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Anioma: Waiting to be Created by the National Assembly of Nigeria
Anioma means good land and, Anioma State is a reality and not a dream, and we must work harder if this reality is to be realized. Before we proceed, we need to take a look at the brief history of the Anioma nation, including its origin, peoples, societal values, and answers to the ethnic identity currently confronting the nation.
It is pertinent to understand that before now there was nothing like Anioma by that that name but the community of people and the place have existed for centuries having been cohabiting from time immemorial. Quite understandably, the name “Anioma” was coined by the fathers of the group led by Chief Dennis Osadebe, Anioma therefore is an acronym derived from the then four existing local governments of the area, Aniocha, Ndokwa, Ika and Oshimili. This development gave birth to Anioma but this should not lead to the hasty conclusion that Anioma is an artificial creation as many are poised to hurriedly conclude since there is no natural or divine creation in existence anywhere.
Not all Anioma are Igbo and not all Igbo are Anioma as the nation comprises of people with different histories of origin, while the oral history of origins of notable towns such as Ibusa, Asaba, Ogwashi-Uku etc lay claims to Nshi (Nri) Isu, Ogboli factor, Nteje factors and theories with progenitors of Igbo extraction such as Umejei, Edini, Nnebuisi, Odaigbo etc, other Anioma towns such as Issele-Uku, Issele-Mkpitime, Onitsha (in present Anambra State,) Onicha-Ugbo, Onicha-Olona, etc are believed to have been founded by Ezechime of Edo extraction, there is however a theory to buttress that certain descendants of Ezechime must have added to the population of Ibusa and Asaba in the origin periods of the communities.
There are also the Ika people of Agbor, Igbanke whose origin are traceable to Edo prince. What is also significant to the Anioma is that Igbo is intelligible to all of these communities.
Suffice it therefore that peoples are what they are because they so chose, the Anioma in particular have decided there fate because “a people are defined by their culture, history and geography. More importantly, a people are defined by how they perceive themselves. In effect, a people are who they say they are” (Anioma People of “The Delta,” by Kunirum Osia.) Essentially, the Anioma have emerged as a nation in the polity of Nigeria . The Anioma have come to represent in Nigeria today an insignia of dignifying and unifying culture as one.
The geopolitical definition of Nigeria today recognizes the Anioma nation as located in the South-south region of the country and in Delta State, finely situated too among the Urhobo, Ijaw, Isoko and Itsekeri all of the ethnic nations that the Anioma have related with for ages and having shared same provinces with in the past. Anioma has 9 Local Governments out of the 25 Local Governments that presently makes up the Delta State in the Niger-Delta region of Nigeria .
Anioma people as noted earlier do not share similar origins, histories, ancestries and linguistics for obvious reasons; in fact, about 13 languages are spoken by the people and include Igbo (Enuani,) Ozzara, Olukunmi (an extinct old Yoruba Language,) Igara, Ika, Ukwuani, Edo, Odiani, Utagba, Aboh etc still the Anioma have been woven by oneness which has uniquely manifested into a globe of one community.
An Ukwuani man however as Monn Olodu remarks
“The culture, food, dressing, names, market days are basically the same. An Ukwuani woman does not need an interpreter to trade at Asaba or Abavo markets” Please note that the culture and languages of Igbo, Edo and Yoruba may have started diverged at a period as postulated here by sanders in his studies of “who are the Nigerian?”:
He wrote that:
“Ibo, Anioma, Yoruba and Edo languages and culture may have started diverging about five thousand years ago; this claim is further strengthened by the archaeological discoveries of the Bronze in Ezerra, by Dr. Hertle.
He further recommended, that the burial grounds in Isele-Uku, Abor and Abudu be excavated for more explanation on the missing links (Anioma, Culture: The Past, Present and the Future, a keynote Lecture Delivered by on the Occasion of the Organization for the Advancement of AniomaCulture (OFAAC) Stakeholders Forum, at Muson Centre, Onikan, Lagos, !3 October, 2005)
The Anioma people are noted to abhor violence, a situation that has placed the people in the list of marginalized people of Nigeria , placing them in utter obscurity even with collective unheard voice in the cry for the development, crass neglect, degradation and absence of government agenda for the betterment of the lives of the people. Roads are missing in the region, lack of amenities all of which has left the youth of the region in pitiable conditions.
