By Ade, Joseph Otor
The potent wind of globalisation is blowing very fast and, the severally scattered people are integrated, reintegrated and knitted together.Thus, the barriers which had hitherto impeded our close relationship and mutual efforts and cooperation have all removed. Today, the world’s windows have been opened for stock taking, new frontiers carved for us to cash in and out the multiple treasures that abound in trans-border relations and cooperation. ‘Locals’ across the world who were scatterred by political consequences, natural disasters and migrations, are fastly reuniting.The social media has evolved a potent and a perennial tool for these multifaceted linkages. Also, socio- cultural institutions have become reckoned forces.
Igede is a tribe in Benue State, Cross River State and Ekiti State with unique and distinct culture. The highest population is concentrated in Benue. It is a truism to opine that the Igede people are scattered around the states of the Nigerian federation. Igede has produced eminent Professors, Legal luminaries, Medical icons, Business moguls, Music stars and renowned politicians. These people over the years have contributed immensely to national development. Across the world, Igede professionals are domiciled in various countries with some of them as citizens of these countries or, having permanent residences in these countries. Thus, the challenge of integration has become more alarming, urgent and important and, obviously, the Adirahu Ny’Igede should be saddled with that herculean task.
Several efforts have been made over the years at fostering Igede nationalism and Identity. A lead writer in this regard is Professor Adagba Okpaga. It is time for the Igede nation to appropriate the benefits of the existing scholarship on Igede affairs. It is time for us to be global citizens with culpable measures and potent strategies on how we can appropriate the world’s resources at fostering development at home.Igede cannot lag behind at this challenging time.If we must progress, we must pick up good challenges from our neighbours.For instance, an individual in Idoma( Ado) personally initiated the Agila Festival that has metamorphosed into Idoma Carnival. This carnival has become a global tourist destination and attraction. The MUTA, MUKTA and the Idoma conventions across the world should become exemplary.
In fact, without the wounds of envy, the paradox of emulation should be our compass as we need to urgently nagivate an uncommon; an unusal; a novel and a positively consequential paths. From an incremental level and approach, we must do something new. Such initiatives will grow with different generations.
As said earlier, socio- cultural institutions are potent instruments in this integration drive. The traditional institutions when veritable, coherent, compelling, assertive, congenital with legitimacy can avail much. The Adirahu Ny’Igede, HRM Chief Oga Ero as a ‘centrist persona’ has all it takes to mobilize the Igede people for the attainment of every lofty height or goal. The Omi’Ny’Igede should also act in concurrence to the Adirahu’s will. Igede Consultative Forum should also synergize . The political pragmatism and proactiveness of our political representatives if plausible can avail much.
remember the high level of enthusiasm in Igede that greeted the creation of the First Class Chiefdom by Governor Samuel Ortom. That enthusiasm should be sustained by the cultural and the unrelenting efforts of Adirahu Ny’Igede at fostering every initiative that can place Igede on a higher pedestal than he met it. He should be a father to all. As a father, he should be bordered by what troubles his children. Regular interfaces with the Igede elite and other strata will allow for cross pollination of ideas. With collectivism, they can hunt for the world’s opportunities and bring them home.Our Adirahu Ny’Igede deserves every patronage from us.
As we look around the world, through our sons and daughters, we want to see development interventions in Igede from the American Government, the Japanese government, the UK, the Chinese government, the Polish institutions and the Igede People in the Diasporas. This is the meaning of integration. This is the new order in the world.We must help groom the youths since they become the harbingers of tomorrow. Our youths deserve scholarship.The traditional institutions through the Adirahu Ny’Igede should give recognitions to our sons and daughters based on their verifiable and laudable efforts at developing Igede.
Conclusively, let us all agree that we are doing something very urgently to placing Igede somewhere in the world’s map. Such situation is not a matter of geographical location but an exigency of raising its profile as an ethnic group and developing its people. We must take advantage of the multiple human resources we have.We must explore and harvest maximally from our rich culture. Among other things, Igede Agba Festival is a door we can unlock to the world. We must sieve it of every political content and restore its cultural values. Let the globe welcome us as we stroll into its folds.
There must be an urgent agenda setting if we must strive well in the new world order.