Newswatch Times July 2, 2015: Association awards scholarship to students in Nigerian university.

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In a determined effort to support the human capital development of Delta State and to challenge the youths of Anioma to positive and constructive exercises, a US-based non-profit organisation, Anioma Association USA, Georgia Chapter has awarded scholarships to three students of Anioma extraction studying in Nigerian universities.
Now in its second year, the scholarship scheme is one of the several projects earmarked by the association for the purpose of sustaining human capital development in Anioma and Delta State in general. More importantly, it aimed to help alleviate the burden of students and parents in payment of school fees.
The President of the association, Mr. Martin Chukwurah, stated this during the presentation of scholarship awards to three beneficiaries in Asaba, Delta State. Represented by Dr. Charles Oseji, a member of the association, Chukwurah noted that the association was committed to supporting Anioma students to accomplish their academic goals and the state government to build a robust human capital out of Delta State.
The beneficiaries, Ine Isioma Lawrence, a final year student of Sociology, University of Ibadan, Michael Emeka Precious, a second year student of Petroleum Engineering, University of Benin and Onyenekwe Chiziterem Precious, also a second year student of Medical Biochemistry, University of Benin in their separate remarks thanked members of the association for their kind gesture and service to humanity for supporting them and other Anioma students in their academic pursuits. “This is the best thing that ever happened in my life, it’s been a journey of struggle, but I thank God for using this association to be a blessing to me and my family” Miss Onyenekwe, who shed tears of joy said.
Another recipient, Mr. Ine Isioma Lawrence, was thankful to God for the opportunity to be one of the beneficiaries and said the scholarship award will enable him pursue his dream of quality education and ultimately become a successful person in life. For Michael Emeka Precious, it was a great deed, he promised to work hard to fulfill his ambition to help develop the Oil sector in Nigeria.
In her remarks, the Chairperson of the event, Lily Sanya, Programme Officer, Data & Policy, International Organisation for Migration (IOM), commended Dr. Oseji and other members of the association for the scholarship programme in support of students studying in Nigerian universities. Ms. Sanya said that education is the bedrock of development and any nation that craves for real development must continue to invest in the education of its youths for meaningful progress in the society. Sanya however, urged the beneficiaries to make good use of the opportunity by studying hard to achieve good results.
Dr. Oseji in his remarks said that the association decided to embark on the scholarship scheme as a way to support bright Anioma students to enable them to actualise their dreams of higher education and be useful to the society. He further explained that the scholarship award was increased from the initial amount of N50, 000 to N75, 000 this year in view of the devaluation of the Naira. Dr. Oseji who flew in from Altanta for the scholarship awards congratulated the beneficiaries and urged them to remain steadfast in their academic. He said the time has come for well meaning individuals and corporate orgainisations to come together in support of building a better society.
Mr. Emordi E. Emmanuel, Deputy Comptroller, Immigration, Delta State, speaking during the pep talk session admonished the recipients and other students to shun any form of social vices particularly, cultism, exam malpractice and prostitution while in and outside school. In the same vein, Mr. Godfrey Osakwe, Principal Consultant/CEO Frima Investment Ltd.,/Editor, Anioma Essence Magazine called on attitudinal change in order to move Delta State to its desired prominence.
He said the association has done its part with the scholarship awards and urged the beneficiaries to reciprocate the gesture by living true to the promise of good citizenship. Mr. Tom Mbukanma, a beneficiary of the federal government scholarship in the eighties advised the students to make judicious use of the opportunity provided by the scholarship programme. He said the lesson to learn is to count themselves privilege and to remember to give back to the society when God blesses them.
Hon. Emeka Nmadu, former Chairman, Oshimili North Local Government Area, commended the association for the noble act, but called on them to increase the number of beneficiaries and also extend the scholarship to students in private universities in Nigeria. Other dignitaries who spoke at the event include Mr. Amos Ojo of International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and Rev. Francis Ukwuamedua, Chairman of Strategic Institute, Anioma World Assembly, USA.
The Vice President of the association, Mr. Michael Brian Onyekali Odiakosa in a statement reiterated the association’s commitment to supporting academic excellence and the development of Anioma. Odiakosa however urged the beneficiaries to continue to maintain high Cumulative Grade Point Average scores in their studies. He called on intending applicants for the scholarship awards to watch out for the 2016 edition billed to commence in January 2016. Students are advised to visit the association website. http://aniomageorgia.org/our-services/aniomascholarship.
“It is gratifying to note that the scholarship scheme is meeting its desired impact and people are appreciating the little gesture of the association”. Odiakosa enthused. He commended members of the association for the vision and for contributing personal income for the actualization of the 2015 edition. He also commended Mr. Ben Obi, the CEO of Beno-Concept Media/Publisher of Anioma News for the event photography and Anioma Essence Magazine for their media support.
Anioma Association USA, Georgia Chapter is the umbrella organization of all Anioma people resident in State of Georgia, USA. The scholarship scheme started in 2014, in bid to support the human capital development of the region since government cannot singlehandedly solve the challenges of education in the state. The association has as its objectives to mobilize, sensitize, and engage all sons and daughters of Anioma origin, both home and abroad, to unite and get actively involved in projects, programs, efforts and measures aimed to address underdevelopment, or lack of it, in the Anioma homeland.

