It was an atmosphere of glitz and glamour in Idah, the traditional headquarters of the Igala Kingdom on Friday, 4th March as the Paramount ruler of the Kingdom, HRM Matthew Alaji Opaluwa was administered the oath of office and presented with the staff of office as the 28th Atta Igala, and President, Kogi State Council of Chiefs by the state Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello.
The epoch event which marked the begining of his rule over the Kingdom, witnessed the presence of the Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Mohammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III, an array of other traditional and political dignitaries from across the Nigeria.
Governor Bello in his charge to the Royal father urged him not to politicize his new position but serve in the good interest of the people as he leads with the fear of God, fairness and justice as the banner of his reign.
He added that the New Direction Government has brought sanity into the issues of emergence of traditional rulers and chiefs in the state which in previous time were huge source of scuffle and crisis through ensuring fairness and non interference in the selection and emergence to such position.
Similarly, on the 5th of March, Governor Yahaya Bello performed the official presentation of staff of office to 104 approved, graded and upgraded traditional rulers across the 21 Local Government Areas of the state at the Muhammadu Buhari Civic Center Lokoja where 31 first class, 30 Second Class and 43 third class received oath of office.
Yahaya Bello at the event advocated that traditional institution in the country must be consciously included as the fourth tier of government if the nation would enjoy absolute security, peace and tranquility.
He added that traditional rulers are revered as the custodian and owners of the land hence they are grasped with the knowledge of their respective terrain and can easily identify crime perpetrators if they are fully incorporated into the running of government’s affairs.
Bello asserted that his administration has achieved landmark feet in security due to the deliberate involvement of the traditional institution in the state who plays pivotal role in ensuring that criminals and criminality had no footing in their respective domain.
The Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Ozigi Deedat in his address opined that the large crowd and glamour of the events indicated clearly that the people of the state held traditional institution in high esteem while the administration has consistently placed premium on the welfare and making sure that they were effective, responsible and responsive.
The Commissioner charged the beneficiary traditional rulers to use their offices to maintain and sustain peace and security in their respective domain noting that Kogi state government under governor Bello’s leadership would continue to partner with them in this regard.
Representing the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammed Saad Abubakar iii, the Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Dr. Yahaya praised the state government for another milestone in the history of traditional institution in the state under the governor’s leadership. He noted that the gesture by the state government was a call to do more in their respective locality in ensuring that the peaceful momentum was sustained.