Search this Site and the Web

Thursday, December 10, 2015


Written by Dr. Kunirum Osia - USA
Kunirum Osia is the former Founding National President of Anioma Association, USA, Inc.

For decades we, Anioma people, have been buffeted back and forth by people attempting to impose a persona on us. Some described us as being neither here nor there. Others do not give us chance to define and describe who we are as a people. We know exactly who we are. We have no confusions about our geography and genealogy. We know that identity is like gold. Just as the gold bar stands behind a currency as a guarantee of its legal tender, so is identity to an individual or a group. The analogy is only partial, of course, the price of gold may rise or fall, but we tend to pride ourselves on the stability of our identity. Anioma ethnic identity is a value we must guard. In recent times we have contended with the intrusion into Anioma world what we might call the concept of, albeit, reality of Igbocentricism.

By Igbocentrism or Igbocentricity we mean an existential point of view that puts Igbo at the centre of Igbo people's cosmology. Central to Igbocentrism is the idea that people believed or assumed to be Igbo must acknowledge, understand and love their "Igboness" so as to understand and deal with non-Igbo. It is a conceptual approach to human relations from the Igbo point of view. It is an Igbo-centeredness of interpretation of such relations and quotidian realities. Because the vast majority of Anioma people speak dialects derived from the Igbo language, it is assumed that they are "Igbo." Anioma history records individuals from diverse origins. There are in Anioma the "Olukunmi" who speak a variant of Yoruba spoken around Owo. Ebu people in Anioma speak Igala as their mother tongue.

While language delimits cultural fields, it is not permanent because people have mastered more than one language. Language is one of many indices of a culture. Language is not enough to define who a people are. Because Americans or Australians speak English does not make them English. Because Mexicans, Cubans, or Argentineans speak Spanish does not make them Spaniards. The nationals of these countries will not introduce themselves as "English" simply because they speak English nor as Spaniards because they speak Spanish. Those of them who can trace their origin to England or Spain know that over time they have formed a new identity called "American," "Australian," "Mexican," "Cuban," or "Argentinean."

Anioma people recognize a geographical contiguity, a clearly defined historicity and cultural commonality, that in their consciousness they define as their collective identity. Our Anioma ethnic identity derives from our common set of symbols and cognition shared by our people: Aniocha, Ndokwa, Ika and Oshimili share the same cultural space and delimited physical geography. They dress and dance alike, and use the same musical instruments. The systemic prolonged subordination and marginalization has lead to the gradual radicalization of our youth and elders, as exemplified by the formation of many Anioma associations in Nigeria and abroad.

The Anioma are a Nigerian people in terms of their geographical location and ancestral pedigree; in terms of the criteria and categories that are applicable in defining other Nigerian groups, and in terms of their cultural forms and institutions which they have evolved for themselves and which are comparable to those of other ethnic groups, with a specificity that is syncretic in its manifestations.

Located at the crossroads of diverse influences, Anioma has developed a syncretic culture rich in varied contributions, and we rightly can talk of an identity that is uniquely Anioma not replicable anywhere in Nigeria. Through culture contact or cultural cross-pollination, borrowing from contiguous neighbours, Anioma displays cultural syncretism in the real sense of the word. History notes that Anioma people trace their origins to Edo, Igala, Yoruba and Igbo. Ibusa (Igbo Uzo) and one part of Ogwashiuku trace their ancestry to Igbo. All other Anioma people trace their origins in entirety to Edo, Igala and Yoruba. From none other than Chief Dennis Osadebay, comes an uncontested account of the origin of 'Ahaba'. Eri, son of Achado, a king of Igala founded the towns of Aguleri, Umuleri, Igbariam and Nteje. If logic is any guide here, Eri we might reason would found a community with the people he knew, namely, Igala. Nnebisi the founder of 'Ahaba' was from Nteje founded by Eri the prince from Igala. Nnebisi married an Igala woman he had won as a prize from the Igala fishermen and traders who frequented 'Ahaba'. This is the verifiable story of the origin of 'Ahaba' (now Asaba).

Osadebay said that another migrant came from Benin and settled in 'Ahaba,' "and so the present natives of Asaba are descendants of Igala in the north, Benin in the west, and Ibo in the east" (Osadebay, Building a Nation, Macmillan, Nigeria Ltd, 1978 p.2). With this from Chief Osadebay, which to our best research has never been denied nor contradicted, we argue that Asaba people are the least Igbo among the very few segments of Anioma that claim Igbo ancestry.

