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Politics / Bills On Anioma State Creation Should Have Included Every Stakeholder by Peppermaster(m): 10:04am On Jul 17
Bills Submitted For Anioma State creation Without All Stakeholders An Impossible Task

The Delta North Senatorial district being referred to as Anioma has former Governor and deputy Governors, a sitting Senator, 4 Federal House of Assembly members, 9 State House of Assembly members and also 9 local government areas Chairman with their Councilors managing the leadership and Governance Affairs of the district.

The District also has first Class Traditional Leaders including those next in Ranks.

The intention of State creation of Anioma State ought to have passed through existing singular district channel for the briefing of Stakeholders in furtherance of gathering their concrete contributions to the Subject matters.

There are truly lots more to a State creation that requires underground works to arrived at the acceptable contents document covering scalable features, definition of terms uniquely presented.

It is the outcome of Internal underground works among the various Stakeholders that determine the next line of actions or inactions towards the set objective.

The reasons Being that the bills for State Creation is not an ordinary one to be fronted by the effort of an individual.

The thinking of the Sitting Delta North Senator Ned Nwoko or his followers for example, that the Anioma State creation is not new also negates all standing Positions, projections of those that brought the idea whose contents document were well scripted in features and areas of geopolitical location within it's historical natural lines.

The topic accordingly has become another unsellable unpopular product in Delta North Senatorial district.

We have read lots of contributions from our revered resource persons with multiple notes of non inclusivity and instead of change of approach from those on self effort of individualism, they are still on the chàse of shadows.

No matter who is involved today or tomorrow, any documents that intend to Annexed Delta North Senatorial district into the Southeast may not see the light of the day because it's strangely inconsistent with the wishes and aspirations of the people in their respective Communities such that blurred the possible foreseeable benefits.

Chukutem Friday Idise

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Culture / Re: Aniocha, Ndokwa, Ika And Oshimilli Are All Igbo's. Please Know Your Origin by Peppermaster(m): 7:39pm On Jul 13
Aniocha, Ndokwa, Ika and Oshimilli are Igbo people and nothing can change it. Our Ancestral igbo state is known as Anioma. They forced us into delta state and that's why today if they want to call us they will refer to us as Delta-Igbos meaning the Igbos in delta state.
But today it is a pity and very shameful to see some Ika people saying they are not Igbos all because they want to answer Niger-Delta which they don't even know the meaning; some even claim to be bini of which they don't even understand come in bini language. How can you be speaking bia which is an igbo dialect and be claiming bini? are you normal? How can you be bearing an igbo name and you are claiming bini? are you sure you are okay?
If you are one of such Ika people who deny their igbo identity my dear it is high time you wake up from ignorance and tell yourself some truth. can a Yoruba man give birth to a child and give him or her an igbo name? No! Then ask yourself why our parents in Ika are always giving their children an igbo names.
I am proudly Nwa-Aba from Abavo kingdom.
Udo diri unu........

Culture / Ichi Eze Rites Of Chief Dr. Henry Ajudua Will Add To Ibusa Cultural Development by Peppermaster(m): 6:54pm On Jul 13
Ichi Eze Rites of Chief Dr. Henry Ajudua will Add to Ibusa Cultural Development

The biggest traditional events in our Anioma ahead of time are the Asagba of Asaba selection (monarchy) and the Obiship/Ezeship ceremonial rites and choice of Chief Dr. Henry Ajudua, the head of the Ibusa Ajudua Dynasty (Multiple Obi/Eze system).

The facts are that the Asagbaship of Asaba and the unique nature of Ibusa Obiship are never found anywhere except in Anioma. No region shares these traditional values with the people of Enuani so, they hold them dear.

For the duration of the event, PEN MASTER will provide you with all the historical sources and traditional information you require regarding Chief Dr. Henry Ajudua's customary voyage to Ibusa Obiship/Ezeship rites.

While the Asagba (Eze Asa Nwe Agba), which translates to "the only Eze that wields the wealth and influence to summon and preside over all other Ezes is held valuable by the people of Asaba, the Ibusa people have also continued to sustain their Multiple Eze System since it was handed them by their ancestors and Chief Dr. Henry Ajudua will further add to the preservation of the nobility status.

The Ibusa Ajuduas are known for the philanthropy and cultural contributions to the advancement of the Ibusa Clan nay Anioma and the Ezeship.

Born to Chief Henry Nkeolisakwu Ajudua of Umuodafe and Mrs. Regina Obiageli Ajudua nee Nwajei of the Obahai Royal House of Ogwashi-Uku, Chief Dr. Henry Ajudua the offerings of his parents have royalty in their blood maternally. Furthermore, Obi Ajudua, the grandfather of Chief Dr. Henry Ajudua served as the Senior Diokpa of Ibusa from 1968 to 1976, leaving a legacy that the people never forget.

The Ajuduas are always willing to serve the community and the newest form of serve is the Ichi Eze.

Just when it is looking like this traditional aspect of Ibusa is dying a gradual death, the people will vivaciously become heartened with Chief Dr. Henry Ajudua's cultural entrant in what many now tag "Obiship of the 21st century."

In the end, 'Obi Henry Ajudua II' will be unveiled to the world, an additional title the world will see in Anioma's most multiple-titled family.

PEN MASTER will offer you an overview of the information you require as generally expected of the general public until the very conclusion.

Politics / Hon Innocent Esewezie, Hilary Okobi Served Oshimili North People Creditably by Peppermaster(m): 6:47pm On Jul 13
Hon Innocent Esewezie, Hilary Okobi Served Oshimili North People Creditably

When asked today what I thought about the impending local government elections as it concerns our Ibusa, I said as follows:

Our people are proud of Hon. Innocent Esewezie for the good service he provided. The trick is that he has a superb understanding of political dynamics. Political leaders that implement measures that unite the populace are highly valued in Anioma. Politicians are strategists because they know the minds of the people.

The Esewezie projects were Oshimili North people-oriented. Since he lacks the resources that wealthy politicians do to sway public opinion against viable projects, he turned to community-based initiatives to satisfy the people. We all adore him and hope he comes back for one last term. Some of these powerful Anioma politicians who are in politics just to play politics should take a cue from Esewezie.

There is Hilary Ifechukwude Okobi from Ibusa, a former councilor who is running for office again after completing his first term. He was phenomenal in serving his Ward. He distinguished himself, in my opinion, by combining political and humanitarian work.

His fame had spread before his Councilorship position but it spread further.

There is little doubt that Okobi and his former Council Boss, Esewezie will return since the populace values political service performance.

At this level, there are no additional politicians that I am aware of in the stature of these duo
- Emeka Esogbue
Health / Diabetes Prevention And Control, SHUDEF Empowers Ibusa Residents by Peppermaster(m): 6:40pm On Jul 13
Diabetes Prevention and Control, SHUDEF Empowers Ibusa Residents

Story By Emeka Esogbue

With the organization of the program, Prevention and Control of Diabetes with free sugar and blood test in the community, by the Support for Human Development Foundation (SHUDEF) in partnership with the Delta State Government, the throngs of Ibusa inhabitants made significant progress in their health affairs.

The date was June 24, 2024 and the venue was the Ogbeowele Town Hall, Ibusa where Mr. Emeka Emmanuel Ogbogo who is the Founder and Executive Director of Support for Human Development Foundation (SHUDEF) gave a resounding speech that empowered participants on health matters.

In his insightful speech, Mr. Ogbogo informed the throngs of Ibusa locals there that a great number of them had diabetes but were unaware of it because it is a silent disease that kills silently.

Emeka Ogbogu addressed the attendees, saying, "If you know you have medical difficulties, you should be able to live up to its challenges."

The program also allowed the Delta State Government the chance to speak to the people of Ibusa through Dr. Mrs. Opene Rita, the Director of Communicable Diseases at the Delta State Ministry of Health, who provided information on diabetes prevention and control.

She counselled them to watch how much sugar and alcohol they consume.

Mr. Odoh, a Dietician from the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Asaba also counseled and educated the participants on how to take their diets and nutrients to remain healthy.

Following the event, PEN MASTER conducted interviews with a few Ibusa locals, who attested to the event's significance for the town's health and advocated for additional community programming.

The event attendees include Mrs. Ikolomi Tracy, Delta State Director of National Orientation Agency, Mr. Emmanuel Chiejine, Delta State Head of PRS National Orientation Agency,
Mr. Godfrey, Head, Special Duties, National Orientation Agency and Gloria Uchunor, Dietician Ibusa General Hospital.

Others in attendance were representatives of Bridge Radio, Asaba and Pointer Newspaper among others.

Ibusa is a community located in Oshimili Local Government Area of Delta State.
Politics / ������ �����: ����� ��������� �� ������ ��� by Peppermaster(m): 6:35pm On Jul 06
A Delta State socio-political group, the Ndokwa Renaissance, has threatened to mobilise the people of Delta North Senatorial District to recall Senator Ned Nwoko who represents them in the Senate.
This was part of the resolutions reached by the group after its emergency National Executive meeting held yesterday in Abuja.

The decision followed comments by Nwoko on the floor of the Senate calling for the creation of Anioma State to be carved out of Delta State in the South-South and ceded to the South East as part of measures to address alleged marginalisation of the geo-political zone.

In the resolution signed by its president, Hon. Chinedu Ebgenumolise, and secretary, Dr. Uti Onyeukwu, the group condemned Nwoko’s proposal without due consultation of the people of Delta north who will be negatively affected by such a move.

The group argued that Delta North had been an integral part of the South South from colonial era to date and wondered why the lawmaker would want the peaceful and progressive Anioma land to be made part of the south east where violent agitation for secession has heightened insecurity.

“We must emphasize that the long overdue and very deserving creation of Anioma State is a dream we fondly hold dear as Anioma people and will work in support of any genuine effort towards the early realisation of this noble aspiration.

“It is of a great disservice therefore for the distinguished senator to embark on such a geopolitical re-engineering with the potential to cause devastating geopolitical dislocation we may never recover from as a people. No one can pretend to be unaware of the current countrywide political intricacies that typify the South East Region as generally and historically violent, prone with widespread disdain for Nigeria and its symbolic institutions of state leading to almost always a blanket of siege over the region from both state and non-state actors.

“These are traits that are alien to the Anioma people and do not represent societal features that promote peace, growth, development and communal prosperity,” the resolution read.

The group further threatened legal action against the lawmaker if he fails to withdraw his proposal which they described as dangerously self serving, undemocratic and unconstitutional.
Culture / How Scholars Honoured Prof Nduka Otiono On His Birthday by Peppermaster(m): 2:38pm On Jul 05
Nduka Otiono at 60: How Scholars and Literati Across the Globe, Gathered for Anioma-Born Icon

- Emeka Esogbue

PEN MASTER can authoritatively report that Prof Tony Nduka Otiono is 60, and that recently, scholars and members of the literary community gathered to honor the Anioma Icon, as reported by The Guardian and other media sites.