Proposed Anioma State: Richer than thirty-two states in Nigeria including Abuja

EMEKA ESOGBUE
The Anioma, a group of people concentrated in Delta state have since 1951 been agitating for a state of their own within the Nigerian nation but the people have been continually denied of what most political analysts believe is long due to them by the various military regimes that have had to create states in the country. A well-studied history of the 36 units of the Nigerian federation including Abuja shows that only four states are more economically viable than the proposed Anioma State. The reason behind the absolute refusal of the Nigerian leaders to create the state leaves political observers in the dark but dogged insistence for the actualization of the state has continued.
No region in the country has been constantly subjected to unpalatable and unhistorical grouping and regrouping, aligning and realigning with unrelated nationalities than the Anioma region, yet the people have endured this for too long in a peaceful manner which is the symbol of the region. The British colonial government’s unhealthy creation of provinces and uncharacteristic dumping of unrelated peoples was the most undoing for the Anioma people. This was followed with the categorization of ethnic groups many of who were not historically correlated in what was termed “Divisions” and the Anioma were largely victims of this unhealthful classification. One would have thought that Ndokwa, Aboh and Asaba Divisions be unified for the emergence of Anioma State but this never was.
The Nigerian government that emerged after independence did not only ignore synthetically created regions but allowed many of Anioma’s historically linked communities to vanish or aligned to other unrelated groups. It could be argued that the Anioma history is the most misunderstood in the entire country by the early European missionaries as evidences now show. The documents of the Europeans testify to the confusion of whether the people were wholly or partly Igboid, Edoid, Ika, Ukwani or a different ethnic group altogether. Whereas the British assumed that there were no chronological relationship between the group today scattered in five states of the federation, this postulation is deceitful to cultural historians because the people shared common ancestry and are exceedingly related in many ways.
Victimization of Anioma persisted in 1960, with the loss of important communities of Oguta, Ozubulu, Ogbaru, Onitsha, Obosi, Iganke, Ekpon, and many more to other regions. Ndoni was added to Rivers State in 1976. We shall come to this later in this piece. Although, the Anioma leaders as early as 1951 sought autonomy within the federation because of fear of annihilation, the Nigerian government did not heed this for reasons unknown. The Midwestern region was a disaster for the people because it was not deemed fit that institutions be sited in the area. No one state educational institution, ministry or government parastatal was located in any one community of Anioma as part of the region. Bendel State failed to correct the anomaly so it was the location every government institution in Benin Division. Babangida would not favour the people with a state of their own so it was Anioma again in Delta State and with true Delta claimants. All the same, Delta State to a reasonable extent is proving to better the lives of the people when compared with former Bendel State where Benin imperialism was too harsh for the people. Delta is still not a true home for the Anioma. What Asaba Division suffered in defunct Bendel State is the present experience for Igbanke, Ekpon and other Ika speaking people of Anioma in Edo State.
Today, the Anioma have the “paper capital city” of Asaba while the so-called “core Deltans” relishes governance. The Anioma region contributed so much finance from oil to the defunct Bendel State but they relocated to Delta State in 1991 with nothing. Whether they left with any meaningful development is a matter for conjecture as it now seems. She had lost her important Ika speaking towns of Igbanke and Ekpon left to rotten in Edo state so that today about 96 percent of its indigenes are crying because they want to rejoin their kith and kin Anioma in Delta State to maintain their ancestral link and truly grow. Since the 1991 years when Edo State was created no Igbanke man can aspire to lead the state. The Ika speaking people are the least developed in Edo State with nothing but internal wrangling between the youths who have become eager to exit the state and Edo title holders who are bent on remaining in the state.
In 1976, the Nigerian military cabal upon discovering oil in Ndoni felt that it was no longer good enough for the Anioma axis so the cabal quickly came up with insubstantial reasons that artificially aided their ceding of Ndoni to Rivers State where it presently lies. The reason invented was that the community geographically lay across the River Niger. This made no sense because the River Niger is not a constitutional criterion for state creation in the country but it is a country that anything unconstitutionally goes, so it has since remained so.
If the Olusegun Obasanjo, Bola Ajibola and Richard Akinjide could willingly cede Bakassi to Cameroun to keep Nigeria afloat within the international community, what difference does it make ceding Ndoni to another state in the country in the name of one Nigeria? It was the same military cabal that invented several simulated logics that enabled it to relocate the nation’s capital from Lagos to Abuja. The same leaders would wake up to “relocate” nearly all the oil wells in Cross River State to Akwa Ibom with decision taken by few individuals.
The various examples cited above show that we all suffer same fate in the country but in different dimensions and the ceding of Anioma’s oil rich Ndoni to Rivers State is therefore one of those modern balkanizations of the Anioma region visited upon the people by the British and Nigerian governments. That Igbanke, Ekpon and Ndoni leaders, chiefs and youths have continued to relate with their Anioma kith and kin on matters that regard customs shows just how insensitive the government of Nigeria is to the history of groups that make up the country.
