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CREATION OF ANIOMA STATE: Ned Nwoko Is Right On All Fronts

Apostle Victor Sorokwu (Ugo-Anioma)

The continued fiddling and meddling politics that have greeted the bold and visionary advocacy of Senator Ned Nwoko to resuscitate the creation of Anioma State as the sixth state of the South East region of Nigeria, aptly reminds me of the Bible story of Joseph and his envious brothers.


Joseph, the dreamer’s narrative in the Holy Book depicts the cruelty and wickedness that accompany envy and jealousy if not nipped at conception.

The story of Joseph teaches us to emulate Jacob, the patriarch, who rather resorted to watch and pray for his bosom son, who manifested unusual, extraordinary potentials.

Jacob knew Joseph was a rare, unusual seed and made him a coat of many colours. But his other children regarded the dreamer as an unduly favoured child, who deployed sublime antics to deliberately overreach himself, simply to endear himself to their patriach.

They envied him. “We must stop him before he positions himself to receive the preeminent Abrahamic blessing and inheritance from our father, Israel and take ALL GLORY to himself”, they seemed to stir up one another in whiff of jealousy.

So they convoked the first household coven of wickedness to kill their brother, the dreamer and exterminate the divine plan of God for the deliverance of the entire Israel from annihilation.

They sold the dreamer to their enemies and hid the plot from their father. Yet, the Will of God eventually prevailed. Joseph became Prime Minister in Egypt and saved the band of wizards called his brethren, their households and entire Israel.

Let’s even assume that Senator Ned Nwoko, representing Delta North at the Red Chamber is fantasising with the dream of the creation of Anioma State. What then is wrong with such glorious dream!? After all, the entire Anioma people have been dreaming and hoping that the dream come true. Indeed, the greatest acts of humanity, inventions, adventures and quest of men came as films of dreamy imaginations.

But the quest for the creation of Anioma State is not just a dream by Senator Ned Nwoko, but the life long aspiration of the forebears of the Anioma ethnic nationality who had risen to redefine their socio-cultural and political existence, in the midst of a heterogeneous geopolitical setting called Nigeria.

How old could have Ned Nwoko, nay his detractors been when Anioma was conceived and the agitation for its creation as a state in the Nigerian federation? I read one of his critics concede that the agitation for the creation of Anioma State was conceived many decades ago by very illustrious sons and daughters of Aniocha (A), Ndokwa (N), Ika (I) and Oshimili (O) – A-N-I-O…MA.

The clamour predated the creation of Midwest, Bendel and Delta states. Historically, the agitation grew during the colonial Western region of Nigeria. So one begins to wonder why the angst against Ned.

Some described the move by Senator Ned Nwoko as opportunistic, and at best a political stunt. Others regarded the renewed Anioma State advocacy as premature, ill-timed and lacking in consensus building.

In fact, I was reeked by amusement when one said his permission was not sought before his image in a group photograph was published in the media in respect of the Anioma State creation saga. How pedestrian, petty and politically mischievous could such arguments be coming from so-called politicians, who claim to have the interests of Anioma nation at heart.

Particularly, those of them whose history, origin and ancestry is infinitely rooted in Nri, the cradle of Igbo race. Unarguably, over 70 percent of Anioma communities could trace their origin and ancestry to Igbo cradle. Tradition, culture, language, native names and identifications, socialisation and civilisation are virtually the same.

What other form of consultation is required for a dream and age-long agitation, whose time has come? What other ‘dignified’ stakeholder should be notified before a well-positioned player in a very decisive match score an all-time historic goal?

Anioma adage renders thus: ‘that an elder does not prepare and serve a meal for a young guest to query what ingredients were used in making the soup’.

The progenitors of the Anioma State were revered personalities such like Chief Dennis Osadebay, Sen. Nosike Ikpo, Ambassador Raph Uwechue (one-time leader of Ohaneze-Ndigbo), Chief Humphrey Iwerebor, Prof. B.I.C Ijeomah, Prof. Chike Edozien the Asagba of Asaba, Dr. Emmanuel Efeizomor the Obi of Owa; all our royal fathers, and a host of eminent captains of industry, timber and calibre.

These revered Anioma icons had finished the necessary consultations across the federation of ethnic nationalities called Nigeria. No, not Ned or any politician today could have been able to engage the deep, wide far reaching consultations done by these Anioma sages.

All I can decipher from the persisting hues and cries against Ned Nwoko’s resuscitation of the Anioma state is calculated, orchestrated distraction, borne of seething envy and jealousy.

On the issue that the Aniomas do not share socio-political affinity with the Igbos of the South East is simply a jaundiced and bereaved posture. How flat and forlorn could such argument be!?

In the last presidential election, an illustrious Anioma son, immediate past governor and the vice presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, was principally nominated by his party with the clear understanding that he consummately represents the entire Igbo political interests; including the South East. In fact, he campaigned vigorously with the sentiment of being an Igbo man.

Interestingly, another preferred Igbo presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi, won overwhelmingly across the units, communities and wards in Anioma geopolitical area (referred to as Delta North District).

It is baffling that the Igbos domiciled in the core South East, who are also clamouring for the creation of two additional states in the South East – Orlu and Orashi – are not the ones complaining. From their body language, whatever could be done to remedy the marginalisation and imbalance meted to the South East of Nigeria should be welcomed.

It becomes worrisome therefore for some folks among Anioma people to find fault with Ned Nwoko’s eagle foresight to lobby his kith and kin at the National Assembly to allow the creation of the long sought Anioma State to add up for the South East to attain an equitable number of states in each region of the Nigerian federation.

Ned – a similitude of Joseph, an offspring seed of the promise made by God to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – simply caught the vision for the creation of Anioma State, which was passed down by generations of Anioma ancestors and he cannot be wrong to seek every legitimate avenue and opportunity to actualise the dream.

Every true son and daughter of Anioma should support Senator Ned Nwoko for daring to dream of the birth of Anioma state now. This is indeed nick of time to renew the advocacy to redress a bedridden agitation, which would not only address the socio-cultural and political crisis of identity the Anioma ethnic nationality is grappling with, but also assuage the age-long marginalisation meted on the South East, giving impetus to agitations for self-determination in the region.

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