Prof Nduka Otiono struck his Diamond, and because the literati, intellectuals who have contributed to the advancement of knowledge, do not go unnoticed, they gathered to commemorate the Anioma son.

According to The Guardian Newspaper, 19 researchers and literary aficionados gathered for Prof Tony Nduka Otiono, the Director of the Institute of African Studies as well as a cross appointed professor in the Department of English and the School of Journalism and Communication, at Carleton University in Canada.

The focus of the celebration was the new book, "Critical Perspective on Nduka Otiono."

Otiono is one academic whose works rely on rumors, gossip, idle chat, tittle-tattles, and hearsay, which are delicately woven into postcolonial concepts and stories to make reading sense.

The Ogwashi-Uku-born scholar is a literary giant who makes Anioma proud outside of the country. He has received numerous accolades in scholarship, journalism, teaching, writing, and other fields of endeavor.

Otiono is undoubtedly a man whom Anioma youths would gladly seek out as a mentor.

Prof Tony Nduka Otiono, an ardent reader and collector of books related to his profession, would swoop down in 2023 to purchase PEN MASTER'S works on Anioma history for his scholarship and teaching.

Congratulations to Prof Nduka Otiono!
Culture / Through The Force Of Hard Work,he Rose To Prominence: A Biography Of Chris Biose by Peppermaster(m): 2:17pm On Jul 05

Through the Force of Hard Work, He Rose to Prominence: A Biography of Chris O. O. Biose

By Emeka Esogbue

Chief Christopher Ozili Okafor Biose otherwise commonly known as "Chris O. O. Biose" is the Idumuje-Unor's best known political analyst.

Chief Chris O. O. Biose may mean different things to different people depending on the perspective he is viewed. His background is in sociology, but he is also a humanist, writer, bank worker, political and economic researcher, commentator of current affairs, radio host, and television host.

In his homeland of Idumuje-Unor, an Anioma community in the Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State, Biose was born on September 21, 1944.

He attended the St. Matthew's Catholic School, Patriotic School and Local Authority Secondary Modern School, all schools located in Idumuje-Unor and also the University of Lagos where he read sociology.

The incredibly diligent Biose, who is typical of the Anioma people of his era, has worked as a banker and a university teacher, but he is most known for his roles as Chairman of the Bendel State Rural Electricity Board, full-time member of the Bendel State Board of Education, and Teaching Service Commissioner for the now-defunct Bendel State.

By the power of perseverance, Christopher Biose rose to prominence.

In addition to moderating "X-Ray," a well-liked TV show on Edo Broadcasting Service, Biose worked as a current affairs expert. Furthermore, he is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Bold Publishing Ltd

Political Analyst, Biose, once suggested to The Guardian Nigeria:

"The fashioning and building of a nation out of such a poly-national state cannot be left to happenstance. It must be consciously designed, cultivated and nurtured by informed, patriotic and visionary nationalist leadership, devoid of parochial and sectarian bias."

For him again, "nation-building means that there should be a conscious effort to erect integrative social forces to moderate the potentially polarizing influence of ethnic, religious or group allegiances. National interest should be pursued to the benefit of the whole system, not to the overriding benefit of sections of it."

Scholarly-voiced Chris Biose unveiled a political view that came close to questioning the lumping of several ethnic-nationalities in one state in Nigeria when he stated:

"The national question arises when two or more nations are joined in one state. The Nigerian experience is that perceived oppression by any of the nations against one or more of other nationalities participating in the state enterprise often leads to social tension or threats of breakup of the union."

Despite being a political activist, he is one of the Idumuje-Unor natives who is frequently recognized and held in high regard for avoiding getting involved in controversies.

He is thus a revered community leader.

Chief Chris O. O. Biose is an Anioma Crusader who is interested in the socio-political and economic advancement of the populace. He was one of the most well-known Anioma figures who lavishly attended the Anioma Lecture in 2023, which was the first ever hosted by the Anioma Watch Social Association.

He is the Director, Strategy, Researcher, and Publicity of Friends of Goodluck in addition to being the Secretary of the Aniocha-Oshimili Elders' Association, one of the rarest Enuani pan-groups in existence today.

His well-known writings on the Anioma people are "The Biography of Obi Anyasi II, JP" and "Anioma: Path to Political Emancipation."

The Anioma Watch Personality of the Week is Diokpa Chris O. O. Biose, a dedicated member of the Anioma Watch, a legally registered socio-cultural organization of the Anioma people.

PEN MASTER also thinks highly of Chief Diokpa Biose.

Every week, PEN MASTER brings you the Anioma Watch Personality of the Week. Do not miss the news on Anioma. Follow the Pen Master Blog.

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Politics / Anioma State And The Southeast: My View Of Ned Nwoko, Kester Ifeadi And Darah by Peppermaster(m): 11:01am On Jul 02
Anioma State and the Southeast: My View of Ned Nwoko, Kester Ifeadi, Prof Darah and Others

Following intriguing but mysterious circumstances, Hon. Ned Nwoko's most recent response to Arc. Kester Ifeadi over the proposed Anioma State in the Southeast via Kay Emeke Enuenwosu, his SSA on Media, has left the scenario of observers including me perplexed the most.

The Senator's proposal to create the state of Anioma and situate it in the Southeast has produced a series of controversies that are unlike anything our people have seen. It is doubtful if the Anioma people have ever been divided as much as this over an issue that concerns them.

So far, the Senator's responses to Arc Kester Ifeadi, Prof Godini Darah, Mr. Philip Elueme, Basil Okoh, Dr. Ntony Nwankwo Nwaezeigwe, the academic and other groups and personalities as posted in the groups I belong to rather than being there for them with listening ears is disappointing. Even worse, calling the revered Anioma cultural leader, Arc Kester Ifeadi "one of the tools of Anioma oppressors" in a public statement is anti-legislative, demeaning, and an indisputable misrepresentation of the legislative relationship between a legislator and his constituent, given that Arch Ifeadi continues to be at the forefront of promoting the Anioma people's culture. Labeling him an Anioma oppressive tool for registering his opinion over the advice that the Distinguished Senator should consult more with his constituents is a legislative intimidation of one's constituency into silence.

This is only a situational isolation of numerous incidences where the senatorial team persistently verbally criticizes the constituent responders' critical assessments. Among those on the list is a prominent proponent of Anioma Philip Elueme who said he worked closely with our Anioma leaders and Izu Anioma Group and traveled to Abuja with our people for the sake of our Anioma. Zik Gbemre also provided the dose for Prof. Godimi Darah, who dared spoke on the burning issue to advise Hon Ned Nwoko.

The Senator, who has an abundance of social media assistants, should be mindful of the people he represents. A legislator is essentially a moderator—someone who oversees public requests before moving to formulate them. Never should a legislator utilize his media assistants to violently or quickly discredit ideas or beliefs by putting out a litany of objections.

How many of his fellow lawmakers did he consult before he moved such a delicate bill to "transfer" our region to another region? This is still an unresolved question that was posed by Prof. Godini Darah. The news that the Senator does not have to consult is rather horrifying.

The scenario became even more peculiar when the Senator acknowledged that the measure he is putting up is based on "rumours" that a state would be formed from the Southeast, even though the Federal Government has not made anything like an official statement to the public about this matter. My people, please why all these then? I have been asking myself.

I find it shocking that Arc Kester Ifeadi, a man we all admire in our region's cultural affairs, Mr. Philip Elueme who has served Anioma''s interest as well as others would be chosen by Enuenwosu, his social media aide for humiliation.

Due to the distinguished senator's lack of early consultation, several dialectic groupings in the Anioma region have now taken to newspaper publications to criticize the senator's "wonderful" plans for the Anioma people. Is this how our Anioma struggle started?

Given the strong criticism of this Anioma State by significant portions of his constituency, does the Distinguished Senator believe that the legislature will be persuaded to adopt it? As I read the written opinions of each party in comparison, that was the question that kept coming to me.

Senators fail before they even get started if they do not hope to take counsel from their constituents. At this stage everybody is important because I once read Prince Ned Nwoko's media people asking the Owa Progressives that reacted to them what they have done for Anioma. Who will speak for the ordinary Anioma if every keeps quiet?

I applaud my fellow Anioma people and organizations for speaking up and I implore them to continue using their golden voices to make sure that the right actions are taken by those who represent us.

Finally, I do not know any of the parties involved personally as I have never met any of them but I feel pained that all these are happening in our once peaceful Anioma and decided to give my view as a well-known commentator on our people's affairs.

Anioma nu o!

Ofu Obi!

-Chief John Uchechukwu Enenmor, PhD
Issele-Azagba, Delta State

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Politics / Appointed, Removed And Reinstated: The Story Of Engr Vincent Maduka, The NTA DG by Peppermaster(m): 12:52pm On Jun 29
Appointed, Removed and Reinstated: The Story of Engr Vincent Maduka, the NTA DG from Anioma

By Emeka Esogbue

Do you know that Eng Vincent I. Maduka, OFR, the first Director General of the Nigerian Television Authority is from Illah an Anioma community in Oshimili North Local Government Area of Delta State?

What is typical of Nigerian politics is reflected in the life narrative of Vincent Ifeanyichukwu Maduka. Caught up by the Nigerian political system, he tasted the good, the bad and the ugly but survived the tide in the end.

Maduka was born to Maduka in Epetedo, Lagos in 1935. He received a good education, attending Leeds University in England and Kings College in Lagos.

The retd ace broadcaster made his memoir, "The Reel Life: My Years Managing Public Service Television," available to the public in 2022. The unveiling took place within the Onikan, Lagos, MUSON Centre.

Cruising to success was never an easy one for the Anioma man from Illah who faced travails.

The drama started in 1977 when he was appointed the pioneer Director-General of the new Federal Television Monopoly by the Olusegun Obasanjo administration. In contrast, he was removed from the same Nigerian Television Authority by the Shagari administration in 1983 because the Shagari administration would not accept the non-partisan posture of the television DG as widely claimed at the time. Engr Maduka was assigned to the Federal Ministry of Communication where he peacefully resumed his duties.

However, on taking over after deposing the Shagari administration, Gen Muhammadu Buhari (Rtd) dramatically reinstated Vincent Maduka who would later retire at the age of 50 to pursue his engineering consulting business.

As it turned out, Engr. Vincent I. Maduka had been reinstated by Obasanjo to the position of Director-General of the Nigerian Television Authority, had been removed from it by Shagari, and had been restored by Buhari.

