The legacies of Aboko Ebigye, Prince Likita Amula Azyjidoku
Ebigye Prince Likita Amula Azyjidoku, left with microphone when a traditional title was bestowed on former General Manager of Benue Urban Development Board, Mr Oliver Atama, right
By HRH Dr. Sabo Azyjidoku Emmanuel
Time flies. And most often than not works of some personalities are unconsciously or deliberately forgotten or ignored. Buthowever, documented evidences on tablets, even if they are articles of exhibitionism, posterity will remember them as great people. These nostalgic memories shall remain indelible inscriptions on the tabular rasa of any-a surrealist. Indeed, this is a tragic irony in deep expression of paroxysm.
Aboko-Ebigye Amula, fall into the juvenile rankings of King Azyjidoku Agabi, the Abiseku of Abinsi between 1912-1928. He was the second, after Sabo Azyjidoku, the Abiseku of Abinsi who reigned between 1967-1985. Their mother Amikelo Azyjidoku, had a daughter named Amatum completing number (3) three in that trinitised chronological order. They had many half brothers and half sisters in their great numbers. By coincidence of marriage, Awabishe and Amikelo both became wives of king Azyjidoku. Atama, Agwono, Anyabeji Anyakweyi, Ayiwa were the children of Awabishe who was an Aunt to Amikelo. Amikelo had a sister named Adumashi who gave birth to Akwose, Apobye and Alami. Amikelo, Adumashi, Adungye and Agbunu are children to Anyisanu, daughter to Atike sister to Alantani, mother to Asayi Gyere-Asemanya Atekpa.
Just like some children of Azyjidoku at time their father joined his ancestors, uncle Amula grew up with his maternal uncle Asayi-Gyere Asemenya Atekpa. He was properly groomed and became very skillful in the art of fishing and commerce. His dexterity and enterprising adventurism catapulted him to an unprecedented position of fame. This giant stride in search of fortunes,
his humility, his promotion of peace in all the places he sojourned, magnated him to or glued him to his pet name-Likita. That was the name he used throughout his middle-age period as acknowledged by his admires from the Lower Benue to Upper Benue and even beyond Adamawa enclave. He was fondly embraced by the array of tribe conglomerates; such as: Bachama, Mbula, Jenjo Batawa, Kanakuri etc, who are Jukun playmates and amiable friends.
When his bother Sabo became king in 1967, uncle Amula automatically halted far away voyages in search of livelihood. He decided to circulate within and around areas of fishing expedition; shuttling between Abinsi vicinity, Asugu, Akatsu and Anyishi, fishing camps. His gigantic dragnet (taru or Akyelebe) was a real magnet in the waters. This decision not to go too far away from his brother was to keep watch and respond to some areas of palatial needs. Uncle Atama and some good number of Awakpoko brotherhood actually closed rank and facilitated all the needed palatial obligations. It was all fanfare there in the palace till individually the brothers answered the call to glory.
At the demise of his brother in 1985, uncle Amula became fully integrated into ‘Awatsa’ membership. He was crowned Aboko Ebigye though not so keen in accepting the title ship, which ranks the holder 4th (fourth) in command in the hierarchical traditional rating position, as an indisputable Prince.
During the Regency period in Abinsi between 1997-2008, when he passed on to the great beyond, uncle, contributed immensely to the development of Abinsi. He was just like a king, but not crowned in view of his central position, his age, his fame, not a petite bourgeoisie, his wisdom, his charisma, his strong desire to keep peace, maintain law and order, very accommodating and with a burning desire to speak the truth all the time. Today, not only his immediate family members but the entire Abinsi community are starved of his absence. It is still whispered among the Jukuns, the Hausas, the Tivs, the Kabawas and some ethnic nationalities in Abinsi, this absence of the iconic leader, a philanthropist, peace Ambassador and the lover of Jukun cultural heritage. Up till now, with such nostalgic feelings some people reechoed some of the wordings he used to say such as ‘ Ami Amula Azyjidoku, any time he would address crowds of people on Christmas, New year, and any other occasion he featured. And to us his children he would say ‘Awa Kunyata Pa La, n bayi fu yo’- interpreted as – I do not cherish anything that will result to shame and disgrace.
For those who will care to know and possibly emulate his virtues, Uncle Amula Azyjidoku has left behind the following legacies. That it pays to be industrious through hard work. Your romance within and outside your threshold will earn you respect and honour. Your love for humanity, the quest to bring about enduring peace and prosperity is very germane. Embrace all and not being restrictive to only members of your immediate family. Do not be a mischief maker and trading in falsehood. Above all, stand for the truth, assist and promote the Jukun culture, tradition in the brotherhood.
Uncle Amula Azyjidoku, up to the time of his death had the followings as his biological children. Amaku, Aliza, Adoku, Ashepwo, Ladi, Talatu. And so many grand children as: Habila, Saraya, Adaba, Gambo, Ausoshi, Samaila and others too numerous to mention. Equally, Uncle Amula is being fondly remembered by some of his brothers and sisters children, such as :Akasuwa, Aberi, Agyokpa, Azeto, Emmanuel, Maigari, Matanyashi, Aweyi, Akyotu, Adako, Dantala, Ayima, Ausoshi, Aduniya, Gombo, Ayere, Anisha, Atoni, Sunday, Ajuma, Martha, Mary, Steven, Bulus, Antinyi, Mgbede, Sabo, Amateyi, Samaila Elshaddai as children and grand children too many to list.
All of us enjoyed his company when he was alive. We were classified and categorized as “Azye’ ndo ‘ Mula”-meaning Amula’s children. Outsiders or even somebody under the influence of moose milk could hardly notice the difference. But today what is the story like? Individualism or communalism?
Uncle sleep well. Rest in peace. Same to all parents. Uncle (Baba Kiti) Antinyi Asemanya is still keeping watch.
Awa Kindo ka pyeh.