At the grand event of the coronation of Chief Abubakar Ibrahim Idris, heaven was let loose, as it took his entourage over 30 minutes to drop from his car for homage to the Ojogba of Ife, HRH, Chief Boniface Usman Musa.
The new title-holder slipped out of the car to a rousing reception at the palace of Ojogba, as it took security agencies combined efforts to the venue of the auspicious occasion.
With him and others seated to be conferred, the Ojogba singled him out for his courage and determination to take Kogi State to greater heights, as well as his developmental efforts, both at the local government and state levels.
HRH urged him to rededicate himself to the promotion of the culture of his community and engage in more communal services for which he was known over time.
In his response, Idris thanked HRH and Ife kingdom for the singular recognition and honour done him and promised to reciprocate by redoubling his efforts to do more for the betterment of the immediate communities and the society at large.
Soon after the chieftaincy conferment, he took time to attend a rousing reception at the residence in Abejukolo, where dignitaries were treated to sumptuous meal after the occasion.
As a community leader and new member of the Ife Traditional Council, Chief Abubakar Idris attended the silver jubilee of The Ojogba of Ife and promised to advance the traditional institution and the culture of the land.
He promised to do more in the area of development, empowerment and encouragement of our teeming youths into embracing profitable ventures.
He used the opportunity to extend unreserved gratitude to many Nigerians, the people of Kogi State and numerous supporters, followers and allies that created time out of their tight schedules to attend the programme of his installation as Ochada Onu’Ife, Tokula.
•Yusuf Abubakar writes from FCT Abuja.
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