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Top 10 Anioma indigenes in 2010 and how they performed

In 2010, many Anioma indigenes were observed to have performed so well that one may necessarily conclude that there were general improvements in pro-Anioma doings. There were really Anioma individuals who distinguished themselves in socio-economic activities aimed at properly repositioning the community socially, economically and politically. The list of individuals presented in this piece shows that the concern for growth and development are generationally shifting from the aged to the younger people just as many movements, associations and groups like Izu Anioma, Umu Anioma Foundation, Anioma Association USA Inc, Organization for the Advancement of Anioma Culture (OFAAC) and many others have sprang up, adding to the growing need to improve lives within the Anioma region.

It is safe to conclude that Aniomaland is gradually gaining the political consciousness that it requires to keep it afloat in Delta State in particular and Nigeria in general. In the past decades, an average Anioma indigene whether from Oshimili, Aniocha, Ndokwa/Ukwani or Ika would not have concerned himself so much with the affairs of communal collectiveness that held him bound with the rest of his Anioma kinsmen but a recent socio-political history of the people shows that high sense of nationality is overwhelming the people so that battles have been taken to Igbanke and Ekpon in Edo State in search of relocation to the great Anioma family which must be achieved at all cost.

This can be described as a major diversion in the phase of the battle to bring about positive changes in the region. Obviously, generational change is taking place in Anioma nation and Anioma are recognizing themselves as one indivisible people that must hold their own fate in their own hands if they must survive as a people in Nigeria . If for anything, the year 2010 has shown that the youths have emerged as catalysts with the resolution to peacefully take and hold on to whatever belongs to their people provided that the welfare of the people will be guaranteed and measure up with the rest of the regions that make up the country.

The youths are holding the leaders of the region accountable for every of their action which impact badly on their subjects. Many of the region’s representatives in governance would have quietly had their ways with unscrupulous activities in which they corruptly enrich themselves with funds meant for public use but tides are fast changing to their disservice very dangerously. In 2010, the youths got their representatives to face many financial charges, although no single leader of the region has been indicted and jailed, it is hoped that justice would come the way of the people someday.

The list of the first ten Anioma achievers for the year 2010 is given thus:

Dr. Fred Osadebe is becoming a household name in Anioma with his generous contributions towards inculcating reading culture and provisions of reading materials for researches for the Anioma youths. Dr. Osadebe, a known name in Oshimili and Aniocha organizations worldwide has continually donated text books in sustainability of Delta State Library, Ibusa, Branch, it is a library in complete abandonment by even the Delta State Government that set it up but with the efforts of Dr. Fred Osadebe an indigene of the town, the library remains open to teeming youths that on daily basis visit it to do researches. Dr Osadebe remains an example of the fact that not only bigwig politicians deserve respect but that little contributions can effectively help a community to grow. In 2010 alone he provided the library with reading materials that are worth sustaining the library for more than a year. The year 2010 acknowledges him with a place on the list of ten Anioma achievers.

Standing on number 9 is Uche Honnah, the President of Anioma Association USA Inc. The reputation of Uche Honnah has grown tremendously as a lover of the Anioma nation and a strong advocate for the unity of the people. In July 2010, Mr. Honnah successfully hosted the Anioma World Economic Conference in the United States of America in which several Anioma indigenes from the region attended. The conference drew indigenes from far and wide to tackle the various socio-political as well as economic concerns of the Anioma people as participants took to the floor advancing ways by which life in the region can be improved tremendously. Mr. Honnah, today remains a rallying point of the Anioma in the United States of America with the ability to sway events on the side of his Anioma kinsmen whenever the need arose. He is well appreciated and remains intact on number 9 position.

Prince Emmanuel Ohai, the founder of Umu Anioma Foundation Worldwide is on number 8 position. The Umu Anioma Foundation is a group governed by Board of Directors. Prince Ohai as he is popularly known is seen today as an emerging force on which the socio-political future of Anioma rests, accommodating potential Anioma indigenes from the east, west, north and south to contribute their own quota towards the development of the region. The passion of Prince Ohai towards his people cannot be equaled as he continues to profusely commit unmatched ideas, resources and time for the good of the region. In 2010, his group, Umu Anioma Foundation came up with a logo which portrayed the region as the 37th state of the federation and successfully gathered several Anioma indigenes on separate occasions in Lagos , Asaba and Abuja in recognition of the true spirit of oneness that binds the Anioma people. With Ohai, 2010 was a useful year for the Anioma region because of the consciousness it proudly gave the people over the realization of positive changes which the people must win for the region. Ohai is a strong campaigner for the creation of Anioma State and recognizes Igbanke as part of the proposed state.

Emeka Esogbue is famous for his writings on Anioma history and vigorous campaigns for the emergence of Anioma as the 37th state of Nigeria . The Anioma Activist is believed to have written nearly 120 pieces in year 2010 alone in respect of Anioma history, digging into the origins and cultures of the Anioma people. Several other Anioma historians rely on his works to dig into the histories of Anioma. Hardly is the history of any one Anioma community cited today without references to the Anioma online historian. Perhaps, Esogbue has used the name “Anioma” more frequently to refer to the people of Delta North in contrast to “Delta Ibo” more often than any other Anioma historian and has given it commonness and in series of his writings arguing against “Delta Ibo” as an appropriate name of the people. He comfortably sits in the forefront of agitation for the creation of Anioma State and ardently prays the National Assembly of the country to consider ceding Igbanke to Delta State or on the other hand ensure that the community together with Ekpon forms part of the proposed Anioma State as the people is of Ika stock. In 2010, he was named a member of Board of Directors of Umu Anioma Foundation until it was dissolved in February 2011. In December 2010, he was nominated for Igbo Legendary Lectures/ Awards which held in Nike Lake Resort, Enugu, Enugu State and in on Monday, February 28, 2011. His feat earns him the number 7 position on the performance list.