With such a background, one would have thought that the identity of Anioma people would never be a matter of debate nor an issue that might unsettle the tranquility of informed mind. Yet, writings about Anioma people are replete with misconceptions, distortions, selectivity, inaccuracies and just blatant falsehood. Even some Anioma writers peddle stories diffracted into multiple and apocryphal histories that present every Anioma person originating from Nri in Igboland. May we remind the few of Igbo ancestry how much distance the passage of time and the vicissitudes of history have placed between them and their origin? Similarly, we would remind one or two traditional leaders who argue for extension of Igbo hegemony to Anioma, that they are bartering their honour and royalty for vacuous glory in Igboland, and that they do not represent Anioma people.

This muddle as to the definition of an Anioma is not intrinsic to the Anioma identity, but rather a problem fused into the tinted lenses of Igbocentrism through which the Anioma people have erroneously been viewed over the ages. The kinds of questions posed, presuppositions made, set of axioms posited, and the very methodological approaches adopted in many publications betray Igbo bias and oftentimes arrogance of Igbocentricity. The cumulative result of this imposed paradigm has been a people dispossessed of their identity, their history, and, to a great extent, their political and economic rights.

Any Anioma person who feels inadequate unless called "Anioma-Igbo," has serious identity problem. Osadebay and his group coined and christened us with the name "Anioma." They were satisfied with what it meant and what it represented for our people. The Igbocentric conception of Anioma people as "our kith and kin across the Niger" is a fallacy of baseless proportion. Thus, Igbocentrism has not only set the terms of the debate on Anioma identity, it has consumed our intellectual autonomy to counterpoise it with Aniomacentric methodology. This capitulation to Igbocentric paradigm of identity is part of a wider syndrome of intellectual dependency precipitated by homegrown colonialism.
We may ask, where was this "kith and kin across the Niger" platitude
  • when our forbears fought the Ekumeku wars of 1883 to 1914, which pitted them against the British through the instrumentality of the Royal Niger Company to dominate trade, culture, social and political lives of our people;
  • when the Second Division of the Nigerian Army commanded by Murtala Mohammed marched into Anioma areas in pursuit of the fleeing 'Biafran Expeditionary Force' and massacred our people at Asaba and Isheagu with such macabre ruthlessness and vapidity;
  • when in 1970 several high ranking Anioma military officers were detained for months (one of them for years) in Port Harcourt prison after Biafra surrendered on January 12, 1970, even though as these officers put it to the writer in their letter to him dated June 7, 1970, to seek help from Governor Ogbemudia, wrote, "...that all other officers of former Eastern Region origin (Ibos, Efiks, Ijaws etc) have been released..." and
  • when in 1996 our people were assured of support from Ndi Igbo during our quest for Anioma state?
Anioma state was not created instead Ebonyi was, thanks to the last minute turn around and support from Ndi Igbo. This experience was articulated by Professor Ijomah during the Congress of Izu-Anioma held at the POCO Plaza, Ogwashiuku, March 3rd, 1998, when he said, "... it was agreed during the last state creation exercise that Anioma State should be created. When the stakes were down, the Ibos across the Niger abandoned the Anioma quest at the last hour and supported the creation of Ebonyi State which was not seriously being canvassed before then, causing Anioma to lose." (The ANIOMA, Vol. 10, No 1, May, 1999, p. 11). Anioma people should not be hoodwinked by Ndi Igbo. Recently, Igbos have renewed their gimmickry of support for the creation of Anioma state. All they want is their grandiose illusion of 'Greater Igbo' comprising Anioma and some parts of Rivers State. Only Anioma can provide us an essential part of our historical consciousness, and an index to the universal psychic character of our identity. Only Anioma can communicate a sense of history to us.

Anioma culture sustains the vocabulary of moral prescriptions and a repertoire of covenant with visible and invisible entities. There are areas designated as secular and sacred; some creatures are deemed sacred and should not be killed nor be eaten; some vegetation considered sacred should not be eaten as vegetables. Anioma culture sees unity and sanctity in nature. Philosophically, it fuses cosmology and cosmogony. It shapes our experiencing and perceiving. It teaches us the canons of relevance and evidence. We come to ourselves through our choice of our archetypes. We have maintained cool-headedness in the face of provocation from Igbos who call us 'Hausa Igbo', Ika-Igbo and now Anioma-Igbo. Such appellations are as insulting and denigrating as they are meaningless and nonsensical.