The Anioma region is a homeland with well-known natural, traditional, and historical boundaries that enable various communities to promote relations in form of trade and inter-marriage before the British imposed its rule on the nation. Anioma is a nation of people with a common destiny defined by linguistics, culture and customs and the people have known this to be so. Some of its people have historical link with the Igbo of the South East but the area now referred to as Delta North in Delta State including the Igbanke and Ekpon in Edo State have today evolved a distinct socio-cultural pattern that makes them only one of its kind thus defining them with a new uncommon identity.
Historians, anthropologists, missionaries and geographers whether Africans or Europeans have over the time recorded the events that exclusively distinguished them as a group of people with homogenous patterns of life. Thus for centuries, the people have always seen themselves as one which is why it was easy seek identity in Anioma umbrella in 1951 when the leaders of the people, rising from the effects of balkanization of the British gathered themselves and sought autonomy to live as one indivisible people. That agitation has continued in form of Anioma State. What is worrisome to the people is that the Nigerian governments have in the past turned deaf ears to the state agitation tunes of the Anioma people.
Anioma is more than qualified for a state in Nigeria economically and otherwise if oil is the major determinant factor of the nation’s wealth. With oil as the criteria for determining the wealth of a state, only Rivers, Bayelsa, Akwa-Ibom and what is left of Delta State in that order will be richer than Anioma State. Edo State produces a total of 18,800 bopd of oil and 50 billion scf of gas production annually, Anioma produces far more than this. The oil wealth of Edo State are situated at Oredo field which is operated by NPDC and and produces bopd, Oziengbe South field also operated by NPDC generates 1,000 bopd, Ologbo with 7 oil wells produces 8,200 bopd and operated by Pan Ocean, Ossiomo producing 5,200 bopd operated by Pan Ocean, Gelegele is known to produce 400 bopd operated and is operated by Dubri Oil and while Oben originally operated by Shell generates 2,000 bopd. The oil wealth of Edo State is thus put at 18,200 which represent 2.5 percent of the total oil generation of the nation.
Imo state has Oguta (an Anioma community though) operated by Shell producing 7,500 bopd , Egbema is known to produce which is also operated by Shell produces 3,000 bopd for the state, Egbema West operated by Shell has 4,100 bopd production capability. The Jisike oil field of the state operated by Chevron produces 4,400 bopd, Akri, an Ndoni territory (another Anioma community) operated by Agip produces 6,500 bopd. Izombe by operated by Adaax generates 2,000 bopd ,Ossu another oil well also operated by Addax generates 2,000 bopd while Ibigwe operated by an indigenous company produces 1,000 bopd .Thus, the total wealth generated by Imo state is put at 30,500 bopd while gas production is put at 45 billion scf annually or a little over 2 per cent of the nation’s total oil generation.
The Anioma region otherwise referred to Delta North has Kwale operated by Agip producing 5,500 bopd. Beneku is operated by Agip and produces 4,000 bopd. Umuoru operated by Agip has a production capability of 2,500 bopd, Okpai which is still under the services of Agip and generates 3,000 bopd. Umusadege is under the operation of Midwestern oil and gas with 6,500 bopd, Umusati by Pillar oil with 1,000 bopd, Umutu is by Platform petroleum with 3,500 bopd, Obodeti is operated by Energia with 2,000 bopd. This brings it to a total for Anioma land of 28,000 bopd with a gas production at 75 billion scf annually or about 4 per cent of the nation’s total for Aniomaland.
The above data can also be sourced from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for authenticity but what is relevant to the Anioma is the marginalization that the people have faced over the time in the hands of the Nigerian government that has refused to give the people a state of their own while creating economically impoverished stated mushroom states like Jigawa, Katsina, Taraba, sprawling Niger State without economic viability. Even the nation’s Federal Capital Territory unfortunately suggested by Murtala Muhammad and artificially created by General Ibrahim Babangida cannot boast of the abundant wealth that exists in the Anioma region. It is not more starling than further agitations for states canvassed by groups that can hardly feed their cattle economically much less humans.
Agriculturally, the Anioma region is considered richer than many states in existence today. It is region that feeds itself because it is blessed with enormous agricultural crops. It is still one of those regions here the people have not abandoned farming and fishing as a means of livelihood Many communities in the region such as Nsukwa, Ukwu-Oba, Agbor, Umunede, Obiaruku, Ejeme-Unor, Idumuje-Ugboko remain areas with cassava, yam, palm-oil, rubber, tomatoes etc can be found in abundance. Solid minerals in form of lignite, kaolin, silicon, gypsum etc are also deposited in Anioma.
Anioma scores high in the human resource area as it boasts of great sportsmen, banking chiefs, scientists, technocrats, military men and women, politicians, educationists, artists. It is unnecessary to resort to mentioning the names of individuals because the list will be endless but one thing that is sure is that it is doubtful if any state in the Nigerian polity as presently constituted will do better than the Anioma region in terms of human resource.
In the 2006 UNDP report on the nine oil producing states of the country, Delta was ranked first in Human Development Index. Out of the ten top performing Local Government Areas in Delta state, six were within the Anioma region being Oshimili South, Oshimili North, Ika South, Aniocha South, Ndokwa West and Aniocha North. “The core Deltans despite their domination of the state had four councils namely Ethiope West (because of what we all know), Udu, Warri North and Burutu”.
According to Osita Mordi, a pro-Anioma state Activist, if Anioma were to be a state within the federation of Nigeria she would have been the most highly ranked because all her nine councils did very well with relatively higher rate of school enrollment, access to basic health facilities, maternal and infant mortality rates, life expectancy and so on.
If all these are considered, the Anioma people surely deserve a state of their own in Nigeria, a state that will include Igbanke and Ekpon presently in Edo state.
 Emeka Esogbue