All in all, his legacy as the Director-General of the Television Authority endures.

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Politics / Anioma In Southeast: Anioma Youths Ask Ned Nwoko to Consult Stakeholders by Peppermaster(m): 10:53am On Jun 28

The Anioma Youth Forum Worldwide (AYF-W), the premier socio-political organization representing the youth of Delta North Senatorial District, comprising nine local government areas, welcomes the renewed call for the creation of Anioma State. This initiative, long championed by prominent Anioma Statesmen both dead and alive, has gained momentum. Thanks to the efforts of Sen. Ned Nwoko, our representative in the 10th Senate.

However, the AYF-W is deeply concerned about the divergent views among critical stakeholders and even residents in various parts of Anioma regarding certain conditions associated with Sen. Ned Nwoko's current approach. Our independent consultations reveal that these attachments were introduced without adequate consultation, leading to widespread concern among the Anioma people.

Of a truth, the advantages accrueable from the creation of Anioma state is quite enormous which is the foundation upon which all Anioma people anxiously dreams of the much expected Anioma state. The only snag in the present situation is the geopolitical location of the proposed state.

According to reports which has been confirmed by the open letter written and signed by Senator Nwoko, his push is for the Anioma state to make up the short fall in the South East. This is the only bone of contention among Anioma people with many preferring the retention of the state in the old mid western region and by extension, the present South South zone.

In light of these concerns, we urgently call on Sen. Ned Nwoko to convene a meeting of Anioma stakeholders and leaders comprising all Political office holders, all Religious leaders, Traditional leaders, Youth leaders, women leaders etc. This gathering is essential to deliberate on the crucial aspects of the Anioma State creation and to establish a unified stance before any further actions are taken in the National Assembly. As the main protagonist as at today, the onus lies on him to convince the people face to face on why we must all support the proposal.

As a matter of fact, It is imperative that the Senator as a representative of Ndi Anioma should understand that such a matter of utmost importance that affects the people directly cannot be decided by him alone just as the genuine concerns raised can not be wished away with a snap of the finger tips.

The importance of this all-inclusive stakeholders' meeting cannot be overstated. It will provide an opportunity for Ndi Anioma to address all contentious issues and reach a consensus that best serves the interests of Anioma land and its people and then make the the push holistic by all Anioma sons and daughters from Ndokwa/Ukwuani to Aniocha/Oshimili and to Ika land.

God bless Ndi Anioma!
God bless Anioma land!!
God bless Delta state!!!
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria!!!!

Comr. Ekwukwo Elvis
National Publicity Secretary
Culture / Issele-uku Beautiful City Gate by Peppermaster(m): 10:18am On Jun 28
I miss this junction that year especially those okada people that will welcome you, as they're dragging you before you know it someone you know will come immediately you enter bike comot without asking for price. He will be like ah wenne kaka? bia Ka anyi wa you both will gist until he drop you for your destination

- Nwakpa Ego

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Culture / Frank Ofili Sends Tribute To Late Omu Anioma by Peppermaster(m): 1:05pm On Jun 27
Tribute to Her Royal Majesty, Obi (Dr) Martha Dunkwu, Omu Anioma - by Frank Ofili

I met her for the first time on 27th December 2017 at Idumuje Unor in Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State. It was at an event to confer on my friend, Michael Brian Odiakose, the title of Chief Nwadialor (wa ji aka n’abo apa) of Idumuje Unor, by His Royal Majesty, Agbogidi Obi Charles Chukwunweike Anyasi III.

Resplendent in her cultural regalia, personal elegance, and panache reminiscent of a royal salamander - akwa ocha, beads, otulaka, red cap, ugo and all – she looked royal, regal, majestic! Like an empress, she walked with a certain swagger that was at once leisurely and purposeful.

But she was more. She was cultural elegance personified. She was, in many ways, different from all the other royalty around. She exuded an aura that was indescribable – imperial, kingly – attributes that make you keep a respectful distance. Heads turned in her direction, eyes blinked in humbled reverence you could almost cut through with a knife.

Born at Okpanam in Oshimili North Local Government Area of Delta State, Obi Martha Dunkwu attended St. Joseph's Catholic School, Barkin Ladi, Plateau State and St. Murumba's College, Okpanam, Delta State. She worked for a couple of years in Ministry of Finance, Benin City, Edo State before proceeding to L.T.C. College of English and Secretarial Studies, London, England. She also attended South West London College, England, Henderson State University, Arkansas and University of Nevada, United State of America. Obi Martha Dunkwu was crowned Omu of Okpanam on 26th January 2002 and Omu Anioma on 15th January 2010. On 7th October 1998, His Royal Majesty, Omo N'Oba Erediauwa, CFR, Oba of Benin presented Obi Martha Dunkwu Royal Beads (Ivie-Urhu -Beaded Necklace).

She was a Member, Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (MNIPR), Member, Institute of Administrative Management (MIAM), England, Associate Member, Nigeria Institute of Management (ANIM), Past and First Female President, Asaba Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ASACCIMA), Past and First Female President, Delta State Council of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (DELCIMMA) comprising Warri, Sapele, Asaba and Ethiope Chambers of Commerce and National Officer, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Member, Federal Government/Private Sector Committee on Technical & Vocational Education and Training (TVET), and Member of Board, National Orientation Agency.

In 2001, the International Biographical Centre, Cambridge, England selected Obi Martha Dunkwu to be included in the "2000 Outstanding Intellectuals of the 21st century". Excerpts of the award read: "The Oxford English Dictionary defines intellectualism as the "Doctrine that Knowledge is wholly or mainly derived from pure reason" and it follows by saying that an intellectual is a person possessing a good understanding, enlightened person". Surely, therefore, this definition is the reason for your selection to be included in this prestigious publication which is due for release in late 2001".

Obi Martha Dunkwu was granted "21st Century Award for Achievement and included in the WHO IS WHO IN THE 21st Century also by the International Biographical Centre, Cambridge, England. On October 3rd, 2001 she became pioneer recipient of the Indomitable Spirit Award" Abuja. On 19th June 2005, Obi Martha Dunkwu was conferred Doctor of Science D.Sc degree (Honoris Causa) by Columbus International University, Virgin Island, United Kingdom.

An Inductee, Nigerian Women Hall of Fame, Abuja, holder of many Traditional chieftaincy titles in Delta and Edo states, Patron Media Correspondents Chapel of Edo NUJ, Obi Martha Dunkwu was the Public Relations Consultant to His Royal Majesty, The Oba of Benin. Her friends and colleagues in the media admiringly call her "Royal Image Maker".

Obi Dunkwu was the Chairman, Board of Governors, Martha Dunkwu Education Centre. Leadership through conviction and relationships based on fairness, loyalty and trust, makes Obi Martha Dunkwu a proven leader, media guru, efficient motivator, recognized performer, able administrator, enterprising business-person, royal image maker, committed Public Relations practitioner translating professionalism into excellence, crisis manager of the highest order and Information Manager par excellence.

A loving, devoted, caring, disciplined and God-fearing mother of a son. Obi Martha Dunkwu was an ardent believer in Nigeria's leadership of the black world.

Today, I received the sad news that Obi (Dr) Martha Dunkwu has transitted to the Great Beyond at age 69. May her soul rest in peace, Amen

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Culture / Don't Call Me Diokpa Unless.. By Frank Ofili by Peppermaster(m): 12:55pm On Jun 27
Don't call me Diokpa unless..

Please how do I ask people older than I am to stop calling me Diokpa? Especially people of my Anioma region of Delta State.

In Anioma, Diokpa is the most elderly male member of a family, kindred or community.

I feel embarrassed when some people refer to me as Diokpa only because they feel I am more educated or knowledgeable than they are. These people ignorantly feel it is their way of showing me respect.

But it is actually embarrassing. In Anioma age, experience and/or wisdom cannot be bought with secular education, certificate or knowledge.

I try as much as much as possible to correct these people, but all to no avail. Imagine calling me Diokpa in a gathering of my family, kindred or village people! Answering to that would of course automatically attract a hefty fine.

I once ran into trouble in a social gathering of some of my kinsmen in Lagos. The most senior in that gathering called me out, albeit jokingly, and accused me of conferring on myself the Diokpa of Facebook. Even though he wasn't serious about it, he however declared that I must "fea nmili". And I did.

I can understand the case of those who are ignorant of the custom of my people. But for those who know? Mba nu!

A caveat though....

If you are from Anioma and beyond, and you know very well that I am older in age than you are, then you must necessarily refer to me as Diokpa. Not only that, you must also extend to me the proper courtesy by bowing (dobale) to me so that I can bless you by placing my right hand on your back. No compromise in dis one. Na my right from God. If you don't, e fea nmili (pay fine). If you vex, go to court. Unfortunately for you, no court has jurisdiction over dis one.

(c)Frank Ofili

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Politics / Owa People Worldwide Want Anioma State But Not In The Southeast by Peppermaster(m): 12:49pm On Jun 27

We, the members of Owa Progressives in Owa Kingdom comprising the entire Owa young professionals worldwide, held an emergency zoom meeting on the 26th June, 2024, to deliberate on Senator Ned Nwoko's proposed bill for the creation of Anioma State.
As aboriginal of Anioma land we feel compelled to add our voice to the raging debate on the proposed bill.

After exhaustive debate, we resolved and state as follows;

1. That we wholeheartedly support the creation of Anioma State
2. That the creation of Anioma State we reasoned, will fulfill the age-long dream of Anioma people to have a State they can call their own.
3. That the creation of Anioma State will benefit the people through increase in representation in the Senate and in the House of Representatives fast track the development of the area, provide wider employment opportunity for our youths, help in the preservation and promotion of our rich cultural heritage, entrust our people with the control, care and efficient management of our resources and environment, accelerate Agribusiness in the area, Anioma being an Agrarian society, boost economic growth and attracts investment, (both local and foreign investments).
4. That taking cognizant of the underlined benefits of having Anioma State, we emphatically opposed Anioma State as an annexure of South East geopolitical zone.
5. That Anioma and South East people are ideologically incompatible.
6. That Senator Ned Nwoko did not consult the people of Owa Kingdom ,otherwise he would have been informed that the people are better off in South South geopolitical zone than moving them to South East and finally
7. We enjoin Senator Ned Nwoko to redraft his bill to address the concerns of vast majority of Owa people.

1. Alex Okunbor , Chairman
2. Solomon Omojie, Vice chairman
3. Victor Ifeanyi ,Secretary

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Politics / Ned Nwoko On His Own: Ndokwa Rejects Inclusion In Southeast by Peppermaster(m): 3:23pm On Jun 26

The pan-Ndokwa socio-cultural organisation, Ndokwa Neku Union, NNU led by General Mike Ndubisi, has in clear terms dissociated Ndokwa nation from the rumoured moves by the Senator representing Delta North Senatorial district in the Nigerian Senate, Senator Ned Nwoko to sponsor a bill for the creation of Anioma State.