We reject attempts to Igbonize Anioma. We do not inhabit the same historical and cultural space with Igbos. When ethnicity becomes subject to the elaborations of cultural identity politics, it often develops into a focus of symbolic contestation. Those wanting Anioma to become "Anioma-Igbo" undermine the efforts of our founding fathers who christened us "ANIOMA." Osadebay puts everything in perspective when he stated, "Strictly speaking, Ibo is a linguistic group or a language, not a tribe, as all Ibo-speaking people do not claim origin from any common ancestor" (Osadebay op. cit. 1978, p.14).

Reckless utterances and writings coming from some Igbo people, through Ohaneze Ndigbo and their internet forum intellectuals, that the creation of Anioma state would increase Igbo states, damage Anioma cause. The quest for the creation of Anioma state preceded the creation of the 36 Nigerian states.
Identity is built on choices and commitments. By committing ourselves to Anioma causes our real selves develop. An obstacle to achieving identity is the temptation to avoid choices and postpone decisions. Let us proclaim Anioma by the Enu Ani language that we speak; by the Ika language that we speak; by the Ndokwa language that we speak; by the Olukunmi language that we speak and by the Igala language that we speak.

We should intensify our efforts on the creation of Anioma state where our people will be central characters rather than simple bit players, where the importance of our history lies in its significance for us rather than for others. We do not want to be a pawn simply to checkmate the contending and competing interests of other nationalities in the larger Nigerian collectivity. Our journey involves more than navigating the geography of political boundaries. It is a continuous mapping and remapping of the geography of our culture and identity. We no longer wish to be objects in the history of others rather we wish to be subjects of our own history. Our Anioma ethnic identity is cultural self-definition and philosophical affirmation of our self-determination as a people who see themselves at the crossroads of contemporary Nigeria. It is a refusal to accept the transposition of other people's interpretive categories on Anioma. We bear the name of Anioma with exalted pride, dignity and fidelity. We cherish our distinct identity and unique culture. So, efforts to fit Anioma into the constructs and schemata of Igbo provenance are futile. 

No comments:


I am an Igbo, I was born an Igbo, I live the life of an Igbo, I come from Igbo, I speak Igbo, I like to be Igbo, I like to dress in Igbo, I eat Igbo food, my heritage, culture and tradition is Igbo, my parents are Igbo.

Am sorry I cannot help it if you hate my lineage. Am sorry I cannot help it if you detest Igbo, am sorry I cannot help it if you hate me because am Igbo. Igbo is who I am, my name is Igbo and I must die an Igbo.

You see Igbo as a threat, why? You call Igbo rapist, criminals, ritualist, prostitutes, kidnappers. You attribute all negative vices to represent Igbo? Why do you do that? You do because you feel threatened that Igbo might outrun the rest of the tribes. Why do you hate Igbo and despise us? You do that because we are creative, enlightened, hardworking, industrious, genius, intelligent, smart, rich, beautiful and amazing. But its difficult for you to admit it because you feel jealous of my race.

Igbo do not own politics, Igbo do not control the economy neither do we control the natural resources and the common wealth of the nation. You do, we don't and yet, despite the fact that you own everything, we still remain one indispensable race that has outshined the other race in all ramifications.

You fear us because you want to exterminate and annihilate our race, you deny us many things and yet we are stronger, richer and mightier. You fear us because we are everywhere. You fear us because no matter how rural a place might be, when Igbo steps in, they turn it into a Paradise. We have our own resources, which lies in resourcefulness, we do not bother you and your control over the polity, but yet when we cough you and the other race begin to shiver.

Am proud being an Igbo, am proud of my heritage and culture. Igbo means high class, Igbo means independence, Igbo means hard work and strength, Igbo means riches, Igbo means resourcefulness, Igbo means self belonging, Igbo means self esteem, Igbo means pride, Igbo means swag.

Udo diri unu umunnem.
# IgboAmaka
# AnyiBuNdiMmeri

Michael Ezeaka

This is beautiful poetry ...

In response to Alaba Ajibola, the Babcock Lecturer Hate Speech against Igbos.


