–      Says, Initial Excision Politically Motivated

Former Imo SUBEB Chairman, Iheduru advocates creation of Anioma State

–      says, initial excision politically motivated

Prof Obioma Iheduru, erstwhile Chairman, Imo State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) has thrown his weight behind the proposed creation of Anioma State. The erudite academic, also said that the initial excision of some component Igbo communities from the South East before and shortly after the civil war, was politically motivated.

Prof Iheduru who stated this in a release said, “Let me say that to create Anioma State is a task that must be done. I take this parody from the Nigerian mantra during the Biafran war. The strategy of the war was to use the non-igbo against the Igbo especially after the entry into Biafra through Gakem, Eke, etc to the north wobbled.  They then turned southward. During and after the war the policy thrust was to indoctrinate the border town Igbos that they are no longer Igbos and administratively excise them from the defunct East Central state. Remember Philip Asiodu of Asaba, Samuel Chiedu Ogbomudia of Igbo-Akiri town (now re-named Igbanke and other Igbo towns merged with Edo state), Obigbo- Asa (renamed Oyigbo along with Ayama, Mmirinwanyi and Ohanso were forced to accept that they are not Igbo. The case of the Ikwerre Igbo can only be pitied, though there are notable exceptions.

“What of the Igbo minorities in Benue, Kogi, Akwa Ibom and northern Cross River states. Should we leave them to continue to roam and be marginalized? Is it not time to give a sense of belonging to the two million Anioma Igbos? The name is not of recent origin having been coined in 1951 by Chief Dennis Osadebay from Aniocha, Ndokwa, Ika, Oshimili.  My dear people this a homecoming of sorts for our people scattered by wars. Let’s support a homeland government for Anioma people dismembered by the British in 1914 after their 13-year long Ekumeku war with those imperialists and further disaggregated by Nigeria (1967-1970)”.

He noted that the proposed creation of Anioma State could be likened to one coming back to his or her roots after a long sojourn.