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Sixth state for South East: Ndigbo urge FG to create Anioma State

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Delta North stakeholders back creation of Anioma State

Following the move by the member representing Ideato North and Ideato South, Imo State, in the Federal House of Representatives, Hon Ikenga Ugochinyere, calling for the creation of an additional state in the South East, there has been a strident call for the creation of Anioma State from the current Delta State.

According to a political scientist and erstwhile vice chancellor of Madonna University, Elele, Rivers State, Prof Obioma Iheduru, the creation of Anioma State will signal many positive measures for Ndigbo

“Let me say that to create Anioma State is a task that must be done. I take this parody from the Nigerian mantra during the Biafran war. The strategy of the war was to use the non-Igbo against the Igbo especially after the entry into Biafra through Gakem, Eke, etc to the north wobbled.

“They then turned southward. During and after the war the policy thrust was to indoctrinate the border town Igbos that they are no longer Igbos and administratively excise them from the defunct East Central State. Remember Philip Asiodu of Asaba, Samuel Chiedu Ogbomudia of Igbo-Akiri town (now re-named Igbanke and other Igbo towns merged with Edo state), Obigbo- Asa (renamed Oyigbo along with Ayama, Mmirinwanyi and Ohanso) were forced to accept that they are not Igbo.

“The case of the Ikwerre Igbo can only be pitied, though there are notable exceptions. What of the Igbo minorities in Benue, Kogi, Akwa Ibom and northern Cross River states? Should we leave them to continue to roam and be marginalized? Is it not time to give a sense of belonging to the two million Anioma Igbos?

“The name is not of recent origin having been coined in 1951 by Chief Dennis Osadebay from Aniocha, Ndokwa, Ika, Oshimili. My dear people this is a homecoming of sorts for our people scattered by wars. Let’s support a homeland government for Anioma people dismembered by the British in 1914 after their 13-year long Ekumeku war with those imperialists and further disaggregated by Nigeria (1967-1970)”.

In his contribution, former PDP secretary, Imo State, Chief Damien Ezeagu, noted that the creation of Anioma State would be a great opportunity to reintegrate the Igbo outside their South East base back to their kith and kin.

He said, “We should strive to reintegrate our brothers and sisters that were excised from Igboland by the military during and after the war. Delta North ( Anioma) is Igbo land, just like Rivers ( Igweoku) is Igbo land. Leaders of Igboland should make concerted efforts to see that Anioma becomes the sixth Igbo state and that a part of Rivers becomes the seventh when it is needed, eventually. That is the way to restore our originality”.

In his contribution, a lady who identified herself simply as I. G. Emeh, in a video, said, “The most suitable thing to do is to create an Anioma State and add to the South East zone for it to have state number six”.

She added, ” The only deterrent to it will be if the people of Anioma do not want a state of theirs. But I think that with proper sensitization and dialogue, Anioma State can easily and effectively be created”.

Emeh revealed that the creation of Orlu State drawn from Abia, Anambra, and Imo would further fragment the South East to Ndigbo’s detriment, noting that Orlu was just four square kilometers while Anioma was six square kilometers.

Highlighting more about Anioma State, Emeh stated that it was located in the North Central District of Delta in the West Basin of River Niger measuring about 6300sqkms.

The former governor of Delta State, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, is also in support of the creation of Anioma State as he insisted that he was Igbo and would be proud to have an Anioma State that was almost an Igbo enclave.

Another great supporter for the creation of Anioma State is Ndudi Elumelu of Aniocha, Osimiri Federal Constituency, who said; “I can’t wait to have an Anioma State to be created”.

The proposed Anioma State has nine local governments and more can be created. When created, Anioma State will surely solve some sociopolitical problems. For instance, the issue of Asaba being the capital of Delta State instead of Warri, will be over.

Again, the Igbo in Delta will now be given a sense of belonging as they will be joined with their kith and kin in the South East region.

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Why not? As Emeh puts it, “it will take you just five minutes to trek from Asaba to Onitsha, while you will spend four hours going to Warri from Asaba by car. Also, there are no language, or cultural ties binding Anioma people and the other Delta ethnic groups like Itsekiri, Uhroboh and Ijaw. But the Onitsha Asaba have the same language and culture”.

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