In Igboland women live apart from their husbands and neither cook for them nor enter their husband's quarters when they are in their period. They are seen as unclean. Even up till today such practice is still applicable in some parts of Igboland especially by the traditionalists. Before a woman can enter the palace of Obi of Onitsha, she will be asked if she is in her period, if yes, she will be asked to stay out.

Leviticus 15: 19-20
When a woman has her monthly period, she remains unclean, anyone who touches her or anything she has sat on becomes unclean.

An Igbo man's ancestral heritage, called “Ana Obi” is not sellable, elders will not permit this. If this is somehow done due to the influence of the West the person is considered a fool and is ostracized by the community.

1 Kings 21:3
I inherited this vineyard from my ancestors, and the Lord forbid that I should sell it, said Naboth.

Igbos have practiced the taking of a late brother's wife into marriage after she had been widowed until the white men came. Now it is rarely done but except in very rural villages.

Deuteronomy 25:5
A widow of a dead man is not to be married outside the family; it is the duty of the dead man's brother to marry her.

In Igboland, there is a unique form of apprenticeship in which either a male family member or a community member will spend six (6) years (usually in their teens to their adulthood) working for another family. And on the seventh year, the head of the host household, who is usually the older man who brought the apprentice into his household, will establish (Igbo: idu uno) the apprentice
by either setting up a business for him or giving money or tools by which to make a living.

Exodus 21:2
If you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve you for six years. In the seventh year he is to be set free without having to pay you anything.

In Igboland , the yam is very important as it is their staple crop. There are celebrations such as the New yam festival (Igbo: Iri Ji) which are held for the harvesting of the yam. New Yam festival (Igbo: Iri ji) is celebrated annually to secure a good harvest of the staple crop. In the olden days it is an abomination for one to eat a new harvest before the festival. It's a tradition that you give the gods of the land first as a thanksgiving.

Deuteronomy 16:9
Count 7 weeks from the time that you begin to harvest the crops, and celebrate the harvest festival to honor the lord your God, by bringing him a freewill offering in proportion to the blessing he has given you. Celebrate in the Lord's presence together with your children, servants, foreigners. Be sure that you obey my command, said the Lord.

In Igboland it's a tradition that the male children are circumcised on the 8th day. This tradition is still practiced till date.

Leviticus 12:3
On the eighth day, the child shall be circumcised.

In Igboland, there is a practice known as "ile omugwo ". After a woman has given birth to a child, a very close and experienced relative of hers, in most cases her mother is required by tradition to come spend time with her and her husband. During which she is to do all the work of the wife, while the new mom's only assignment to the baby will be to breastfeed. This goes on for a month or more. In the Igbo old tradition, at this time, the new mom lives apart from her husband, would not cook or enter his quarters.

Leviticus 12:1-4
For seven days after a woman gives birth, she is ritually unclean as she is during her monthly period. It will be 33 days until she is ritually clean from the loss of blood; she is not to touch anything that is holy.


The Igbo tribe is in a serious problem and danger of extinction for the following reasons:

50% of Igbos are born outside Igbo land. Meaning that those children are not likely to live and work in Igbo land and cannot speak Igbo language but foreign language (Yoruba, Hausa, French, English).

40% of Igbos girls between the age of 25 & 45 are single with no hope of marriage because 35% of Igbo boys live overseas and they have all married white ladies.

75% of Igbo youths leave Igbo land every year in search of opportunities in Yoruba, Hausa land or overseas.

85 % of Igbos have family houses and own investments outside Igbo land. They strongly believe in one Nigeria but failed to know that NO Yoruba or Hausa man has a family house or investment in Igbo land.

Igbos are the only people who believe that living outside their land is an achievement.

Igbos are the only tribe that celebrate their tradition outside their land e.g. Eze Ndi Igbo, Igbo Village in America and this is because they have family homes in foreign lands.

Igbos have failed to know that the children you have outside Igbo land especially overseas will never think of living in Igbo land. So what happens to the properties you are building for them when you are gone?

Igbos are the only tribe who see their land as a place to visit or a tourist site than a place to work and live.

Igbos are the only tribe who instead of promoting and appreciating their culture through movies and documentaries they have sought to ridicule it by portraying rituals, killings, wickedness, love for money and other social vices which were not originally inherent in our culture thereby cursing more harm than actually promoting their culture.

Igbos are the only people who without hesitation believe their history and description when it is told or written by an enemy or a foreigner. E.g. that you do not love yourselves or that you love money.