Anioma is blessed with natural oil and gas but the derivations from the availability of this oil have not reflected in the lives of the people as developments have been concentrated in other parts of State except Anioma.
True to its name, the Anioma soil is fertile, and several other mineral resources such as rubber, rivers for fishing can be found in Anioma but visible State and Federal presence have been found missing in the development of the region.
The case of Anioma is akin that being suffered by the minority ethnicities in the polity of Nigeria , and the founding fathers such as Chief Dennis Osadebe, Honorable F. H. Utomi, Honourable Obi of Akumazi, Honourable Frank Oputa Ututu and Honourable Oki must have realized this, a situation which led to the formation of Movement for the creation of Anioma State.
The neglect of this people has continued till this day. It is as a result of this that the creation of Anioma State is deemed necessary today because of the long neglect of this people in the hands of the Igbo their kit and kin, a people the Anioma have stood for/by when it has always mattered. The Anioma people struggles can be equated with those of the Igbo of the South-East as a people the Anioma have always viewed themselves Igbo but this has yielded almost nothing in return for the Anioma region.
The recent adoption of the creation of any one of Adada, Orashi, Orlu, Aba States by the Igbo show that the creation of Anioma State is not on the agenda of the Ohaneze and indeed Igbo, and the Igbo are in some way skeptical about the ethnic identity of the Anioma people. The Igbo has expressed fears that if allowed to be created as a State in Nigeria , Anioma would eventually become part of the South-South region of Nigeria .
This is best explained in the words of Gabriel Nwanze thus;
“The first issue is that of geopolitical location. Will Anioma State regard itself as a Southeast state or as a South–South state? If the former should be the case, this means that the Igbo have lost half of their foothold and influence in the South-South, leaving only Ndiigbo from Rivers to carry the Igbo flag. The implication not only ends there; it will extend to issues like insufficient representation of Ndiigbo in the affairs of the South-South and thus further marginalization of the Igbo nation” (Issues in the Creation of Anioma state, 2006)
He further contradicts thus while hoping that Ndiigbo benefits from future Anioma State :
“If Anioma State remains in the South-South, then it stands a chance of enabling many more Ndiigbo to benefit both from allocations to the Southeast and to the South-South simultaneously.”
In fact the Iwuayanwu led committee on additional State creation for Ndiigbo ha ssince ruled out the Anioma region in their quest for State creation stating clearly that this would mean additional State for the South-South, interestingly the South-South that considers Anioma people Igbo as Itse Sagay, a renowned professor of International Law and an Itsekiri indigene once suggested that the in Urhobo Historical society website that the Anioma be either moved into Anambra State to join their kit and kin or be given their separate State with capital at Asaba.
It is unnecessary to enumerate here the condition of Anioma in the Delta State as presently constituted, series of these actions have continually pointed to us that we do not belong to Delta State , so we need not vie for developments and the betterment of the lives of the people of Anioma in the State of Delta . We have before our very eyes seen developments exported to the other regions of the State except our own Anioma and hue and cry has been our portion rather than fight against the ugly leper eating our bodies. We have also embraced individualism as against unity.
This brings us to the ethnic identity crisis being suffered by the Anioma. So to which ethnicity do the Anioma belong? The uniqueness of Anioma culture surely has landed the ethnic group in identity crisis, which may live for ages with the people if they fail to take the destiny of the region in their hands (Igbo and Anioma: The Bitter truth, Emeka Esogbue, 2008) Kunirum Osia would put it this way “No Anioma person wishes to be recast in a mould that is not Anioma” The Anioma people have all they want in ethnic identity so they do not need to look elsewhere to acquire ethnic identity, the legend, folklore and history of this people have changed over the time and only Anioma can provide us with full irrevocable sense of history.
