Ohinoyi of Ebiraland Throne
Kogi State was created on 27th August 1991 with the special assistance of Ebira sons, Gen. Salihu Ibrahim (then Chief of Army Staff), Aliyu Atta (then Inspector General of Police) and Alha Abdulrahman Okene (then Minister of Internal Affairs) who were all members of a 14-Member Armed Forces Ruling Council (AFRC) controlling the affairs of the Federal Republic of Nigeria under the Military President, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida.
Thus the long-existing agitation for Kogi State was realised; a mere reincarnation of the defunct Kabba Northern Nigeria which became on 27th May 1967; first as West Central State s name which the Ebiras and Igalaa instantly kicked against and the State was renamed Kwara State Ilorin as Capital.
Though the Ebira soft-predated on the setting of the capital at Ilorin, the Igalas agitated that it was too far for them and started clamouring for the then Igala Division to be excised and merged with the Idomas and Tivs to form Benue State which was carved out of the old Benue-Plateau State in 1976.
Sequel to this, the agitation for Kogi State was championed by the Ebiras while the Okuns clamoured for a merger with their neighbouring Ekiti people of Yoruba land who they consider historically as their kiths and kins But the agitation of the Ebiras was just to carve out the old Kabba Province as a full-fledged State from Kwara State; comprising the defunct Igala Division, Igbirra Division, Kabba Division and Kwara Division (which became Kogi Division) with the birth of Kwara State in 1967); a dream which was finally realised in 1991 as aforementioned.
It may not be out of place to mention that the Author, Engr. Sarki Idris Enesi was the Secretary of the Borno Chapter of Kogi State Movement under the able Chairmanship of Alh. Salami (an Okun man who was then an unknown Petroleum Marketer in Maiduguri) with whom the Author used to attend the Ikoyi Headquarters meetings at 2, Bedwell St. Ikoyi-Lagos.
The Igalas were then clamouring for their dream Okura State which up to date has not seen the light of the day. On a particular occasion, Col. Ahmadu Ali (rtd) and his loyalists attended but claimed they were mere observers. What an irony! But today Kogi State has been hijacked by the Igalas and yet still strongly agitating for Okura State while at the same time marginalising the Ebiras with the assistance of the Okuns.
It is sad to mention that the First Executive Governor of Kogi State was conceded by the Ebiras to Late Prince Abubakar Audu on a platter of gold and yet he began the marginalisation of the Ebiras in Kogi Polity; an agenda of the Igala Project with the full support of some Ebira sons because of their dream the Ebira Kingdom in the 21st Century under the Presidential System of Nigeria. What a dream.
No sooner was Kogi State created than a Memo Ref: CH/PA1/SOT/415/91 dated 16th November 1991 emanated from Alh. Ado Ibrahim; addressed the Military Administrator with a view to rewriting Ebira History; strongly backed up with his so-called Ebira Cultural Union (ECU) with the Headquarters in today’s Azad Palace (then Solomon Lodge).
There he was holding regular meetings with the Clan Chiefs who were made to see themselves as being relegated to the background by the then Ohinoyi of Ebiraland; thereby buying them over and dissuading them from attending Ebira Area Traditional Council meetings. It was then that the so-called Resolution 47/135 of 18th December 1992 of today’s “ghost” EPICS of the defunct ECU was made.
During the same period a lot of money was holed out to performing Ebira Masquerades (both day and night masquerades); causing mayhem here and there just to erode the powers of the then Ohinoyi of Ebiraland (regarded by Ado and Cohorts as a Regent); using successive Military Administrators and subterfuge to achieve mischiefs in the land.
And in his Machiavellian style, he bought the Ebira Area Traditional Council members to rubber-stamp his selection as Atta III of Ebiraland; a recommendation which was turned down at the State Council of Chiefs meeting of 15th May 1997 and in its stead recommended him for “Ohinoyi of Ebiraland”, the vacant stool! He pressurized for a change of Title vide Ebira Area Traditional Council memo Ref:
ETC/CH1/S.54/VOL.1/55 of 23rd June 1997 (barely 21 days of his appointment as “Ohinoyi of Ebiraland”) but deliberation on this memo had to be deferred till 1998 in view of the Court Case HC/6/98 challenging his appointment as ‘ ‘Ohinoyi of Ebiraland” instead of “Atta of Ebiraland”, a non-existent stool he wanted.
A case judged in favour of the Plaintiffs at Anyigba High Court (3rd April 2006) and Abuja Appeal Court (12th January 2009) but upturned at Supreme Court in favour of Ado Ibrahim just to allow peace reign in Ebiraland; after all the legal gymnastics and tricks; allegedly backed up with a foreign exchange.
The Supreme Court Judgment of 5th June 2015 tactically avoided going into the merit of the Case and therefore on the technical grounds of “statute barred” action merely upheld the appointment of Alh. Dr. Ado Ibrahim as Ohinoyi of Ebiraland alongside the Succession Modality Edict 3 of 6th May 1997.
A case in which Kogi State Chief Executive (Military Administrator) was the 1st Defendant while the State Attorney General was the 2nd Defendant with others co-joining them; a case which spanned 18 years through High Court, Appeal Court and Supreme Court.
But today Ado Ibrahim is hiding under the guise of the “ghost” EPICS to sponsor the Atta Dynasty proposition! Is it sheer coincidence that the Palace of the Successor of the 1st Appellant in the said Case (SC:99/2009) is the Address of the “ghost” EPICS (Ebira Peoples Institute of Culture and Society)?
Most probably with the intent to mislead the government. Is it because Ado Ibrahim is related to the incumbent Kogi State Governor that he wants to use him to foist on us an Atta Dynasty? The proponents of Atta Dynasty can now see its incompatibility with the Ebira people in view of the foregoing Ebira history vis-å-vis the following extracts from Archival records.