Written by Hajia Dr Bilkisu Sani and published by S.B.TECH ABAJI FCT ABUJA
The seven chapter book is written purposely to expose the culture and level of moral decadence that the Ebira people of Kogi central senatorial district of Nigeria are going through in recent times.
Chapter one of the book revealed that Ebira tribe is the next largest after the three major ethnic groups in Nigeria. The word Ebira means “Good Character’’ and Ebira people are found in ten states in Nigeria.
History revealed that Ebira people migrated from Wukari in Taraba state to their present location. Itaazi the father of the Ebiras had five sons who are the founder of various district in Ebira land. The children and their districs are as follows; Adadiriku /Ohiri (Adavi), Ododo (Okehi), Obaji (Eika), Uga ( Okegwen ) and Ochuga/ Onotu (Ihima). His daughter named Ohunene settled in Eganyi district.
Ebiraland is a small hilly inland area that stretches for about 23km west of Niger and 32km south west of Niger-Benue confluence. The settlement is characterized by hills which rises up to 667km above sea level. At present the population of Ebiraland is estimated to be 884,396km (NPC). The Ebiras are republican by nature and their occupations are farming and weaving.
Chapter two is about Ebira cultural festivals which include: Eche Ane, which is an annual masquerade festival celebrated in rotation from district to district between April and June Eche Ori is celebrated as new yam festival in Ihima and Eganyi districts while Ekuechi is a masquerade festival celebrated for marking the end and beginning of the Ebira calendar year. Celebration of marriage in Ebiraland also has a space in this chapter.
Chapter three was all about Ebira musical instruments while chapter four is on the factors responsible for the lost glory of Ebira which includes society causes, governmental causes and parental causes. Chapter five is on the roles of parents, society and government in the process of restoration of the lost glory. Ebira names, their meaning and some historical events are in chapter six while chapter seven is on the issues bordering around Ebira unity and the mission statement of Ohiku Egbura descendants. The health implication of stress is not left out in this chapter.
Review of a book is all about its critical evaluation. The book rescuing the glory of Ebira has revealed that Hajia Bilkisu is a lover of good morals and as well desire such for her nation, hence her effort is worthy of commendation. And for the Ebiras to have thrown their support behind her to write this type of book is a proof that they are neither hypocrites nor pretenders but lovers of truth and what is right.
This book is a call for every individual, family , society, and government to live up to expectation in the process of discharging their duties and responsibilities to promote desirable behaviours. The size of this book is another quality that is worthy of comments, the book is written in clear and concise manner such that anyone who lay hands on it could easily read and digest the contents within a short period of time as Nigerian are not ready for long reading.
The timely nature of this book is worthy of note, at present corruption and wickedness in Ebira land and Nigeria as a nation is at its peak, hence this book is a clarion call on all and sundry to shun evil and do what is right.
Although this book is on rescuing the glory of Ebira and there are other ethnic groups in Nigeria where similar things happening in Ebiraland are also obtainable, as such the author would have liken what is happening in Ebiraland to other tribes in Nigeria and call for peaceful coexistence and harmonious living nationwide.
As celebration with masquerade has been marked with violence and destruction in Ebiraland in recent times, the author would have used this book to clear the air on this that it was once used to appease the gods and request for blessings for the Ebiras and at the same time entertain people.
Finally, I implore everyone that will read this book to join hands with Hajia Bilkisu not only to rescue the glory of Ebira but the glory of our various ethnic groups and the glory of our nation Nigeria at large.
Rev Williams Shaibu