With illustous sons and daughters like Chief of Defense Staff, Air-Chief Marshal Paul Dike; the ever glamorous Dr (Mrs) Maryam Babangida; our own Diplomat, Chief Ralph Uwechue; the erudite Professor Pat Utomi; Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of World Bank; Mr. Nuel Ojei automobile conglomerate; Chief Sunny Odogwu, the renowned industrialist; Tony Elumelu of UBA; Mr. Jim Ovia of the Zenith Bank International; Chief P. C. Nwaodua, the security guru; Professor Augustine Esogbue the Only African in NASA and Scientist; Peter Eloka Okocha Business Mongul; Amb. Ignatius Olisemeka; Frank Atuche; Chief Godwill Obieluem; Chief Sabastine Adigwe M/D Afribank; Austine “Jay Jay” Okocha; Chief Benjamin Elue former Deputy Governor Delta State Nigeria ; and many more, the Anioma community need not look elsewhere to claim its identity.
It is as result of this that the people believing that no other ethnic group would fight its cause should as a matter of urgency rally round Associations like Oganihu-Anioma, Onu-Anioma, Anioma Association USA Inc, Organization for the Advancement of Anioma Culture (OFAAC) and other well meaning individuals and Association of Anioma ethnic group to present oneness in its renewed agitation for the creation of Anioma State. Only the realization of our own State administered by our own indigene will solve our own socio-economic and political problems and marginalization which has pauperized our sons and daughters with untold hardship. The messianic tool for salvaging this must live and come from our midst.
Anioma State is a reality!
Woman wins Nigerian Quran contest
Ireland marriages: To have and to hold EU citizenship
One in 10 marriages in Ireland today are shams made to help foreigners gain EU citizenship. read more
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Nigerians Say Leave Us Alone
Nigeria is today known for good and bad but the truth is that the problems of the country is often exacerbated by the attitude of those from the outside world who only see the bad side of the citizens of this great nation. The truth of the matter is that there is no single nation in existence today that is free of all the accusations leveled against Nigerians internationally. As a Nigerian, it is personally painful to me that Nationals of other countries especially our own African brothers are beginning to exhibit behaviors that one can at best describe as envious towards Nigerians, this seeming malicious attitude is fast spreading against hardworking Nigerians all over the world who experience disasters in the hands of their hosts. I wish to remind everyone who for one reason or the harbor serious hatred for Nigerians for no just reason that almost all of us today are guilty of the accusations that are ascribed to Nigerians. Nigerians are certainly no saints but definitely not the worst sets of criminals the world has seen yet. The USA, South Africa, Germany, Indonesia, Palestine, Israel and the rest of them cannot stay free from the accusations of crime that the rest of the world think Nigerians are the manufacturers. It is now the culture of the world to view Nigerians as spoilers, people who move into foreign countries in order to spoil no thanks to the bad economic state of the nation as designed by the leaders of the country, past and present. This orientation on Nigerians is costing us the best of our brains in foreign countries where the citizens of the country are constantly facing disasters. Only recently, attacks were targeted at Nigerians in South Africa in spite of the contributions of the nation towards the freedom of that very country from the shackles of Apartheid. Again, the world appears to have developed a steady attitude of taking cognizance of only the bad side of the nation and her citizens which continues to portray the nation in bad light, spreading like wild fire among their counterparts in foreign countries. Any Nigerian who has ever left the shores of this nation will understand perfectly the seriousness of the implication of Nigerians li9ving side by side with other nationals in foreign nations. As one Ghanaian woman sweepingly puts it “There is nothing special about Nigerians except that they are all rogues” A comment such as this spells disaster for any Nigerian traveling out of the country in search of greener pastures. Our Government has been sleeping and is yet to rise up; it is for this reason that every foreigner thinks a Nigeria a criminal. Everyday at least a Nigerian gets killed in one nation of the world or the other, yet our government is unconcerned. It is now daily news to hear of the death of one child or adult in Britain, while our government folds its arms and shams ignorance. Soon, Nigerian mothers in London would need to contract security men to guard their children to schools in Britain. Is it not cheapening that no government in this whole world has ever officially