Victor Kwara Nicholas
Recall that on October 26th, 2016, at about 15:23 pm,Yaroson Gure Ibrahim (sic) posted in Piriga Youths’ Forum begging fellow sons and daughters of the land under discourse to educate him on the meaning of the word ‘Piriga’. As “honest” as this question seemed, a third-eyed, more sane and rational mind should deduce and or decipher the intent of this pregnant hide-to- seek request, a well-researched answer emanating from old men/women from Kahugu nation is key and apt. As plausible and commendable as this quest for knowledge by Yaroson might be, the meaning of piriga should be put into perspective because historical facts are sacred and immutable, thus, they cannot be manufactured or circumvented.
It is worth noting too that the area under review is located at the north-western part of Kajjina-Fadan Kahugu, it is a beautiful site to behold, when it is time for “uzuttu”-hunting, the Kaguu nation reunites with their kith and kin around that rich part of the land to hunt and get “inama” bush meat therefrom, the hills around the area are good too for site-seeing. The land is so fertile that farmers who cultivate it may not need the modern fertilizer much for them to get good harvests. The “iriga” small white rats are special species of animals that can be kept in any zoo to boast the economy.
From the foregoing as we posited hitherto, this piece is not aimed at explaining everything about Piriga, we alluded to the fact that the intention of this piece is hinged on correcting the wrong and false narratives on its etymology and meaning, it is not a subjective word, it has roots and one outside the Kaguu nation cannot state the facts except if he/she makes a research in the land under discourse, and for a reasearch to be true and accurate and the facts established accepted by the public, all processes must be followed. For example, for me to know more about the characterizations of “Ya na wan gbian” culture of the Tiv people and the “Alekwu” of the Idoma nations of Benue state, as a non-indegine, I must go to Benue state and make my research. I cannot write their belief system or history without meeting them. Therefore, we feel that the twisted narratives for whatever reasons about the meaning of Piriga should be put into perspective and no one should key into a false narrative except a research is carried out.
Etymologically, the name under review (Piriga) is a Kaguu (Kahugu) word. It refers to a small white rat found on the uppermost part of the soil that as one tills the land, it comes out in speed for fear of being caught. Its plural is called “iriga”! Thus, the land from that part of Kahugu land hosts “iriga”, its features inter alia include hills, soil fertility etc. It is essentially an exclusively inalienable land of the Kahugu people.
From the foregoing, we do not intend herein to digress from the topic under interrogation,I hope my brother Yaroson got the meaning of Piriga!
Victor Kwara Nicholas