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The Challenges of building Ibusa from the Diaspora

Ibusa, a community geographically situated among other Anioma towns within the Delta North of Delta State is indivisibly one, being perhaps the third largest community in Delta State by population, one of the fastest developing semi-urban and indeed a town that has contributed its own quota to mass human development of Anioma, Delta and Nigeria in entirety. It remains the only Anioma community that has produced two presidential candidates, and two gubernatorial candidates, something many communities today cannot pride on in their home front politics. It produced for the defunct Biafran succession ambition more than six strong recognized military men.


The town has equally produced a Director in the Central Bank of Nigeria, the first Director-General of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, a former Police spokesperson, a Director of the National Populations Commission, Minister for Foreign Affairs, more than 3 State commissioners, about 110 professors, great novelists, historians, Judges, Lawyers, Senior Advocates of Nigeria, Queens Counsel, scientists, the present chairman of People’s Democratic Party, Delta State chapter, Minority Leader of the Delta State House of Assembly and others too numerous to mention here.


Ibusa is a town with a very strong blood spiritually binding her children, it is as a result of this that every native of the town has somewhat consciously and unconsciously learnt to love one another and grown into the belief that only individual and collective efforts could make the town a place worthwhile for everyone. Interestingly, the Ibusa Community Development Union (ICDU) an organization responsible for the social management of the community has since in the 40s naturally embedded this in its subjects.


That the Ibusa natives have grown and spread all over the world is expected since the people are thoroughly punctilious. That the development of the town has been achieved through the collective efforts of the Ibusa Community Development Union cannot be contested but what is however evidencing is that gradually the people of the town are noticeably and gradually shifting away form the social hold that the organization has provided for the general well-being of the community. The people now avoid the Ibusa Community Development Union that has for decades achieved great feats for the community like a leper, a situation that has noticeably become worsened among indigenes in Diaspora.


A perfect understanding of the problem reveals that a lot of factors may be responsible for the situation that continues to impact negatively on the community at large. One such problem is that the union has refused to modernize decades after its foundation by patriotic natives. The union continues to carry on its business like matters as in the past and has not moved on according to the present dictates and in tune with modern realities of the times. It is as result of this that the youths of this generation view the activities of the union as that concerning only the “Diokpas” of the old. In fact, the name ICDU “logically” sounds archaic leaving nothing to be benefited by the younger generation. Even then, at meetings, the contributions of ideas from the youths are often treated with ineptitude and contempt. The solutions to this are not far-fetched. Set-up youth wings of the union or ideally incorporate the youths since no society can leap with contributions from the youths.


By far, historians of Ibusa would agree that the present Ibusa monarchical institution more than anything helped to rubbish the homogeneity of the community. Obuzor is a good idea but maybe the Senior Diokpa would have been made to step down in totality for the Obuzor to rein rather than invite the conflicting responsibility of office that now exists. In any case, this is a matter for future discussion in a subsequent article. The activities of the present Obuzor has been viewed as that colliding with the Diokpa in which the police has been frequently involved in the matter that should have ordinarily been settled traditionally.


Historians of the town would also readily subscribe to the fact that unity in the town in the past has only existed on a “brittle” degree. The town is a testimony of fractionalization before the emergence of the days of King Ezesi. The Obuzor institution has not helped issues for it helped to bury the community in disunity. It is seemingly unpleasant that in spite of the men and women substance that the town has produced conflicts in the town never see the end. These great men and women never posses the strength to settle communal issues bothering on the town and its people. This is the gravest problem of Ibusa.


Today, therefore factions exist in almost every “Idumu”, institution, family and quarters of the town to the existent that the people have become inured to the duplications of traditional activities in the town. This aspect of the challenge confronting the town is caused by the elders of the town. The Ibusa Community Development Union has therefore over the bred elders that have grown to swallow it like wicked and fiend tigers. Again, the implication of this is too burdensome for ICDU. The solution is national conference involving all the parties and stakeholders to discuss issues that hinder the progress of the town for ICDU cannot move ahead if the town is stagnant.


Does anyone ever remember that Ibusa clubs and associations must as a matter of “Ibusa over all interest” become overwhelmed by ICDU? It will certainly sound nonsensical to an average Yorubaman or woman that a club often presided over by men for social means should surpass a pan-Yoruba groups. The average Ibusa man and woman believes so much in clubs and associations because it readily creates a forum through which expensive attires, shoes and handbags can be showcased to the less-privileged, making them look ordinary. It is also quite pitiful to remind these men and women that the days of “out” are gone. Nowadays, every society is concerned with what it can win for its people.


It would seem that our people in Diaspora especially in London have become more involved in the battle for supremacy relegating the issue on the development of the town obviously to the background. Often times, only the news on bickering over leadership positions, interest related battles are sent to us as news of development agendas. Back home, we know that truly Ibusa is one but actions from oversea-based ICDU organizations indicate otherwise. Our people fail to understand that “Onye Ije Nwe Una”. After staying for decades in London or the States, he must return to his hometown which he refused to contribute to its development dead or alive. His children too must someday ask him questions on the origin of his hometown.


Many of us will like to see ICDU grow. The Pan-Ibusa organization must be relevant to the life of the town and made to wear the crown of supremacy above everyone and everything. It must act according to the laws of the constitution which must be Ibusa inclined and never seek to become embroiled in any matter that tear the town apart. The executive members must regularly report to the people back home with their plans for the town and make their presence felt with planned policies to be executed. It does not speak well of the union that does not own a single website through which it can speak to the people and get feedback. It will also be ideal if the union establishes a newspaper or magazine which must by communication unite the people and enable them communicate their own ideas towards the development of the town.


The natives of the town will also appreciate it with good sense of belonging if the leaders of the organization take frequent visits to Abuja Government to declare the stands of the people of Ibusa or needs as done by the other Pan-Groups in the country. Until these are achieved, the union will continue to experience the kind of problems being generated which do not see to the further growth of the town that has produced unaccountable prominent individuals.


By Emeka Esogbue 


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