apologized to the Nigerian Government for any death of a Nigerian in a foreign country. Interestingly, our government will have us believe that it has the diplomatic weapon to protect us. The reasoning of our government is that any Nigerian who on personal basis travels out of the country does so at his/her own risk and should as a result bear this risk. No wonder, Nigerians in foreign countries are treated like chickens and goats because no government is responsible for our welfare whether at home or in foreign countries. Since this situation is worst at home, many would prefer to suffer the worst fate in foreign countries and die. The world only appears to see the bad side of Nigerians, leaving the good side to die some natural death. No record seemingly and officially speaks of the remarkable feats of Nigerians. Earlier in 1985, Nigeria became the first African nation to win the under 16 world cup tournament in China, and the then captain of the team, Nduka Ugbade became the first African from the African continent to lift the world cup. Expectations were high that at least the Guinness Book of Records would officially take note of this but till today nothing of such is found in their records, just because it came from a Nigerian. In 1996, the world was again pleasantly stunned by the remarkable feat of the nation’s Olympic football team which became the first African nation to claim gold medal in men’s football event beating Brazil and Argentina. The Guinness Book of World Records again ignored this amazing deed. Only Nigeria has played in the finals of a football tournament in which two penalty kicks were used to determine the two goals scored against her by Argentina her opponent. I am yet to experience any football tournament organized by FIFA in its final in which two penalty kicks were awarded to any team, before and after the Nigerian match. I leave you to cogitate on the reason behind this. Nigeria’s music maestro and political activist, the Late Fela Anikulakpo Kuti once married 27 wives in one wedding ceremony and divorced all of them at the same time. This again went unnoticed in the eye of official records, thus ending what would have amazingly found its way into the Guinness Book of Records just because a Nigerian delved into it, many people ordinarily may not consider this a great feat but we all know that in the eye of “Oyibo” (Whites) it is well amazing. Nigerian born former WBC heavyweight boxing champion, Samuel Peters with hard work and strong punches won his way through as the fourth boxer to win from the African continent to win heavy weight boxing title but while we Africans were still celebrating, a the world had completely plot his downfall and how he would easily hand the title over to any boxer of non African origin, scheduling more than three fights for him at a go. In the pre-fight conference his last October 11 fight with Vitali klitschko Peters was clearly referred as a champion with WBO title in wait for Klitschko, this angered the Nigerian born boxer who angrily left the venue. Peters publicly challenged Vladimir Klitschko who holds the WBO IBF titles but in order to a unification bout but in circumstances only clear to the organizers, Peters was compelled to fight Vitali because it was mandatory for him to submit his title at all cost. All we hear of Nigerians are characterized by negativity with “the Happiest People on Earth Award” which means nothing to the nation. Our government needs to be reminded that Nigerians deserve good image which must begin at home and accompany us to foreign countries where we wish to sojourn, and the way our government intends to protect us supportively matters to this course of action. We should also note that if our economy is good in the first place, Nigerians will have no reason to take the oath of dying in another man’s country and that very soon if nothing at all is done, Nigerians in Diaspora will surely outnumber the population of those in the country. Only time will tell.
Nigerian Man/White Woman?
Is it normal for a Nigerian man to hold hands with a girl and they are just friends? what does it symbolize? e.g for Americans, it means ur dating..i asked the guy i was w/ when he kept holding my hand and it was just our second date and i told him we were only friends numerous times…i asked him and he said it was normal for them, even to hold hands with another girl if WAS dating me…and it’s a sign of friendship…
Also, is it normal for them to call their own sister or family members “baby”…or like Americans is it used only with their significant other?
He’s lying and nobody calls their family members “baby.”.
Iranian women hold stoning sentence: The report stoning death sentence passed against adultery, an Iranian woman was sentenced to the suspended and will currently under review, Iran reported English-language TV station.
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