Alhaji(Dr) Aliyu Obaje. CON, CBE., CFR.,…

His Majesty, the Atta'gala at a function at his palace

By Our Reporter

Alhaji(Dr) Aliyu Obaje. CON, CBE., CFR., The Atta of Igala and Chairman, Kogi State Council of Chiefs, was born in 1920 at Atoda, Ugwolawo in present day Ofu local government area of Kogi State. to Atta Obaje Ocheje of the Onu Akumabi Ruling.

He started his education at the Native Authority School, NA., Idah from where he proceeded to Dekina Middle School. Thereafter, he worked as a Costing Clerk with the old Kabba Province.He proceeded to University College Ibadan from 1947 to 1948, from where he got employed as an Instructor at the Institute of Administration Zaria.

Following the demise of Atta Umoru Ameh Oboni on 26th June,1956, the stool of the Atta became vacant for 6 months as demanded by tradition. During this period, the Premier of Northern Nigeria, Sir Ahamadu Bello, KBE., Instructed that, considering the strategic position of the Igala nation, the next Atta should be literate.

This set the King Makers on their search for the most suitable prince to occupy the exalted position. The result of this search was the installation of Aliyu Obaje Ocheje as Atta Igala on 2nd November, 1956.

Upon assumption of office as paramount ruler, the first area His Majesty set his attention was education. This was because the level of illiteracy amongst his people was high. His efforts soon started dividends as the Government Crafts School Idah was established soon after. The school which later became Government Technical College in 1977, provided a platform for training various skills. He also influenced the establishment of Ochaja Boys and Girls Colleges in 1960 and, Idah College of Technology (which later became Federal Polytechnic Idah in 1977). He also influenced the creation of the School of Health Technology Idah. During His Majesty’s reign, Igala kingdom witnessed relative peace and unprecedented prosperity.

The creation of Kogi State on 26th February, 1991 couldn’t have been possible without the inspiring role. The Atta’s philosophy of “live and let others live” has made it possible for him to carry all his subjects along.