This is indeed a cheering news for Idoma citizens as the abandoned Och’Idoma Palace road is currently wearing a new look courtesy of the new Sole Administrator of Otukpo LG, Hon. George Alli.
It is known fact that Och’Idoma’s Palace is the symbolic totem of the Idoma community, the second largest ethnic group in Benue State, comprising of no less than 22 districts and 144 clans. The palace is the residence of the spiritual head and custodian of the tradition of the Idoma nation.
The palace in Otukpo is made up of the inner palace and the square where rallies, coronations, receptions and other cultural gathering by Idoma indigenes take place.
As you enter the compound, the first thing that greets you is the red and black stripe (the Idoma traditional identity) that flies side by side the Nigerian green white and green flag.
The image of Agabaidu (unflagging lion), the symbol of heroism and territorial exploits of Och’Idoma and Idoma kingdom stands unworried in a scruffy ‘coat’.
The importance of the palace cannot be overemphasized beyond its outward appearance as a royal abode, it is the symbolic embodiment of the Idoma soul.
Before now, any proud son and daughter of Idomaland, the condition of this all-important edifice is nothing to be proud of let alone be viewed as befitting for any royalty.
Coming to the palace through a dilapidated Och’Idoma Road, you are welcome to the throne with an already wearing out signpost that reads, “Welcome to Och’Idoma Palace, Otukpo.” This was erected by a popular commercial bank a few years back.
A regular visitor to the Idoma traditional would want to think that things are currently falling apart in the traditional engine house of the Idoma Kingdom.
With the caliber of who is who in the society churned out by this ancient community, one would wonder with head bow and one hand akimbo on why the palace of the chief custodian of the Idoma community is looking desolated and forsaken.
A step into the palace brings shame and disappointment as weeds are literally in contention of the throne with the monarch.
Grasses have found resting place on the fence surrounding the Royal Villa.
Question upon question with no answer.
The Och’Idoma Road is in sorry state as nothing has been done by the government to rehabilitate it.
However, few weeks after assuming office as the LG boss of the traditional stool of Idoma community, George Alli swung into action and has started work on the long abandoned road.
At the moment, the bald-headed old road is now motorable.
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