Igbos are the ONLY largest tribe on earth who fought for their independence and failed to achieve their freedom after 40 years.

Igbos are the only tribe who fails to honour their brave heroes and heroines especially the innocent children starved to death during the Biafran war.

Igbos are the only tribe who embraced their enemy after a bloody civil war and subsequently become slaves.

Igbos do not find it necessary to teach their own version of history to their children.

Igbos fight for marginalisation in Nigeria but has no collective strength or teeth to bite.

Igbos how long are you going to fight for your relevance in Nigeria?

How long are you going to fight for a functional airport, rail networks and other structural establishments that underpin sustainable development?

How long are you prepared to wait for your enemy to guide you to your destiny?

Oh Igbos!
Where are your leaders?

Unfortunately, none of them live and work in Igbo land. If you wish to save the future of your children, your identity, your generation and your race then you need freedom and that freedom is Biafra.

Ukpana Okpoko gburu bu nti chiri ya!

By Chime Eze

The Igbo: We die for causes, not for personalities

Written by Emeka Maduewesi

~on fb. 28th September, 2016.

The Igbo will never die for anyone. We will not even riot for anyone. But the Igbo will die for any cause they believe in because the Igbo have a true sense of justice and a determination to obtain it.

The Igbo will not riot because one of their own lost an election. Operation Wetie was the Western response to a massively rigged 1965 election. The Yoruba doused fellow Yorubas in petrol and burnt them alife. Properties were burnt with occupants. The Igbo will never do this.

In 1983, the Yoruba went on a rampage again over the massive rigging by NPN. Lifes were lost and properties destroyed. The riots were over personalities.

Contrast that with Anambra State where Chief Emeka Ojukwu was rigged out by his own NPN, who also rigged out Chief Jim Nwobodo. The Igbo did not protest because the goat's head is still in the goat's bag.

In the North, ba muso was the battle cry when Sultan Dasuki was imposed on the Sokoto Caliphate. The riot and protest lasted for days and crippled economic activities.

The Igbo will riot over issues and causes. The Aba Women Riot was over Tax. The Enugu coal mine riot was about conditions of service. The Ekumeku Uprising was over British colonialization.

Those of "Ekumeku" ancestry - Umu Eze Chima and Umu Nri - were at the forefront of the struggles for Nigerian independence, with people like Dr. A A Nwafor Orizu and Chief Osita Agwuna serving prison terms. Any struggles the parents could not conclude is continued by the children by other means.

The Biafran war was a response to the genocide. The war in fact was brought upon us. The battlefield was Eastern Region. The war ended in 1970 but the issues and causes were not resolved. That is where we are today.

The Igbo will also jointly rise to fight evil in their midst. They did it in Onitsha in the 1980's, Owerri in the 90's, and with Bakkassi in the 2000.

The Igbo will not die for any man. But the Igbo will stand by any man who symbolizes their cause and their pursuit of justice. Even if the man dies, the struggle continues, and like the Ekumeku warriors, the children will pick up the baton from their parents.

This is the Igbo I know, the Igbo I am, and the Igbo we are. This is my story. Feel free to tell yours.


"My boy, may you live to your full potential, ascend to a dizzy height as is possible for anyone of your political description in your era to rise. May you be acknowledged world-wide as you rise as an eagle atop trees, float among the clouds, preside over the affairs of fellow men.... as leaders of all countries pour into Nigeria to breathe into her ear.

But then, Chuba, if it is not the tradition of our people that elders are roundly insulted by young men of the world, as you have unjustly done to me, may your reign come to an abrupt and shattering close. As you look ahead, Chuba, as you see the horizon, dedicating a great marble palace that is the envy of the world, toasted by the most powerful men in the land, may the great big hand snatch it away from you. Just as you look forward to hosting the world’s most powerful leader and shaking his hands, as you begin to smell the recognition and leadership of the Igbo people, may the crown fall off your head and your political head fall off your shoulders.

None of my words will come to pass, Chuba, until you have risen to the very height of your power and glory and health, but then you will be hounded and humiliated and disgraced out of office, your credibility and your name in tatters forever...”


Biafra Videos: Explosive secret about Biafra...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


Featured Post


Topics: Mindset of the enemy. Yoruba were in world's best universities when Usman dan fodio was still learning to ride a horse Th...