By Ayegba Abdullahi Adojoh
My sincere regards to the king for honestly confirming that Igala migrated from ancient Egypt to the present day Nigeria, though did not include the year, and did not also tell us the origin and year of migration of Ile Ife, Osun state, which is said to be the origin of Okun people. Including the origin and year of migration of the founders of Ife to the area would have given us another opportunity of knowing who is older between Igala kingdom and Ile Ife based on real evidence and not myth.
But be as it may, the king was right to have said that Igala migrated from ancient Egypt to Nigeria as all evidence are already online, but was not right to have said that Igala kingdom or Attahsip was founded by Abutu Ejeh in 16th century. Maybe, he forgot that Igala-Benin war was fought in 16th century (1515-1516), and that it was fought by Attah Ayegba Oma Idoko, who buried alive his daughter, Princess Inikpi , the statue of whom is at Ega market Idah, beside river Niger for the sake of the war, and that Attah Ayegba ruled after Attah Idoko who ruled after Attah Aganapoje who ruled after Attah Amichi (Ebulejonu) who ruled after Attah Abutu Ejeh who ruled after Attah Olema II who ruled after Attah Agoshi who ruled after Attah Agbo who ruled after Attah Anogeno who ruled after Attah Olema I who ruled after Attah Ogala Eri who ruled after Attah Ogu who ruled after Attah Ocholi, etc.
So, to have said that Abutu Ejeh brought Attah title or Kingdom to Igala, he was not right because as shown briefly above and which can also be confirmed from the online works of Sergeant and others, many people ruled as Attah Igala Kingdom before Abutu Ejeh came to Idah in 14th century, and the palace of Attah Igala was at Opu-Ata then. Opuata is still a community in Idah till date, just a stone’s throw from the location of Attah Igala’s palace presently.
That apart, as stated by the monarch, that Igala migrated from Egypt and settled in Borno state, the location founded by Igala in Borno state was called Attah Igala (just the way Angola was named after Ngola, the title of the kings of Ndongo) community which is today corrupted to Atagara by Hausa speakers. Attah Igala (Atagara) community is in Gwoza LGA of Borno state. This means that Igala had Attah as a king even while at Borno state on their arrival at the present day Nigeria.
Also, in order to get enough fishing place and land for farming, Attah Igala then moved with his people to the area later called Kwararafa empire or confederation where Attah Igala founded another community also called Attah Igala community but later corrupted to Atangara/Tangara by Hausa speakers as usual. This Tangara community was the second capital of Kwararafa then led by Attah Igala, after the Santolo the second capital of Kwararafa, a community which is now under Kano state. As the rotation continued, Wukari was the last capital of Kwararafa and then led by the Aku Uka of Wukari before the collapse of the empire, making him the last King of Kwararafa.
Again, this is to remind the monarch that that Igala had Attah even while under Kwararafa confederation or empire.
The Attahship continued with the headquarters at Opu-Ata when Anu people (Igalaogba) and Igalamela groups first migrated from Kwararafa to Idah, leaving behind the ancestors of Abutu Ejeh which made Abutu Ejeh and other Igala remnants along with Idoma and other Igala related groups to join those already in Idah very much later.
With this humble reply of mine, I believe the respectable monarch would understand that Igala had been having Attah as a king right from Egypt (Note: Igala ruled ancient Egypt for 90 years – 2130BC to 2040 BC in which Attah Igala still wear Pharaoh’s crown, Earrings, use funeral boat till date; Ata as a name is of ancient Egyptian origin which means”The Great one”, “father”, “elder” just like Pharaoh which means “The Great house”. Ata was the name of the 4th Pharaoh of the first Dynasty Pharaohs – 3150 BC to 2890 BC), and continued in Borno state through Kwararafa in the present day Borno state to Idah in the present day Kogi state. Igala had had thousands of Attah Igala already but due to documentation problems; the list of Attah Igala from late 0900AD to 2020 has 82 Attah Igala with Attah Idakwo Ameh Oboni II been the 82nd Attah, and is available at the palace of Attah Igala for any interested person to access.
Adojoh is Teacher, Researcher and General Ambassador of Attah Igala