The position of the umbrella body of Ndokwa/Ukwani Federal Constituency is contained in a statement issued, Wednesday, June 26, 2024 jointly signed by the President General of the apex body General Ndubisi(Rtd.) and the Secretary General, Chukwuemeka Ojione. The group noted that the consensus is borne out of a wide range of consultations among all the clans in Ndokwa nation, including the President Generals of those clans who brought rejection verdicts from their respective clans.

The creation of Anioma State according to the sponsor of the generally rejected proposal by the people of Ndokwaland, Mr Nwoko is purportedly to make up for the deficit in the number of states in the South-East a position the NNU vehemently rejected arguing that it will never be part of such arrangement.

Concerns have been raised by elite groups in the past weeks across Ndokwa land in regard to what they described as insult on the collective sensibility of Ndokwa people wondering why a supposed respected Senator never deemed it right to consult the leaders and elders of Ndokwa nation particularly it's umbrella body in his 'solo efforts' which they argue does not represent the yearnings and aspirations of Ndokwa nation.

The apex body of the Ndosumili and Ukwani speaking people of the oil-rich Delta State, South-South Nigeria, reputed to be the second largest homogenous entity in the state further averred that:
"Ndokwa Neku Union (NNU), the apex socio-cultural organization of the Ndosumili and Ukwuani people, jointly referred to administratively, as NDOKWA and constitute the Ndokwa/Ukwuani Federal Constituency of Delta North Senatorial District of Delta State, wishes to make the following statements regarding the proposed Anioma State Bill, being canvassed by Senator Ned Munir Nwoko, the Senator representing Delta North Senatorial District in the National Assembly. The said Anioma State, according to the Senator, is required to become the 6th State of the Southeast geopolitical zone of Nigeria, so as to “Balance Representation” in the South East

"He claims that the “call for Anioma State has widespread support from various stakeholders” which obviously include the Ndokwa who are part of a contiguous geographical territory in Delta State represented by the acronym ANIOMA – derived majorly from the names of the composite Local Government Areas, viz. Aniocha/Oshimili, Ndokwa, and Ika. This claim beats the imagination of our people who have viewed it with consternation.

"There is no gain saying the fact that the furore which the current Anioma State proposal has generated among the people of Ndokwaland is due to lack of consultation with the people.

"Notwithstanding, it behoves on us to put it in correct historical perspective, Ndokwa’s position on the Anioma discourse since the current democratic dispensation. This is not the first time Ndokwa nation would be interrogating and, in fact, rejecting the idea of an Anioma State that would be in the southeast geopolitical zone of Nigeria. There was an action in this regard in the year 2021 – some twenty-four months before the emergence of Prince Ned Munir Nwoko as our Senator. The narrative runs thus. A document, captioned “Nigeria Restructuring Bill Concluded Ready For Ratification”, which had gone viral on social media, had generated some “frenzy” within the polity. The document, among other issues, proposed an Anioma State that would include Ndokwa to be created and lodged in the Southeast geopolitical zone, just as currently being taunted by Sen Nwoko.
Ndokwa, like other Nigerians, were shocked by this rather social media frenzy that had no verifiable source nor government authority to the authorship of the said document. But not wanting to be caught napping, we went into action. The NNU set up a high-powered committee on the subject.

"After extensive consultation with our people and diligent consideration of the pros and cons of Ndokwa in an Anioma State in South East, Nigeria, the committee rejected Ndokwa being included in an Anioma State in the South East geopolitical zone of Nigeria; electing rather, to remain in the present Delta State of the South-South geopolitical zone or as a last option, have an Ndokwa State.

"In the light of the above, it only follows that under the present circumstance, Sen. Nwoko's proposal is grossly deficient in consultation, lacking in respect for the people of Nation. It's an effort in futility as far as Ndokwa nation is concerned. You don't agitate on behalf of a people, let alone a nation of three densely populated local government areas of well-meaning Nigerians...

"Like the 2021 episode, Nwoko's bill lacks the acceptance, support, and the goodwill of Ndokwa people. Proper consultations would have been a veritable opportunity to appraise the distinguished Senator of Ndokwa long-standing position on the Anioma State discourse." The statement reads in part.

The General Ndubisi-led group said, "the Senator is on his own" since he sees himself too big to consult Ndokwa political establishment on an issue bothering on the very foundation of Ndokwa nation stressing that:

"To this end, we, the Ndosumili and Ukwuani people, administratively called Ndokwa, who constitute the Ndokwa/Ukwuani Federal Constituency of Delta North Senatorial District of Delta State, Nigeria, and inhabit part of the contiguous geographical sphere of Delta State, Nigeria, often called ANIOMA, in an affirmation by the President Generals of the thirty-eight (38) Ndokwa Clans and under the authority of Ndokwa Neku Union (NNU), our apex socio-cultural organization, hereby vehemently and totally, reject to be included in the creation of an Anioma State as part of the South East geopolitical zone of Nigeria, whether as proposed by the Senator representing Delta North Senatorial District in the Nigerian Senate – Sen. Ned Munir Nwoko or by any other arrangement or contraption, whatsoever.
"We elect to remain in our present Delta State of the South-South geopolitical zone of Nigeria if inevitably, an Anioma State in the South-South geopolitical zone of Nigeria is not feasible.
We declare to, in the long run, settle for Ndokwa State in the South-South geopolitical zone of Nigeria or any regional arrangement; an ambition, we, as a people, do not consider impossible nor a tall order. We have the resources, both human and material, to thrive.
"In conclusion therefore, Ndokwa rejects the present agitation for Anioma State as a part of the South East geopolitical zone and as canvassed by Senator Prince Ned Munir Nwoko, the Senator representing Delta North Senatorial District, in the Nigerian Senate."

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Politics / Agbor Youth Remove Self From Ned Nwoko's Proposed Anioma In Southeast by Peppermaster(m): 12:11pm On Jun 26
June 23 2024.





IKORO-AGBOR, comprising of the youth of the entire communities of Agbor Kingdom, met recently in Imobi Agbor and after extensive deliberations on the issues raised by Senator Ned Nwoko - Senator representing Delta North in the subsisting 10th Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria - on the matter of ceding the regional affiliation of the prospective Anioma State to South-Eastern Nigeria, unanimously resolved to send to you and publish the following resolutions:

1. That Agbor Kingdom is an integral part of Delta North senatorial district, otherwise called Anioma. We State that Agbor are not in agreement with the published proposition of Senator Ned Nwoko and are therefore opposed to the political affiliation of Anioma to South-Eastern Nigeria.

2. We affirm that Senator Ned Nwoko, the senator representing the Delta North District did not consult with the people of Agbor before issuing his proposition of a prospective Anioma State joining with the South-East in a new Region in Nigeria.

3. That we are by this publication, expressing our disapproval of Senator Nwoko’s conduct of taking such far reaching and binding political decision without prior consultation with the principal stakeholders of the Anioma Region.

4. We inform you that Agbor Kingdom was firmly situated in the Old Western Region where it occupied a pride of place as our king, Obi Obika, as a high ranking Minister, represented the interests of the Anioma people in the Western Region Government.

5. That during the plebiscite that created the Midwest Region in 1964, Agbor people helped mobilize the rest Anioma Region to vote for and become an integral part of the Midwest Region.

6. That the Agbor Kingdom has had no shared history, governing commonality or association with the Igbo before or after British colonialism. While we remain fellow compatriots since the independence of Nigeria in 1960, we have had no relatable administrative experience with South-Eastern Nigeria.

7. That arising from these stated facts, IKORO-AGBOR dissociates the land and people of Agbor from the proposition of Senator Ned Nwoko which we Believe has been published to the National Assembly, the Presidency and other public institutions for consideration. We therefore by this publication declare Nwoko’s unilateral affiliation to the South-East null, void and of no binding effect on Anioma people.

8. That the mandate of Senator Ned Nwoko, representstive of Delta North in the 10th senate of the Republic of Nigeria does not include any permission to railroad or bond the Delta North or Anioma people to a political union with South Eastern Nigeria without the democratic consent of the people expressed in a plebiscite.

9. We hold that any re-arrangement in the political affiliation of the Delta North senatorial district will require a plebiscite to seek a democratic validation as was done before the creation of the Midwest Region in 1964. Agbor was an integral part of that epochal political experience.

10. That the Agbor people remain united with their Anioma brethren in the advocacy for Anioma State, following in the leadership role played by our own Dr. George Oka Orewa of blessed memory, whose pioneering leadership united the Anioma people in the quest for their own state and identity.

11. Finally, Ikoro-Agbor expresses the firm resolve of Agbor people to remain a strong advocate of a future Anioma state that will be solidly an integral part of the South-South region of Nigeria.

Signed This Day June 23 2024:

1. Johnson Imade.

2. Egbonimali Mburiche.

3. Sunday Ugbede.

4. Ehiedu Agwaze.

For And On Behalf Of IKORO-AGBOR.

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Politics / Ned Nwoko's Anioma State In Southeast, A Self-motivated Interest By Chris Obanya by Peppermaster(m): 4:23pm On Jun 25
Ned Nwoko's Anioma State in Southeast, a Self-Motivated Interest By Chris Obanya

Anioma people with brains on their heads, read this letter with better understanding. According to Diokpa Ned, the benefits of Anioma state includes three senators instead of one, more representatives in the House, additional seats in our State Assembly, more commissioners, more government officials etc. Technically this man is saying that the benefits of Anioma state is further proliferation of politicians and increased cost of governance! This rather empty and self serving letter has failed to state clearly what the economic and social benefits of Anioma state will be to the ordinary Anioma people. What will happen happen to the 13% oil revenue derivative we are currently benefiting as Deltans? What will happen to the Delta state student bursary and Desopadec bursary that our students are currently enjoying as Deltans? He’s saying the question of joining the south east is secondary, really? Do you know how disastrous it would be for our future as a people to be yoked in unholy matrimony with the south east?

There are better things this man can be pushing for in the senate house that would be more beneficial to us than this futile chase he’s on. He can push for local government autonomy which would allow inec organize local government elections instead of the usual sham organized by DSIEC. Instead he passionately wants Anioma state so that he can become governor, litter Anioma land with politicians and join us with the South East and they can come and turn Asaba into another South Eastern city to make mess of. You will fail woefully! What has been Ned’s score card since he became senator? What has he done for Anioma land? No worry, 2027 no far again. I trust Ika and Ndokwa people to fiercely resist this nonsense.

