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Tourism in Ibusa: Enjoy yourself

Ibusa offers variety of tourism and monuments which will interest travelers to the little town. The town is a rapidly growing one with indices for development. It is also a quiet one with people coming from different ethnic groups to work in Asaba, the state capital. In terms of rich traditional ways of life and festivals preserved in local customs, Ibusa is the place to be. However, many of these tourist attractions in the town remain untapped because not having attracted the attentions whether the federal or state government for the enjoyment of outsiders and visitors. It is a town largely in neglect but growing due to self efforts by the indigenes, clubs and associations such as the Ibusa Community Development Union (ICDU) and a host of others. Tourism in Ibusa can generate funds and foreign exchange if developed and well managed by the government. This is because of the enormous investment opportunities available to the town in view of its geographical location near the state capital as well as the International Airport and Cargo currently under construction lying very close to it. Political and social stability is also another advantage which the town has. The people of Ibusa are highly hospitable, accommodating and tolerant of other people of other extractions. It is this reason that the city has never recorded any ethnic clash in modern times whether internal or involving other ethnic groups. This healthy feature should therefore be held as a target for willing investors in the town. The enthronement of democracy in the country and serenity in Delta State which Anioma people are well-known is also a plus for the community.        

 Foreign investors and other interested individuals should therefore boldly take it upon themselves to invest in the town especially in the tourism industry for sustainable returns as this will ultimately generate employment, transform the community and usher in cross-cultural exchange. The following tourist centers and monuments exist in the community: Okpuzu Water Fall: It is located in Umukea end of the community is a quiet place to be. The sound of the water is often pleasurably heard as it falls on the rock forming a deep hole beneath it. The forest surrounding it also a home for animals whose voices are naturally touching to the soul, it is a place to find relax and discover happiness. Water from the Water Fall is fresh and pure. Oboshi Stream: The Oboshi stream is to the Ibusa people what River Niger was to the Egyptians. For many centuries, the people of Ibusa depended on the River believed to protect them from external aggression. Oral tradition of the town states that the goddess of the river often sent her Chief Priest (Ohene) to warn the inhabitants on impending danger following abomination committed in the town. Till date fishes from the river are never eaten and tiny snakes can sometimes be sighted within the vicinity of the river. The beauty of the river is the numerous numbers of white chickens which can be found around it. A shrine dating hundreds of years is also located by the river. 

Your journey to the town may not be complete without a visit to the river. Ani-Oshe: This is the site where Umejei, the chief founder of the town was believed to have settled with the entire members of his family. It is located at the Umueze wing of the community inside a forest. A large shrine exists on the land today. It is customary for individuals also males taking up the Eze/Obi title to visit the shrine and remain there for a while which will spiritually strengthen him. Senior Diokpa’s palace: The Senior Diokpa’s palace is located at Umueze quarter of the town and is the town’s village square where important meeting and decisions bothering on the town are held. A statue depicting the Senior Diokpa of the town can be found on the land. Ani-Igbuzo: Ani-Igbuzo can be found right behind the Diokpa’s palace. It is an open ground and every sons and daughters of the town are spiritually bound to it. A statue is also located on the land. This is where the “Ofor” of this is at least be observed. Ibusa Town Hall : The Ibusa Town all which can still be found today was built by the Ibusa Community Development Union (ICDU) in the mid 1950s and located at Umuisagba quarter of the town. The interesting thing about the hall is the retention of its original structure and features. It still performs its statutory roles of hosting very serious meetings regarding the town. Site of St. Thomas ’ Teachers’ Training College , Ibusa: Built in 1928, it is reputed to be the one of the first higher institution in the southern part of Nigeria and the very first in today’s Delta State . It was controversially transformed to a secondary by the Federal Government of Nigeria and recent time a same-sex female secondary school which was condemned in many quarters including this Author as a reduction in educational value in the town and humiliation of the people of the town. After the World War II, foreign volunteer-instructors from United States of America and other parts of Europe including Asia took up coaching tasks in the institution. Facilities put in place by the European missionaries that established the institution are still in place today. Site of Sacred Heart School : Sacred Heart reputed to be the first primary school in the town built in 1908 will also make interest to visitors to the town. Only two halls on vast land were put in place as classrooms and were built in bricks.        

 A visit to the town will convince you on the choice of the town as an educational center by the early European missionaries. St. Augustine ’s Catholic Church, Ibusa: Only the site of this church remains as the church has been demolished in what lovers of history and tourism have also condemned. The reason given was that the structure built with reddish baked bricks was near collapse and it was assumed logical that demolition was the only feasible solution. However other voices differed as the structure could have been rebuilt thus preserving what was the first spiritual center in the town. The church was built in 1898. Aho Mmili li Umuaka Igbuzo Statue: This statue stands at the Ogboli quarter of the town. The Ogboli quarter is one of the four Ogboli lineages still in existence in Igbo migration theory. The rest of tem are Ogboli Nkwerre, Ogboli Atuma and Ogboli Issele-Uku. The statue is a reminder of an incident in which Ibusa traders on voyage had their boat capsized inside the River Niger. Gordon Hotel, Ibusa: Gordon hotel offers basic accommodation in rondavels. It is located in the heart of the town and worth visiting. It has superb restaurant and bars and provides good atmosphere with friendly staff ready to entertain customers. Exquisite comfort is guaranteed. It is the first choice of hotel in Ibusa. Iwu Festival: Quite a lot of people even foreigners travel to the town on yearly basis to watch the Iwu festival usually celebrated in December. The date of this festival is not fixed but it is always celebrated at a few days ahead of Christmas days for that of Umuadafe quarter usually more interesting because of its period of celebration. The festival is meant to express gratitude for buoyant agricultural productions. Principal actors in the festival are Ohene, Enem, and Eze-Iwu. It is mostly about dancing and rejoicing. Participants could dress funnily to the occasion. And it is a day that evils committed by indigenes overtly or covertly are exposed to the general public. You must not miss it.

By Emeka Esogbue 


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