REMARKABLE EVENTS AND DATES IN THE HISTORY OF IGALA KINGDOM written by Felix Solomon Omachoko
(1)Attah Ayegba Oma Idoko offered his most beloved daughter, Omodoko to be buried alive to ensure that the Igalas win a war of liberation from the Jukuns’ dominance and that of Inikpi against Benin kingdom
(2) 1824-1839 was the reign of Attah Ekelega the 11th Attah Igala from Ocholi Akogu .There are two important events to note about the reign of Attah Ekelaga . These were:
(i) Attah Ekelega was the first Attah Igala to come in contact with the Europeans In 1832.
(ii)Attah Ekelega was the first Attah Igala to be assassinated. He was assassinated by the palace eunuchs and the kingmakers headed by the Achadu Abutu Ejigbo. The reason given was that he was a tyrant and that his reign was too long.
(2) Attah Amocheje from1840-1858. Attah Amocheje was the 12th Attah Igala from Itodo Aduka Akumabi . He was the one that signed the abolition of slave trade treaty and also ceded a piece of Igala land, the area covering the present day Lokoja and Ajaokuta to the British Government for a model farm. He received seven Hundred thousand cowries.
(3)Attah Ameh Oboni from 1946-1956 . He died on 26th of August 1956. According to history, Attah Ameh Oboni is known to be very brave and resolute. He is revered for his stiff resistance to the British and his struggles to uphold some ancient traditions of the Igalas. When he got wind of a plan by the British to depose and exile him, he committed suicide by hanging himself to forestall the plan. He is regarded by most Igalas as the last real Attah Igala REMARKABLE EVENTS AND DATES IN THE HISTORY OF IGALA KINGDOM.
(4)Attah Ohiemi Obogo is the 4th Attah Igala from Attah Ayegba Oma’doko . Attah Ohiemi Obogo was a great warrior, a war leader. According to history, he moved the frontiers of his kingdom far eastwards and southwards to Igbo land. He was a vibrant, open minded, disciplined ruler and also the first person to be given the royal chieftaincy title of Makoji Attah by Attah Ayegba Oma’doko himself.
(5)Attah Amacho : Was the first Attah to die in the process of installation .According to history ,When it was the turn of Akumabi lineage to produce a candidate for the office of the Attah Igala after the death of Attah Ohiemi Obogo (Ocholi) Prince Amacho was chosen. Unfortunately Amacho died in the process of his installation.
The Attah Igala rulling houses and kingmakers then met and asked his younger brother Prince Itodo Aduga to replace him. Since then the children of Amacho and Itodo Aduga formed separate lineages with sucesion to the throne of the Attah Igala, together with the children of Ocholi and Akogu lineage.
(6)Attah Akwu Odiba from 1859 – 1962 . The 13th Atta Igala from Ocholi Ayegba. He was one of the best Attah Igala in the history of Igala nation in terms of qualityleadership, discipline, courage and above all hard work. It was during his reign that the Igala kingdom reached its greatest height and fame. The kingdom stretched southwest to Nsukka and Onitsha , northwest to Oturkpo and Igumale, northeast to Lokoja and Koton karfe. It was during his reign that European traders and companies became active on the River Niger. It was also during his reign that Dr William Blake founded Lokoja town in 1860. This led to the establishment of the great Lokoja market in 1860, the market that was the greatest in the central part of Nigeria .
(7)Attah Okoliko Onuche from 1863 – 1882.
The importance of Attah Okoliko Onuche’s reign in Igala history is that it marked the beginning of the decline of the Igala state. During the reign of Attah Okoliko, the European traders actively traded on the Niger. The Royal treasury and the economy were in shambles as the Attah and his chiefs no longer had the monopoly of the European trade because Amocheje had signed the abolition treat in 1841.
(8)Attah Ocheje Onokpa from 1901 – 1903. Attah Ocheje Onokpa was the first Attah to be deposed . He was deposed and banished to Asaba in 1903 .According to history, he was the founder of the present day Asaba .
Attah Ocheje Onokpa ascended the throne as Attah Igala in August, 1901. He was installed under the supervision of a British Colonial Officer Mr. Charles Partridge. The importance of Ocheja Onokpa in Igala history is his opposition to British rule and the division of his kingdom into two. For example, the present Ofu, Igalamela/Odolu, Idah and Ibaji Local Government Areas were made part of Onitsha province of Southern Nigeria. While the present Dekina, Bassa, Omala, Ankpa and Olamaboro Local Government areas were made part of Bassa province of Northern Nigeria.
Attah Ocheje Onokpa was not satisfied with the whole situation. The Government of Southern Nigeria fearing an Igala rebellion accused him of an act likely to disturb the peace. As a result he was deposed and banished to Asaba.
(9)Atta Oboni Akwu from 1905 – 1911. He was the father of the Famous Atah Ameh Oboni the great ! Attah Oboni Akwu was installed the Attah Igala in 1905 after about a two year quarrel about who should succeed the deposed Attah (Ocheje Onokpa). Ocheje Onokpa’s brother Akwu Enede seized the throne by force. The British Colonial administration after an investigation approved the appointment of Oboni Akwu as the new Attah Igala. Like his predecessor, Attah Oboni’s influence never went beyond the present Ofu Local Government Area. Attah Oboni knew where the real sources of power lay and therefore ruled according to the wishes of the Colonial Administration. It was during the reign of Attah Oboni Akwu that the famous government school was opened the same year. The construction of the Idah – Nsukka road was begun during his reign. He died in 1911.
Attah Oguche Akpa from 1911 – 1919 .
The importance of Attah Oguche Akpa in Igala history was that he planned and executed Igala rebellion of 1916 – 1917.This rebellion is sometimes called the Mahionu War.
Attah Oguche Akpa organised the rebellion with the cooperation of prince Atabo Ijomi, (who succeeded him as the Attah Igala in 1919), Amanabo Ogili, (who later became the Amanata during the reign of Obaje Ocheje), and the chief priest of Mahionu spirit. The result of the rebellion was the reunification of the Igala Kingdom in 1918, and the creation of Igala Native Authority later the same year. Attah Oguche Akpa was the first Attah Igala to rule the Igala kingdom after the reunification. He appointed Prince Atabo Ijomi as the first district head of Ugwolawo to reward him for his role during the Igala rebellion of 1916 – 1917. He created districts and gogo areas in the kingdom. He died in 1919.
(10) Prof. Francis S. From 1943- 2014 . late prof. Francis Idachaba was the first Igala professor in the history of Nigeria.
Prof. F S. Idachaba was born in Idah, Kogi State, Nigeria on 4th December, 1943. He had the B. Sc (Economics), University of Ibadan 1967; MA (Economics), University of Chicago 1969 and the Ph. D (Agric Economics) Degrees from Michigan State University in 1972. He started his academic career as an Assistant Professor in Michigan State University in 1972 and rose to become a Professor of Agricultural Economics at the University of Ibadan in 1981. He worked as lecturer, research and consultant in many universities, institutes and research centres in the USA, Canada, The Hague, the Netherlands as well as in Nigeria and many other African countries. He was the pioneer Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Nigeria for 8 years (1988-1995). Ten years later, he was invited to become the Vice-Chancellor of Kogi State University (2005-2008). During this period all of the 29 academic programmes of the university were accredited. PROF. FRANCIS .
REMARKABLE EVENTS AND DATES IN THE HISTORY OF IGALA KINGDOM