Chris Obanya, Responded to Hon Ned Nwoko's Open Letter to Anioma People Posted on Anioma Voice Facebook Page

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Politics / Anioma State In Southeast: Paschal Adigwe, Former NASS Member Disowns Ned Nwoko by Peppermaster(m): 1:50pm On Jun 25
Anioma State in Southeast: Paschal Adigwe, Former NASS Member Disowns Ned Nwoko


My attention has been drawn to a group picture which includes my humble self, Hon Pascal Nwaoranine Adigwe and some ANIOMA PERSONS who came to ABUJA to visit their Senator, depicting my involvement in a purported vote of confidence and apparent endorsement of creation of Anioma state and it's annexture to South East geopolitical zone.

I consider the use of this picture as a representation of the above highly offensive to my sensibilities, antithetical to my nature as a person, invariant understanding of who we are, where we belong, and how we do things.

I did not fall from the sky, birth place, traditionally, politically and otherwise.
That I graciously accept to put my life and future on the line to assist our brothers in need to win elections with my God given talent, discipline, coordination, gregarity and terrain knowledge to make them succeed do not reduce me to a fool who doesn't know his roots nor politically schooled enough not to know how things are done, when and where.

This picture was taken close to six months ago in Sen Ned's office when Obi Nzemeke, an obi friend, pleaded I took them there, knowing I was a member and could give them easy passage.

The only topic discussed there was about Pan-Ocean oil company cheating Anioma people, and it ended there.

No one has gotten back to me ever since then nor have I set my eyes on Sen Ned or had any further dealings nor interaction with him since over six months now especially as the last messages I sent to him then still remained unaawered till date many months now.

Our people would attest that i am a very content man who goes about supporting our people to succeed but I know my limit and what spells good for me hence I have to put up this write up to correct the erroneous message this picture and attached captions could maliciously convey especially to the less discerning and gullible minds. I AM NOT A MEMBER OF IZU ANIOMA NOR KNOW THEIR MEMBERS,

I have been taking a dignified silence over many issues including my OGWASHI dam and many others but allowing everything fly pass is coming together to injure the political armament and goodwill I have built over the years that many have enjoyed its deployment hence I have to correct this narrative before things get out of hands.

I have incurred a lot of lessons with what I go home with after all these innocent and tortuous gestures of mine, but I have no regret. Lessons have been learnt and glory be to God. I only just plead not to be entangled with further controversies and fights I know nothing about.

I plead to you Ned promoters to give me my peace so I can move on unblemished before the political family I belong to, before our people that I adore and God almighty that I serve and depend on.

Dalu nu shineh.....


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Culture / Top 18 Anioma Personalities And How They Love To Be Remembered by Peppermaster(m): 11:32pm On Jun 20
Top 18 Anioma Personalities And How They Love To Be Remembered

- Emeka Esogbue

A few well-known Anioma figures were asked how they would like to be remembered. Naturally, some of them felt compelled to respond with their wishes, while others, for various reasons, felt compelled to remain silent or to provide an explanation other than their actual response. PEN MASTER presents you with a list of notable Anioma people and the legacies they would like to be remembered for by the next generation in this motivating compilation.


"I would like to be remembered as a Marxist in Christ who was allergic to social injustice, nepotism, bad leadership in Nigeria and in other Third World countries; acts of bully, intimidation, domination and discrimination of all kinds, corruption and above all, blind followership. I would like to be remembered for being consistent in my fight against all of them."

----Comrade Ephraim Adinlofu, Social Crusader, Public Analyst and Advocate of good governance in Nigeria.

"The opinions of people about me would vary depending on my relationship with them and the context of interaction. Thus my students might regard me as a stern and strict teacher in the class but as a friendly Teacher outside the classroom. As a Principal, my staff would see me as Amb Dr. Mrs Solanke Mary Ifeanyichukwu, CEO as a workaholic who ensures that tasks are done thoroughly and joyfully without cutting corners. The government, my employer would see me as a humble obedient and industrious Principal."

----Amb Dr. Mrs Solanke Mary, Teacher and Educationist

"I love to be remembered as one with service above self."

----Augustine Afam Ugah, Graphic Designer and Anioma Culture Advocate

"I would like to be remembered by the people I impacted their lives positively by elevating them from being dependent to being independent and they were able to wake up everyday and say, thanks to God for sending me to them. I would leave a legacy of not being an opportunist that oppresses and suppresses people, claiming to be a helper while they cannot afford any tangible benefits from my actions. I am uplifting and building lives."

----Dr. Charles Oseji, Adjunct Professor and former President of Anioma Association USA, Inc Georgia Chapter

"I love to be remembered for what I have done for humanity, working hard to bring succor into the lives of the underprivileged globally. To achieve it, I set off with the establishment of Vebron, a multinational charity NGO with my wife, Dr. Vivian Ajudua. We determinedly touch and uplift lives thereby reducing mortality rates in Ibusa and Anioma in general."

---Chief Dr. Henry Ajudua, USA-based Founder and President of Vebron Carre

"I would like to be remembered as a man who, being deeply offended that humanity is at peace with lies, troubled the world with the truth."
---Emeka Egwuda, Author and Playwright

"I want to be remembered for my kindness, for showing up in other people's situations when called upon, for giving second chances, for acknowledging my own boundaries and limitations, and for my selfless love. I want to be remembered as a man who had good friends, a nice family and one who extended grace to others with my daily prayers. I don't think I could ask for anything more than that."

----Mr. Ben Onwubuya, Ocean Freight Forwarder from Issele-Uku, Delta State

"It is something that I keep working on, day in, day out, but I hope when I am no more, I will be remembered, not for the many times I was right, but for the many times that I was wise in my dealings with fellow mortals."

----Dr. Collins Nweke
Prominent Nigerian-born Belgium Politician from Ibusa in Delta State

"I want to be remembered as a proud Anioma son who contributed in the restoration and preservation of our culture and traditions and heritage the same way they were passed down to us by our forefathers to awaken the next generation."

---Oranye Awele, Social Crusader and Administrator of Anioma Watch Social Association

"A man who lived for his community. A family man and a good Samaritan to all, near and far."

---Dr. Ben Enemoh, Lagos-based Healthcare Practitioner with specialization as a General Practitioner

"I would be remembered for being a human being here on earth, having the disposition to grow the human society through genuine developments. Having the willingness to serve God and humankind with clarity and sincerity of purpose. I would be remembered for appreciating the labours of my forebears, and my willingness to add positively to that. Life is a gift to impact. Let them remember that I was Rev. Fr. John konyeke who reminded people that
God is aware and always involved in our human history."

---Rev. Fr. John konyeke, Priest, St John Bosco Catholic Church, Asaba

"I would like to be remembered as someone who loved and cherished Anioma culture and traditions. This I am proud of because there are lots of moral values embedded in our culture, such as: charity; compassion; cooperation; courage; dependability; due regard to the feelings, rights, traditions and wishes of others; empathy; equality; fairness; fidelity; forgiveness; generosity amongst others."

----Anthony Awunor, Multiple Award-Winning Journalist and Cultural Enthusiast from Ubulu-Uku, Delta State

"I would love to be remembered for my motivation of individuals, creativity and the drive to complete projects. I love to be remembered as one with innate ability to ensure success in whatever I am involved in. I love to be remembered for my sincere obedience to my superiors, enthusiasm and attention."

---Fidelis Ubaka Chimokwu, Anioma Politician and Media Specialist

"I want to be remembered for speaking and fighting against oppression, injustice, underdevelopment, and other social vices. I want to be remembered for being the voice of the voiceless, the freedom fighter, the Pathfinder, and the one who opened doors for the good of our children to enjoy their freedom."

----Comrade Enudi Marcus, President-General, Anioma Youth Council Worldwide (AYCW) and President, Delta State Ethnic Nationalities Youth Leaders Council (DSENYLC)

"I would like to be remembered as one man who was proud to be Anioma flesh, blood and soul without apologies. In my next world, I would come as Anioma. No regrets!"

----Frank Ofili is a Critic and Public Affairs Analyst from Illah, Delta State

I want to be remembered as a true son of Illah in Anioma extraction of Delta State, Nigeria, who made positive impacts on other people's lives, whether by acts of kindness, dedication to community welfare, promotion of Anioma's rich cultural heritage or introduction of innovative programs that benefits and adds values to the society. I hope to leave such a legacy of compassion, service and promotion of dignity in labour that will inspire others to make a difference in their own unique ways and motivate them to contribute to the betterment of our society.

---Mac-Donald Ashibogwu Ofili, Legislative Assistant to Barr. Frank Esenwah, Member Delta State House of Assembly, Oshimili North Constituency, Delta State

"I would like to be remembered as that young Anioma local farmer who instilled and reawakened farming and agricultural practices amongst the teaming youths of the Anioma nation to curb youth restiveness. I would like to be remembered for making food available and diversifying our streams of income."

----Hon Ochendo Diji, Anioma Farmer

"Sincerely, I will like to be remembered for my developmental contributions to my society with god-fearing efforts and outspokenness of truth."

----Chief Dr. McDonald Okonkwo, the Ede of Ukwunzu Kingdom

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Culture / Miss Independence, Rosemary Adams Showcases Images Of Anioma Ladies In America by Peppermaster(m): 5:43pm On Jun 17
Miss Independence, Rosemary Adams Showcases Images of Anioma Ladies in America

- Emeka Esogbue

Rosemary Adams, the former Miss Independence 1960 and current Mrs. Rosemary Adams, posted images of sophisticated Anioma (Aniocha) women on her Facebook page, drawing comments from her fans.

Mrs. Rosemary Adams wrote:

"Beautiful daughters of Aniocha in LA with their matron our very own Josephine Elumelu and Queen Anieze from Onicha-Olona."

The images feature gorgeous ladies wearing red george wrappers and exquisitely made blouses to go with them.

Beauty Queen and TV Actress, Mrs. Rosemary Adams who was crowned Miss Independence 1960 on Sept 28 1960, hails from Onicha-Olona community of Anioma in Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State.

In 2017, PEN MASTER and the Anioma Essence Magazine crew, a publication of the Organization For the Advancement of Anioma Culture (OFAAC) engaged Mrs Rosemary Adams in a media chat in Lagos where she remarked that "hard work never do kill a woman" as an encouragement to Anioma women to work and keep their dignity intact.

Miss Rosemary Anieze, one of the most well-known Nigerian Beauty Queens in Lagos, celebrated her pageant triumph with a joyful walk throughout the city.

Nigeria was one of the seventeen African countries to gain independence in 1960.