2014: Anioma Association in Georgia, USA Awards Scholarship to Anioma Indigenes

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Summer 2014:

In   furtherance   of   its   commitment to   human   capital   development   of Anioma   people,   Anioma   Association in Georgia USA, a socio-cultural group recently awarded scholarship to three (3) Undergraduate Students studying in Nigerian Universities.

The recipients of the scholarship award are Mr. Fredrick Efe Irubor, a 300 level Electrical/ Electronic   Engineering   student   of   the University of Benin, Edo State, Miss Helen Isioma Emordi, 300 level Economics student of Oduduwa University, Osun State and Mr. Chidi Mokwenye a Mathematics student of Cross River State University of Technology. Speaking at the award ceremony in Asaba, Delta State, Nigeria, Dr. Charles Oseji, a member of the association who flew in from Georgia, for the event advised the beneficiaries to take advantage of the opportunity provided and not to relent in their academic pursuits. He also congratulated the students for being the first sets of recipients of the association’s annual scholarship programme.

Dr. Oseji further admonished the students to continue to be good ambassadors of Anioma wherever they go and in whatever capacity they might find themselves. “If we don’t build Anioma land, nobody will build it for us” Oseji said.

In her remarks, Chief Inspector of Education, Mrs.    Ngozi    Obanya    a    representative of the Ministry of Education, thanked Anioma Association, Georgia Chapter for remembering the people at home. She also thanked Dr. Oseji for travelling the long distance for the sake of Anioma students and wished him journey mercies.

Mrs. Obanya advised the students to remain steadfast in their quest for good education and also, to go tell their collegues to watch out for the next batch of the awards.

In addition, Mr. Michael Brian Onyekali Odiakosa, Vice President, Anioma Association USA, Georgia Chapter during a telephone conversation, said that the association had concluded plans for the 2015 scholarship programme. He explained that the scholarship is based on merit and so long as the resource is available the association will continue to provide supports for Anioma students to complete their school education.

The application for the 2015 programme is currently on until April 30, 2015. And to apply: please visit www.aniomageorgia.org. Application is under the link “Project”.

Culled form Anioma Essence Magazine Vol. 2 No. 1 2015