Igu, Koton-Karfe kingmakers dare Bello, reject deposition of Ohimege-Igu

All the ruling Houses and three surviving kingmakers of Igu and Koton-Karfe Kingdom have rejected the recent deposition of the Ohimege-Igu Koton-Karfe, Abdulrazaq Isah Koto, by Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, describing it as a sacrilege on the Igu traditional institution.

During a briefing at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Press Centre in Utako, Abuja, yesterday, representative and spokesperson of the eight ruling houses, Kolo Ameh, said the purported coronation of another person as Ohimege would not stand.

He said deposition of their revered king was politically-motivated, adding that the coronation and installation of the Ohimege, which took place 11 years ago, was a cultural tradition not political.

“After 11 years on the throne, you now came out to say that you want to depose the king without a fact. This is injustice because politics is involved. We have never selected our king by political appointment,” the stated.

On January 8, 2024, the governor deposed and banished Koto, who was the Chairman, Lokoja/Kogi Traditional Council, to Rijau Local Council of Niger State.

Ameh stated: “We, the representatives of all the ruling houses and the three surviving of the four kingmakers of Igu, Koton-Karfe Kingdom, wish to state categorically, and most unequivocally, our total rejection of the purported deposition of Abdulrazaq Isa Koto as the Ohimege Igu, Koton-Karfe and Chairman, Lokoja/Kogi Local Government Area traditional council.

“We have also rejected the purported appointment of an Ohimege during a proclamation on television and on social media on January 8, 2024.”

According to him, it is pertinent to state that out of the three royal fathers that were purportedly deposed and banished, it is only Koto that was replaced immediately by that proclamation with the speed of light.

“This smacks of arbitrariness and punitiveness. What has happened on this vexed issue is an anathema and a real mockery of our centuries-long and revered kingship institution of the Ohimege Igu, Koton-Karfe and which, if not urgently addressed, poses great and imminent danger to our respected and highly acclaimed kingship institution and the peace and tranquility of our very old kingdom.

“At this juncture, we wish to draw the attention of all Nigerians to the wilful, calculated and capricious aberration and desecration of our traditional kingship institution, which the Kogi government has wittingly embarked upon with the unjust purported removal and the hasty appointment of an Ohimege to serve the interest of few political jobbers.”

Bello also deposed HRH Sam Ojoa, the Olu Magongo of Magongo, whom he banished to Salka, Magama Local Council of Niger. HRH Samuel Onimisi, the Obobanyi of Emani, was also removed and sent to Doko, Lavun Local Council of Niger.

In what was believed to be fallout of the recent governorship election in the state, in which the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate was declared winner, the governor, who felt betrayed by some of the monarchs, came up with the decision to depose them as punishment for alleged partisanship.

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