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Politics / As Nigerian Economic Crisis Deepens, Suicidal Cases May Soar, Kizito Ijeh Warns by Peppermaster(m): 5:37pm On Jun 17
As Nigerian Economic Crisis Deepens, Suicidal Cases May Soar, Kizito Ijeh Warns

- Emeka Esogbue

Politician and People of Oshimili North (PoON) founder, Chief Kizito Osadebe Ijeh has lamented Nigeria's worsening economic situation, warning that the situation is pregnant with more serious consequences for the nation's citizens.

Chief Ijeh, in a brief message delivered to the members of People of Oshimili North on Monday feared that the nation's worsening situation may further lead to increase in suicidal cases and acceleration of crimes in the country.

The PDP veteran politician from Ibusa in Delta State expressed shock at the deepening economic crisis that the people have to deal with.

"With the way things are going, I foresee a lot of suicides and despicable crimes in the nearest future."

"Tragically, our educational system didn't prepare us for this time."

Kizito Ijeh explained that Nigerian children go to school to learn what they could hardly survive on.

"I see my generation as lucky."

"Ten years from now, we may descend to South Africa's level, where their citizens wake up and stroll to the parks and stare at empty horizons."

"Most times you hear of adults raping two-year olds to death."

"Their girls are culturally expected to have kids at 15 years and then enter the streets to fend for their parents and infants who grow up to meet the same fate."

"I feel sorry for them, my brothers."

Chief Ijeh whose People of Oshimili North initiative recently extended philanthropic gestures to widows in some communities of Oshimili North Local Government Area of Delta State also lamented the consequences of the deepening economic crisis on Nigerians, stating that Nigerians have been converted to beggars in their own country.

"The way people like us wake up to the calls of friends in dire need asking for 2,000 is alarming," he regretted.

"We live with them; we live with the realities on the ground."

"I just pray to die before my eyes will start seeing my ears."

As the Nigerian economic situation bites harder, the Nigerian Labour Congress is asking for an increase in minimum wage while a section of others believe the solution to lie in forcing down the prices of goods and services in the country such as petroleum price, electricity tariffs and others to avoid a state of deflation.

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Politics / Anioma State And Southeast: My Reflections On Hon Ned Nwoko Bill - Part Two by Peppermaster(m): 9:27pm On Jun 12

On a humorous yet instructive note, in the spirit of the celebratory June 12 Democracy Day, which presupposes symbolically, in a way, that democratic representation without consultation is a recipee for 'totalitarianism and anarchy'.

Did our representative at Abuja, the mover of this contentious bill for the creation of Anioma State to be lumped in the Southeast Region consult his fellow elected members Viz:

All the three Delta State House of Representatives who are Hon. Ngozi Okolie, Hon. Nwokolo, and Hon. Ezechi?

Did he consult all the Delta North House of Assembly elected members?

Did he consult all the elected Local Government Chairmen and Councillors including our registered corporate pressure groups, notable ruling and opposition partisan cum leaders ofb thoughts?

Where the traditional rulers, Community Development Associations, Union leaders, Youth Leaders, Women leaders, Anioma Pressure Groups and our people in the Diaspora consulted consulted?

This question arises because historically, when the likes of late Sen Nosike Ikpo led the region particularly, the Movement for the Creation of Anioma State during the Second Republic, from the historical documents available, he secured the concurrence and signatures of Anioma elected cum traditional rulers, leaders of thoughts, including the opposition party elements.

For instance, Sen Nosike Ikpo a true grassroot democrat and Anioma son consulted the UPN elected senator, leader of the NPN, former Premier of Midwest State, Rt. Hon Osadebey and many other opposition leaders before proceeding to secure the National Assembly approval.

In a similar fashion, movers of the Anioma State creation after the Ikpo leadership era did wide consultations.

May our Honourable Delta North elected members at the national, state, Local Government levels, their authentic Aides and media consultants, please speak up.

Where you consulted before this bill on Anioma state creation that intends to lump us in the Southeast Geo-political Region as proposed by our representative at the Senate?

Philip Elueme, Izu Anioma Patriot, writes from Abuja, the nation's state capital

June 12, 2024

Politics / Anioma State And Southeast: My Reflections On Sen Ned Nwoko Bill - Part One by Peppermaster(m): 6:18pm On Jun 12

Politics, partisanship colourations not withstanding, if a referendum is carried out today in Anioma, I may want to believe that over 70+ percent of Anioma people (Aniocha Oshimili, Ika, Ndokwa Federal constituencies), will vehemently, VEHEMENTLY, oppose the creation of Anioma State as part of the Southeast Region.

They will rather have Anioma state created, but situated in the South-South Region of the country.

Again, it is only an inexperienced representative who will think that the generality of the Southeast representatives including the Ohaneze Ime Obi, leaders of thoughts and traditional rulers will support the creation of Anioma state as the slot of the Southeast Region.

Like Orlu or Adada states, one does not just wake up as a representative and craft a bill without adequate consultations like our forbears did in their own time.

The proposal is dead on arrival even with the initial feverish euphoria by those moving it to score a cheap political point to the ignorant enthusiasts.

Please 'save' this post going forward because it is based on rational, pragmatic and realistic analysis.

Philip Elueme, Izu Anioma Patriot and Activist, writes from Abuja, the nation's capital

June 12, 2024

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Politics / Why Ndigbo Should Avert Distractions And Embrace The Creation Of Orlu State by Peppermaster(m): 12:42pm On Jun 12
Why Ndigbo Should Avert Distractions and Embrace the Creation of Orlu State

- Emeka Esogbue

As history beckons close on Ndigbo to own a sixth state in the Southeast Geo-Political Zone, the people must avert the temptations of disunity and other characteristics of distractions to ensure that the dream is realized.

On its part, the National Assembly, should also expedite actions to see to the birth of this state. Already, Orlu State has been proposed, a move in the right direction for the people.

Following years of advocacy to raise the Southeast's state count from five to six, Imo State's Ideato North South Federal Constituency representative, Hon. Michael Ugochinyere Ikeagwuonu, presented a measure that aims to satisfy the region's decent people's desire.

Specifically, Ugochinyere is requesting that the current states of Anambra, Imo, and Abia be divided into a new state, with Orlu serving as the capital.

Although no civilian government has been able to establish a state in the nation, it appears that President Bola Tinubu and the 10th Assembly are prepared to take the bull by the horns.

The proposed Orlu State appears to fulfil the demand for the creation. There are currently 12 local government units in the Orlu Zone, which according to reports is larger than about eight states combined. Orlu is also an oil producing area.

Although certain influential members of the state, such Senator Osita Izunaso and Congressman Sam Ike of the United Eastern Region Congress, have stated that they support the state's formation, more needs to be done on the part of the populace to guarantee that Orlu becomes the sixth state in the region.

Thankfully, the Imo Trumpeter has taken the initiative to ensure this in its piece headlined "Creation of Orlu State in Imo State Resurrects".

The paper in the article wrote, "Finally, recognizing the cultural and historical significance of the Orlu area, the new state will foster and preserve its unique heritage and traditions."

As things stand, the people must concentrate on Orlu and stay away from the diversions and elements of discord that are already beginning to appear from many angles.

Arguments against Orlu have begun to give the local aspiration new dimensions.

The Umunze community has rejected being included in the projected Orlu State, according to an article published in the Vanguard Newspaper on June 11, 2024. The article written by Anayo Okoli quoted the people as saying that they were comfortable and proud to remain in Anambra State.

On June 12, 2024, The Guardian Newspaper published a story about another rejection, in which the Isuochi in Abia State categorically rejected the proposed Orlu State and preferred Etiti State.

According to the newspaper report, the Isuochi community insists on Etiti State, which they claimed was agreed at the National Confab of 2005 and 2014 by the delegates.

In order to balance the Southeast Region, Hon. Ned Nwoko, the Senator from the Delta North Senatorial District in the National Assembly, proposed the creation of Anioma State, which is currently part of Delta State. However, various members of the region disagreed with this suggestion.

Dr. Anthony Nwaezeigwe, a historian and researcher from Anioma, denounced the Hon. Ned Nwoko's plan in a published article. He questioned the rationale behind Hon. Nwoko's proposal, stating that Anioma is a multilingual and multiethnic population that encompasses the Igbo, Edo, Yoruba, Igala, and Isoko ethnic groups.

Renowned critic and analyst Frank Ofili also weighed in on the discussion. He claimed to be surprised that Anioma would be assigned a Southeast region classification by Senator Ned Nwoko.

"If Ned (Nwoko) succeeds in taking us to the Southeast, then we can forget about our aspirations as a people."

"If Anioma State cannot be created as we are today, then let us remain the way we are."

Many more people support the establishment of Anioma State, although they prefer that it be situated in the South-South region.

Compared to other proposals, the historical significance and location of the proposed Orlu State seem more advantageous to the Southeast Region. Within the proposed state, there are a fair number of local government areas; in fact, larger than Anioma in Delta State. It is situated in the region, has an oil resource, and a population that shares historical and cultural traits with the rest of the Southeast.

With the Orlu State bill having passed the first reading, the people of the Southeast must stand firm and remain focused to welcome their long term dream and aspiration of matching the number of states in other zones. At all costs, the suggestion from other states must be avoided as a diversion. Even while the arguments initially sound plausible, they may ultimately become fictitious, upsetting the long-standing desire.

Based on the legislative tone previously established, Orlu State continues to be the best option. The state when created, will have boundaries with Rivers, Delta, Anambra, Imo, Enugu and Abia states.

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Culture / Dr Emeka Esogbue And I by Peppermaster(m): 9:31pm On Jun 06

Dr Emeka Esogbue aka Pen Master, Author, Historian, Media Consultant & Strategist, Art Afficionado and a community leader pursues whatever he believes in, with highest level of commitment.

We have been relating for many years until we met at a book launch in Lagos on April 15th, 2017. The book: "The Story History of Ubulu Kingdom" was written by Esther Wright. Before we met, he had known ourselves due to reasons I may attribute to our Mutual Intelligibility.

We did not meet again but we relate everyday. The next place we would have met again would have been at the inaugural lecture organised by Anioma Watch Social Association where I gave a lecture on the topic: "Preservation of Anioma Ancestral Heritage: A Fresh Look at the Indiscriminate Sale of Land" . No thanks for his flight cancelation that day.

The Ibusa born writer and publisher is blessed with a very strong native intelligence. Added to the native intelligence is his writing prowess. Native intelligence, writing process and a robust background in History. What do you expect? Excellence. .

I am not surprised at the number of books Emeka has written because I know he will write more. .

Again, during Anioma engagements, most of the discourse are usually centered on History and this particular subject is seen as the weeping child. With the likes of Emeka, Anioma History has stopped weeping and is just beginning to smile.

