Ohinoyi Ebira Selection: Ataba and the seeds of time
By Tom Ohikere
The ancient throne of the Ebira kingdom, one of the foremost tribes in the great Nigerian national tapestry is once again vacant with the transition to the great beyond of his royal majesty, Dr Ado Ibrahim, who has reigned as monarch since June, 1996.
As demanded by custom, the appointment of a new Ohinoyi has become imperative in keeping in line with the age long tradition which has been formally enshrined in Edict 3 of 1997. As expected, respectable and eligible candidates from across Ebiraland have been registering their intent and making their case before the Ebira traditional council, which is currently the Council of Kingmakers to be the next occupant of this most esteemed and coveted throne.
Unlike many other paramount thrones in this country, the Ohinoyi’s stool is not based on dynastic succession, but on rotation among the five leading districts to which all worthy sons of the great Ebira kingdom could aspire to in the hope that the most credible and prominent of them emerges to ascend to the royal seat.
One man that the eyes of the future seems to be shining on among the motley of candidates is Mohammed Sani Omolori, popularly referred to as Ataba by close friends and admirers who was the clerk of the national assembly between May, 2016 and July, 2020. A man of great accomplishments and amiable mien, who is well known and respected across the four corners of the country and opinion survey shows a man loved across the five local governments that make up Kogi Central senatorial district.
Omolori who currently is the Ciroma of Ebiraland is the son of the second paramount Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, Late Muhammadu Sani Omolori, has been blazing the trail, both professionally and publicly since graduating from Ahmadu Bello University in 1982, like someone determined to fill the shoes of his most beloved father who served his people exceptionally for about forthy years. Ataba has attended key academic institutions, both home and abroad, which includes the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, the Royal Institute of Public Administration, London, the Public Law Centre, New Orleans, Luciana, USA and also enjoys the membership of the several local and international bodies, including the Nigerian Bar Association; African Bar Association; International Bar Association; Commonwealth Lawyers Association; Commonwealth Association of Legislative Counsels; Society of Clerk-at-the-Table; and Association of Secretary-Generals of Parliaments.
A prince of strict upbringing, a product of the famous Abdulazeez Attah Memorial College, Okene, Mohammed omolori has been a shining example of humility and devotion to the cause of the people of Kogi Central where his philanthropic works dots the landscape. Ranging from classroom constructions in schools in Okene, Nagazi Eba, and others including FCE okene to fully equipping several departments at Upogo Medical Center in Okene, construction of cottage hospital at Iruvochinomi, in Adavi, to the training and distribution of quality seeds to farmers across central senatorial district. Others include installation of 500KVA transformer at Osara Gada, installation of 500KVA transformer at Ozuri Community, installation of solar Street lights at Iruvochinomi, installation of solar powered street lights at FCE Okene, women and youth empowerment programme, motorize borehole provision in many areas among others.
From his professional and humanitarian trajectory over the years, in hindsight a keen observer could look into the seeds of time and see that this young man is destined to seat on the throne of his ancestors.
The selection of a new Ohinoyi is coming at a symbolic time with Governor Yahaya Bello at the tail end of his administration amid the dire need for stability as the people clamour for a king they can connect with. In my recent sojourn round our kingdom during the yuletide, i found that seven out of every ten anebiras that i interacted with are favourably dispose to Ataba’s emergence as the next Ohinoyi of Ebiraland.
As the Ebira Council of Kingmakers and the government of Kogi state moves to elect a new Ohinoyi, i hope the gods of our great land guide them to choose a man who would embody the spirit and aspirations of our people and chart us on the path of a new cultural renaissance.
God bless Anebira, God bless Kogi state.
Dr. Tom Ohikere was a two-time Commissioner of information in Kogi state and the Ohi’enube of Ebiraland