It has finally been confirmed that the Paramount ruler of Igalla Land, Attah Michael Idakwo Ameh Oboni II is dead.
A reliable source told Metropolix Online that the monarch died at Nisa Premier Hospital, Abujat, after undergoing a surgery.
Before his death, Oboni II was the chairman of Kogi State Council of Traditional Rulers.
Even though there is no official confirmation yet concerning his death from either the state government or the palace, sources told us that the silence might not be unconnected with the Igala tradition and belief that the Attah does not die.
“They only travel and the journey is very far, so he suffer waist pain,” a source familiar with the tradition said while explaining the belief of the Igala people when it comes to the death of their paramount traditional ruler.
He added that, “It is only after nine days that the Palace will issue a statement to the effect that Attah has travelled very far.”
The Attah is expected to be buried in the forest where Igala kings are buried.
According to Igala tradition, before the coronation of an Attah, he will be taken to the forest where kings are buried and he will select his burial spot.
Attah Michael Idakwo Ameh Oboni II was the first Attah in Igala history to be married to only one wife and embraced Christianity.
Amongst his many achievements during his seven-year reign include the restoration of the Igala distorted culture and tradition.
He was able to lobby the Kogi State government to unban the ‘Ocho Festival’ previously banned by the Northern Nigeria Regional Government in the 1950s.
Also, he endeared himself to the Igala people by initiating Igala Reunification Project, which saw to the gathering of Igalas from Delta, Edo and Enugu States at the palace yearly.
His father was Attah Ameh Oboni.
Dr Idakwo Michael Ameh Oboni II was born at Idah on February 19, 1949 to the royal family of Agabaidu Ameh Oboni, who reigned as Attah of Igala between 1946 and 1956.
Attah Michael Ameh Idakwo started his primary education at Saint Boniface primary school, Idah in 1956, completing the primary education phase in December 1962.
HRM performed creditably in his entrance examination conducted by the Missionaries for admission to secondary school in the then Northern Region and was admitted into Saint Augustine College, Kabba, in January 1963.
The then Prince Idakwo, who was already baptised in the Catholic sect and had adopted the name Michael, acquired his West African School Certificate at Kabba in December 1967. At that time, the Nigeria civil war was brewing in 1967 and there was an urgent need for recruitment of personnel into the Armed Forces to help prosecute the war.
Michael Ameh Oboni was readily available and he got enlisted into the Nigerian Air Force in 1968.
Due to his quest to continue academic pursuit, Michael quit the Air Force after his six years of military expedition in 1974 and thereafter gained admission into the Kaduna Polytechnic that same year to study Estate Management, where he obtained a Higher National Diploma in 1980.
He went through the mandatory national service at the Federal Mortgage Bank posted to Bauchi State in 1981.
After his NYSC, Attah Idakwo got employment in the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), Abuja where he began his estate management career in 1981 as a Higher Estate Officer and his insatiable quest for academic achievements also took him to the University of Abuja to study Political Science at the undergraduate level, earning a B.Sc degree in 2005.
He was installed Attah of Igala in 2013 by then Kogi State governor, Capt. Idris Wada.
He was the second Attah of Igala in post-independent Nigeria after Attah Aliyu Obaje who ruled from 1956 to 2012.
According to the age-long Igala tradition, the Attah does not eat or dance in public. He does not shake hands with a woman, he does not carry a baby of less than three months of age, he does not use canoe and he does not set his eyes on a dead body.