Emeka took our culture to an enviable height. He is a seasoned and experienced journalist who understands the workings of the media industry and what culture and tradition mean.

Out of his crowded schedules, I run to him to get insights and he is always able to attend to me.

Being an author and a prolific writer, both of us have similar products to sell.

To a brother who is very liberal with a secular conscience, he is an awesome personality with impeccable manners; he is helpful than he realises.

I appreciate you nwenne.

Anthony Awunor, ace Nigerian Journalist, is a multi-award winner including "Best Aviation Writer of Year."

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Culture / Lagos ICDU Elects Ike Ofuokwu, Charles Nmarkwe, Angela Izegbu, Others As New Exe by Peppermaster(m): 4:21pm On Jun 03
Lagos ICDU Elects Ike Ofuokwu, Charles Nmarkwe, Angela Izegbu, Others as New Executives

Story By Emeka Esogbue

The Lagos Island Branch of the Ibusa Community Development Union (ICDU), on Sunday, elected arrays of fine hands as new executives of the Town Union.

Ike Ofuokwu, Esq., a renowned lawyer from the community, was elected President of the Town Union in an election that took place inside the Lekki Peninsula Hotel in Lagos. The election was described by participants as free, fair, and ultimately a people's choice of leadership. Charles Nmarkwe, another well-known lawyer from the community, was elected Vice-President.

The Lagos Island Branch of the Town Union in a democratic exchange of batons also produced Entertainer and current People of Oshimili North Ambassador, Angela Izegbu fondly called "Angela Loks" as the General Secretary.

In his acceptance address, the amiable and well-known Boardroom player, Ike Ofuokwu, who would assume leadership duties, expressed gratitude to the members.

He said, "On behalf of the new Exco team, let me thank you all for finding us worthy to be asked to pilot the affairs of the ICDU Lagos Island; let me also thank you all for your outpour of congratulatory messages, phone calls and very kind words of encouragement."

"I want to assure everyone of us that it is a collective responsibility of all our members to join hands together and make the union occupy the enviable and eminent position that it ought to occupy and make it the first amongst all other branches," he reminded the members.

"It is for me and the entire Exco, not a position of honour but a position of responsibility and humility to our community. We want to see ourselves as servants and stewards and not as leaders because I strongly believe that we have many eminent and more qualified members that can lead us.
We shall serve and not rule."

Giving a hint on the goals of the new administration, Ofuokwu stated, "our priority will be to amongst other things, unite all our members under one roof by making them understand that unity is the greatest strength" while calling on members to show the spirit of unity.

"We are equally going to focus on members welfare and by so doing, make the majority of our members associate with the branch."

Other elected executives are Mr. Raphael Anyaobi, Assistant General Secretary and Mr. Chris Mogaha, Treasurer.

Other elected excos are Mr. Ikem Ogbeche and PRO, Mr. Asikabulu. The outgoing President, Mr. Morgan Agetua remains as Ex-Officio.

Mr. Morgan Agetua, the outgoing president, received accolades for his capable leadership and for guaranteeing a free and fair election in the aftermath.

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Culture / Music Development In Ibusa - Concluding Part by Peppermaster(m): 6:52am On Jun 03
Music Development in Ibusa - Concluding Part

- Emeka Esogbue

"Obodo Amaligor Na Anyi Bu Ndi Egwu" - Egwu Osodi

The biggest musical actor of modern-day Ibusa is Chief Ogbogu Anthony Okonji. A Journalist from neighbouring Okpanam community, Sylvester Asoya, once described him with the following words:

"Ogbogu Okonji is unarguably the biggest music ambassador in the Anioma area of Delta State. The traditional music exponent who had a stint with the Nigerian Customs Service has done remarkably well with his career. Apart from his admonitory lyrics which constantly place a check on society, Ogbogu's music is appealing and a major source of unity among people. But the musician has also been regularly criticized for praising only the rich and powerful."

In general, Ogbogu is the most consistent Anioma traditional musician and also the one with the highest number of albums to his credit. He was born to the Okonji family of Ogboli in Ibusa. He also stands, not only as one of the community's living legends but one of the most Ibusa indigenes. Outside of the music business, Ogbogu Okonji is a reserved man who is hardly ever seen at functions. He started his career early in life, singing songs while his mates danced to his rhythms.

It was from here that he grew to take up the music profession. In an interview with this author, Dr. Emeka Esogbue, and other Anioma Essence crew members, Ogbogu Okonji stated that he began his career as the lead vocalist for the band Otu Onye Sopulu Onwea Dancing Group of Ibusa, which was led by Mrs. Ejeteh.

His musical career took off almost at the same time as Dana "Agility" Okonji and his cousin, Etiti Okonji; a trio who would record optimal success in the profession. Except for Agility Okonji, who is now late, the other two are still active in the profession. Ogbogu shared with this author how it all started.

According to him, while he was already with Otu Onye Sopulu Onwea, Mrs. Ejete's dance group as the Lead Vocalist, two other vocalists were needed so, agility came up as a volunteer.

The group did the "Mbunete" album which has been previously explained in Part Two of this article. After the recording of the album, Ogbogu didn't return to Ibusa but chose to remain in Lagos. As Ogbogu further said, it was when Etiti Okonji, his cousin heard the success of "Mbunete" that he joined the Band in Lagos. Nevertheless, the relationship went sour among the group members and it was Ogbogu Okonji who left to form Anioma Brothers Band.

When they noticed that Ogbogu Okonji's Anioma Brothers Band was doing well, they came to beg with delegates for the reunification of the Band with Ibusa delegates as Ogbogu Okonji further alleged.

When they were younger, Etiti Okonji and his cousin Ogbogu Okonji began their musical careers together. But around twelve, he started taking music more seriously. They developed such a strong affinity for traditional music with Ogbogu Okonji that the Igbuzo people began asking them to play for them. They coincidentally met a Mrs. Ejeteh at that point. Ogbogu Okonji told him he had founded a group named "Otu Ife Onye Lolu Nwa Nmadu Dancing Group of Ibusa" while they were in Lagos.

The group was founded in 1979, but after encountering certain difficulties—according to Etiti Okonji—Ogbogu and Etiti decided to split up because they could not get along.

After Ogbogu Okonji left the group to join the Anioma Brother International Band, along with some important members including Nwadishi, Cletus Okocha, and gong player Obiechie, Etiti Okonji reorganized the group and the album "Nwasi Nwasi" was made available to the public.

In fact, the public in Ibusa was taken aback by the dissolution of the Otu Ife Onye Lolu Nwa Nmadu Dancing group as it occurred right when the group was starting to see success. The last of the Group's album perhaps, was "Ajukwu Special." It was the Group that confirmed Ogbogu Okonji as "The Message Man" because of his satirical messages in which human folly was exposed.

Since the Ibusa music was not all about Ogbogu Okonji and his cousin, Etiti Okonji, it will be apt to discuss Otu Ofu Obi of Ibusa, Benin Branch also called "Egwu Osode," a Benin-based Ibusa group that spread the Ibusa music far and wide.

The Group led by Emmanuel Oraegbu and Okwute released several hit albums among which was "Kalama Kalama." At their peak, the group occupied the Ibusa music industry and garnered the utmost popularity for themselves with the various albums released by them thereby contributing to the development of music in the community.

They became the second group after "Otu Ofu Ndu" to recount the Ibusa experience in the Nigerian Civil War of 1967 to 1970. "Mmili Zue Na Igwe" was another beautiful track from the Group that hit the Anioma music chart and remained for a long time. The group had several chartbuster albums that not only redefined Ibusa but made the people proud of their cultural background. The coordinated and well-rehearsed singing prowess of the Group characterized them as meticulous in their approach.

In 1982, the Group "Otu Mbonsionyewu Obulunjoa Dancing Group of Ibusa," founded at the residence of Madam Queen Ebedike in Umuafene in Isieke part of Ibusa, released "Nkwuka," an album that revolutionized Anioma in entirety.

The Group fathered by Senator Nosike Ikpo, a serving Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria also had Queen Ebedike as its mother and Dana Agility Okonji was the Lead Vocalist. Once founded, Mbosionyenwu with some of the brightest Enuani indigenes as members influenced the Ibusa community in no small way. Mada, Emeka Agidi, Ikedinma Nwaojine, Usonwanneka Oraegbu, Okocha Halim, Awele Ubaka, and several others formed the membership of the Group.

With their lyrics encouraging people to intensify their support for the planned Anioma State, Mbosionyenwu became the first Enuani group to identify with the quest for its creation. With the success recorded in "Nkwuka," the Group again released "Idaibo," and followed it with "Ogodinma," "Olinzele" and "Otukpokpolokpoi." The Group had three vocalists who utilized Ibusa folklore with the use of proverbs to pass the message and made use of traditional musical instruments such as uboma, agogo, small and big gongs, isaka, and others.

Regretfully, it seems that Otu Mbosionyenwu never produced as many records as one might have thought—despite her frequent trips to give private performances around the Anioma community. Otu Mbosionyenwu Obulunjoa is still one of the most well-known Ibusa groups today in spite of this.

Isichei Eluemunor Okafor, also known by his professional name "Onyeoma Diyoyo," came from Umuwor in the community's Ogbeowele Quarters later in the history of Ibusa entertainment. Diyoyo started with "Otu Onye Fu Eziokwu Dancing Group of Ibusa" with Dr. Anaza as the Patron but he was at the time an instrumentalist and backup vocalist.

He would join the "Otu Ife Onye Wepu Anyaa Dancing Group of Ibusa and Akalusia Abana, a group that would take Ibusa by surprise due to its unique genre.

Akalusia Abana was founded by Izuka Mozea with "Ndidi Bu Ije Uwa" as its first album. As we shall see, the Group seemed to be populated by Ogbeowele people. While Onyeoma Diyoyo was the Group's Lead Singer, Anthony Onyeisi Ajukwu popularly called "Sir Shady Shay" was the Second Lead Vocalist.

Other members of the Akalusia Abana include Ifeanyi Mozea, Amaechi Odina, Okey Onwuemeli, Esso Nwajei, Ayude Dumebi Nwajei, Andrew Okolie, and Kanayo Anaza. Nwabu Tony Uwaechue was the Patron while St. Michael Obanya was the Mentor.

Chief Sunny "Kuti" Okocha supported the Group's 1993 release of "Uwadilinma," and Chief Daddy Okeleke provided fatherly advice. Later, Diyoyo took the lead solo with the group "Onyeoma Diyoyo Okafor and His Musik Makers Band," and he has other albums to his name.