In the November, 2010, Nwaeze Tonnia Osita Oganah, publisher of Anioma Trends magazine surprised the Anioma community with special news; the gift was the announcement of “the Anioma Trends Awards”, and indeed the award held in Ground Hotels, Asaba, Delta State in December of same year. The award ceremony was organized by the Trends Magazine, a grassroots packaged publication for the Anioma people. Mr. Oganah is not new to Anioma affairs as he was prominent among the attendees of the Anioma consultative meeting undertaken at the grassroots level to give the Anioma nation an apex umbrella to champion the affairs of the people. That umbrella organization became known as Anioma National Council (ANC) with him occupying the position of Legal Adviser/ Director. However, the Anioma Trends Awards organized by him shows that he is welcomed in the search for better life of Anioma people. Mr. Ogana is on the 6th position.

Barr Patricia Ajudua is on the 5th position; the minority leader in Delta State House of Assembly is performing and helping to bring developmental projects to the Ibusa people much to the acknowledgement of the people, series of projects completed by her lend credence to this. It is believed that the Eleme born woman has given her best to the development of the Ibusa community with the reconstruction of some major roads in the town. As someone remarked recently, it is difficult to point to any existing project in Ibusa without the efforts of Barr (Mrs) Ajudua. Barr (Mrs.) Ajudua is today seen as a rallying point of the female gender in the region. The well-read politician has demonstrated Anioma to be her true home.

Dr Newton Jibunor is indeed the pride of Anioma. The Desert Warrior carries along with him unquenchable love for the Anioma nation and stands as an example to other Anioma indigenes. As an illustrious son of Anioma, Dr Jibunor made a donation of “Ogwa” (hall) to the Obi (traditional ruler) of his community for the general use of his entire people in 2010, one of the reasons he is well appreciated by his own people. Jibunor is a gift to the Anioma nation with his constant leadership roles he plays to rightly situate the Anioma region among the successful regions of the country. One noticeable fact about him is his passion for identifying with his own Anioma region. It is not out of place to regard him as one of the reliable voices of the region with the leadership positions he has taken up for the political good of the region. It is therefore in view of his meritorious contributions to the nation particularly in 2010 that he stands on number 4 position.

Col (Chief) Mike Nduka Okwechime, a gritty campaigner for the pursuit of a separate ethnic group for the Anioma region takes the 3rd position. The Ibusa strongman who played prominent role in the defunct Biafran cause is today a force to reckon within the Anioma nation. Col. Okwechime (Retd) who continues to carry the Anioma socio-political problems as if they were his personal troubles can be regarded as one of the fiercest Anioma Activists around. The ex-soldier has become the Abraham Adesanya, Edwin Clark and Adamu Ciroma of the Anioma nation, timely acting on behalf of the people of Delta North whenever it was deemed necessary and giving the people hopes of good political existence within the Nigerian polity so that the people are now gradually finding true leadership in him. It is becoming difficult in today’s Anioma environment to enter into political negotiations with the Anioma without involving him.

The Asagba of Asaba, Obi (Prof) Chike Edozien by series of his supports to the region may be classified as the father of the Anioma nation. It is doubtful if any one Anioma indigene may claim to have worked towards the actualization of a separate state for his people than His Royal Highness, the Asagba of Asaba. It is a situation that seemingly recognizes him as the number traditional ruler within the Anioma region. The royal father has on a number of times led a delegation to the nation’s National Assembly and Aso Rock to convince the law-makers and seat of government on the suitability of Anioma as the nation’s 37th state. It is believed that if other royal fathers from the region are up and doing with regards to the issues of the proposed Anioma State , the long awaited state would have been realized by now. The Asagba has for long been working investing money, time and efforts towards the Anioma project and political analysts believe that this time, he will get it as the National Assembly hopes to announce Anioma State that will include Igbanke and Ekpon in the new dispensation. Asagba occupies the 2nd position.

The Izoma Ahaba, Chief Philip Chukwuedo Asiodu tops the list of persons who contributed towards the Anioma cause in the year 2010. It is evenhanded to understand that the former economic adviser’s hand is in every plan of the region to make it a voice in Delta State . The former presidential adviser is utilizing his economic expertise and stature to solidly situate the Anioma people in Delta State . He was instrumental to the foundation of Anioma Political Forum and in 2010 and chaired the consultative meeting that metamorphosed into Anioma National Council (ANC), an apex socio-cultural organization for the region. It was a gathering that drew dignitaries like Real Admiral Andrew Okajor (Retd), Brig-Gen Philip Onyekweli (Retd), Major-Gen E. O. Usiade (Retd), Chief F. O. Ozoma, Chief Joe Obuseh, Mr. Paschal Adigwe, Chief Celestine Izagbo, Odafe John Edozien, Chief Terry Otuyah and Mrs. Tessy Okelue, among several others. Of noteworthy is the diverse membership of the organization drawn from the entire corners of the Anioma region. Chief Philip Asiodu is the leader of the organization. The long sought leadership position by the Anioma region may be pointing towards Chief Philip Asiodu as a potential principal. Chief Asiodu, it is hoped will do more in 2011 to rightly situate Anioma and give it all it has lost in the past while the announcement Anioma State that will include Igbanke and Ekpon is awaited.

 

Anioma “Ofu-obi kanyi jie je!

By Emeka Esogbue