With the release of "Uwazulu Onye," Uche Nwalama made a splash in the Anioma music industry throughout the 1990s. The pool of gifted traditional musicians in Ogboli increased with the arrival of Uche Nwalama. The youthful, energetic Uche had created an own genre apart from what the Ibusa people were recognized for.

Anioma icons such as Nwanze Odue, Peter Nkwuka Udeze, Chuks Okonji, and others were praised in the album "Uwazulu Onye." Everyone came to accept him, and as word of his renown spread, he shot to the top of the Ibusa chart, where he remained for the duration of his record releases.

He also became widely sought after by event planners as far as Agbor. Incidentally, Uche Nwalama died in 1999 and the Ibusa community lost one of its most promising traditional musicians. His brother, Isioma Derek Nwalama would rise to prominence but it was a short stint in the music industry.

In 1998, my mother, Mrs. Theresa Nwasiwe Esogbue nee Okolie, from Umuohule, Umuisagba was lost to the cold hands of death and the wake aspect of her burial was entertaining to Ibusa music enthusiasts.

The ceremony coincided with the formative Ibusa musical career of Socromojo Okonji from Umuodafe. He was so amazing that he moved the mourners with a series of rhythmic moves performed to his song. The wake became a night of pleasure and a social gathering where dancing was the main activity even for non-Enuani indigenes who were present at the occasion and I was pleasantly surprised at his outstanding performance.

The wake changed from being a ritualistic expression of grief to a joyful celebration of Socromojo, a traditional Ibusa musician as mourners enjoyed the experience, departing Isieke, the location, to return to their homes.

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Politics / Mgbotu-ukpe Enclave (1967-1970): The Biafran State In A State In Ibusa by Peppermaster(m): 12:36pm On Jun 01
Mgbotu-Ukpe Enclave (1967-1970): The Biafran State in a State in Ibusa

- Emeka Esogbue

From the Nigerian Civil War echoes a number of enclaves in the Midwest Region of Nigeria now called "Anioma." The Midwest Region fell to the defunct Biafra and their terrorists who operated from these camps. Although the Midwest Region was rather an undeclared territory of Biafra before the war, the Biafran secesionists found a means of bringing invasion on the region which they conquered in 1967 by forces by Col Banjo and this included Ibusa.

Mgbotu-Ukpe played a huge role and scarcely would any illustrious son or daughter of Ibusa or Anioma within the conscious age of the Nigerian Civil War, claim ignorance of the knowledge of the Mgbotu-Ukpe forest in the Ibusa community. The enclave exists with many stories to the living whether one was a witness of the war or not, being a fabled enjoyer of the war. After the war, up to the present day, the Ibusa children enjoy the legendary stories from the camp handed them by war-witnesses patents.

Perhaps, a group of young Ogboli musicians made a unique preservation of the incident through a musical recording a few years back, singing their experiences in Mgbotu-Ukpe to their traditional listeners.

The post-war group under the name of Otu Ndu Ofu Dancing Group of Ibusa left an indelible mark with the modern war-songs composed to historically document their experiences in Mgbotu-Ukpe. The members were mostly militia soldiers from the Ogboli part of Ibusa who participated in the war and were stationed in Mgbotu-Ukpe. The source of the song was to mourn fellow Biafran militia men who fell to bullets during the war and these soldiers were mentioned.

The attempt to document the civil war experience of Ibusa seems incomplete without the Mgbotu-Ukpe, which was an enclave of refuge for the civilian refugees, military enclave for soldiers, base for the militia groups and a state for Biafran troops outside the declared Biafran Republic. Mgbotu-Ukpe was also a major trading centre for soldiers and some desperate civilians, riskily eager to make some fortunes. Everyone got what he wanted from Mgbotu-Ukpe.

In his article titled, "Biafran Enclaves and the Militia Activities," Odigwe A. Nwaokocha has categorized the various classes of the Mgbotu-Ukpe members. The writer ably identified 4 different categories and situated them in order of their existence, stay, purpose and activities. In understanding the origin of the existence of Mgbotu-Ukpe Enclave, we shall rely on Nwaokocha.

The group of members were Igbos of the Southeast who were Biafran soldiers. They were the original members of the Midwest Region invaders who got trapped following the pursuit and recovery of the Nigerian Troop. They were part of the August 9, 1967 military expedition that invaded the Midwest. When the Nigerian Troops advanced into Aniomaland from the Warri and Benin axis, they blew up the Oboshi River Bridge, leaving the Biafran soldiers trapped in the process because they were cut off unable to leave unless they passed through the enemy territory. The soldiers had no choice than to stay back and fight in the best way they could. They had to survive the tide after all.

The second class of Mgbotu-Ukpe members concerned a number of original Biafran soldiers who were part of the invading Biafran forces. They willingly refused to rejoin retreating Biafran forces from the Federal troop. For some reasons, they were at ease, staying back and fighting from the camp. They were Anioma soldiers who were though still committed to the Biafran ideology but preferred to remain in Aniomaland to fight. The third category was composed by Anioma young men whose commitment was to defend the Anioma territory against what they perceived as the atrocities of the Federal troop.

The last group, according to Odigwe Nwaokocha comprised the Biafran military specifically detailed to the area by Biafran Military to fight in Aniomaland. The entire soldiers in Ibusa's Mgbotu-Ukpe were ideologically committed to Biafran cause but practically fighting to safeguard the Anioma area from take over by the military and Ibusa was the grass that suffered the fight of the two elephants.
Culture / The Obuzo's Prophecy And The Shortness Of Ibusa Organizations by Peppermaster(m): 10:33pm On May 31
The Obuzo's Prophecy and the Shortness of Ibusa Organizations

- Emeka Esogbue

In 2008, Miss Florence Bob-Okonkwo of the Nkpanyala sector of Ibusa approached me and expressed her desire to start an Ibusa association, which we eventually dubbed the Ibusa Like-minds Association.

After careful consideration, I concluded that the proposed organization's goal was to contribute to our community's social development through seminars and lectures, and because it was an Ibusa project, I bought the idea and agreed to participate in the project.

We immediately launched the Association's programming, including lectures and town hall meetings, some of which were well attended by our Ibusa people. The inaugural lecture program was held at the Federal Government Girls College in Ibusa, where speakers spoke thematically about the usage of hard drugs by Ibusa youngsters, which they claimed was growing more prevalent.

It was at this session that I first met Mr. Peter Egbuchue. While we were concerned about the event's attendance, someone mentioned him to us as an Ibusa indigene who would be present. We were told that he was always enamored with Ibusa affairs and ready to fulfill his quota. True to their words, they quickly pointed to a figure who smiled and moved toward the hall's entrance. He appeared easygoing and convivial.

After exchanging compliments with us, he discreetly sat down. Holding his paperwork, he came ahead of the other invited visitors.

Another presentation among many others that we had was conducted within the Ogbeowele Town Hall. Speakers were asked to summarize the Ibusa difficulties for publishing as a newspaper statement.

Here, I recollect Emmanuel 'Kwasa' Amatokwu, who was brave, energetic, and knowledgeable about Ibusa difficulties and what he called recommendations. Emmanuel Amatokwu took the floor and listed the perceived challenges in ascending order, making it difficult for the moderator to stop him.

What struck me more was his dissatisfaction with the mindsets of the Ibusa youth. Kwasa Amatokwu had used rhetorical questions to inquire how the Ibusa youngsters who were wandering the streets of Ibusa with 'agbada' (daggers) and other lethal weapons strapped to their bodies could grow into future Diokpas (elders) of the community.

It was evident that the questioner, Emmanuel Amatokwu, did not require an answer. Nonetheless, no one responded to him.

Our operations were strengthened the next year, in 2009. Our reputation had also spread, with the Ibusa community eager to learn more about the Ibusa Like-Minds Association. I also gathered that some members of the Ibusa Community Development Union, Port Harcourt Branch, where the founder, Miss Florence Bob-Okonkwo, was based, had become helpful by providing financial support to the Association in order to hold lectures.

This time, we decided to step up our efforts by paying courtesy visits to certain major Ibusa leaders to familiarize them with the Association and its goals. Among those we met was Onowu Joseph Abuah, who greeted us pleasantly, respected the Association's objectives, and vowed to support anything that would benefit Ibusa while also providing us with valuable advice. I found him knowledgeable on Ibusa affairs.

We also paid a visit to the late Professor Chike Onwuachi, who welcomed us warmly. Using extremely turgid English terms, many of which the group had never heard before, he expressed sadness for Ibusa's dividing status and the part played by his generation. He assured us that his generation will work to remedy the wrongs.

I recall visiting Chief Jude Okonma in his Asaba Hotel, where he expressed sadness for what he described as unfair treatment despite his services to the community. Florence Bob-Okonkwo, the late Philip Ngozi Ifechukwude, Mr. Awele Achakpo, Mr. Alex Okonma, and a few others who I can no longer recollect were on the visitation team.

Finally, we paid a visit to the community's traditional ruler, the Obuzo of Ibusa. The prescribed authority greeted us with high expectations and appreciation, especially given our young age and desire for a better Ibusa. We introduced ourselves one after the other. When I announced myself as a historian, he adjusted and tossed me some questions about our history, but not wanting to delve into anything that could overshadow our reason for the visit, I brushed it off with a deflective action.

We then expressed our motive for visiting. After carefully listening to us, the monarch informed us that he would not acknowledge us and that we should continue with our organizational activities. He told us to return in five years and that he would welcome us if we were still united as an organization.

Surprised by the change of events, I managed to ask him why we should go and return in another five years. He went on to explain that this was due to the limited lifespan of Ibusa groupings and clubs. He believed that Ibusa associations are short-lived.

As he predicted, despite all we prepared, the lectures and seminars we hosted, and the invitations we extended to famous figures from outside the area, the group never lasted more than three years.

At the time, the dichotomous Obuzo and Diokpa problem was serious. It was surprising that whenever we held an event and extended invitations to famous Ibusa people, they began questioning who else from the community we had invited and would quietly withdraw as soon as certain names were mentioned.

Things continued on like this until one man revealed the secret. He advised us to forgo alerting anyone about our invited guests, saying that if we did, we would be assured of stability.

Things began to improve as soon as we stopped discussing who else from Ibusa we had invited. Nonetheless, the Obuzor predictions came true when we ceased to exist.

With this experience in mind, I became even more resolved not to let the Igbuzo Singles Meet Worldwide (ISM), which I founded in 2011 to promote Ibusa marriage, die out. Despite Ibusa's smothering traits, I clung to the group's existence, not wanting to repeat the Obuzo prophecy.

In 2021, we celebrated our tenth anniversary under the chairmanship of Ezinne Pat Ifeyinwa Nnabuife, with Hon Innocent Esewezie also in attendance as a serving Local Government Chairman and it was a memorable occasion.

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