Those who are close to me know that I have been battling SKY, my internet provider, for the past two weeks. It was frustrating to have things to say about our beloved Anioma State and not have an avenue to do so. Although I have never experimented with drugs, the withdrawal symptoms I suffered must be similar to the experiences of drug addicts battling to go straight. I do have more sympathy for them now. I was, therefore, understandably ecstatic when a Parcel force staff banged on, rather than knocked gently, on my door to deliver the long- awaited router.
I did struggle a bit to find the right title for this piece but there was no struggle at all when it came to what I really needed to say about our passion for our beloved Anioma State. Gosh! How I love saying, 'Our beloved Anioma State'
June 20, 2010 will go down in history for the people of Anioma as the day they had a glimpse or taste of Anioma state. On that day, the symbol/logo for this cause was unveiled at the general e-meeting that had in attendance, sons and daughters of Anioma origin who reside in different parts of the world: America, Canada, South Africa, Nigeria, Spain, and United Kingdom etc. When the logo was unveiled, it did not sink in straight away. I stared at it and was a little bit bemused as to what the number "37" had to do with Anioma. Someone took the question straight out of my mouth and asked the significance of the number "37".
The answer was short and to the point. According to Emmanuel Ohai, "The number "37" reminds us of a future that will see Anioma named as the 37th state in Nigeria. The map of Nigeria with the earth yellow colour depicting the clay soil of Anioma land is a testimony of a past that is bound together by that one singular aspect that all Aniomas can identify with, our Clay Soil."
There were 'oohs' and 'aahs', sighs of joy and satisfaction and we all became emotional. I felt like I was witnessing the birth of a baby. It was a moment I would cherish for the rest of my life. No one can adequately capture that moment in words, if asked to relate it to someone who was not there, so don't be put off if you do not feel what I am inadequately describing here.
I could not contain myself, I just wanted to lay my hands on the logo and fly with it. I wanted it as my profile picture on Facebook....but there was more. Everyone spoke gloriously about this unique symbol of our ONENESS OF HEART. Thomas Mbukanma spoke in support of the powerful effects of numbers. Voices of individual Anioma sons and daughters who were present at the e-meeting, echoed as one voice. It was indeed apparent for all to see that oneness of heart and mind was indeed our strength! Emmanuel Ohai also announced the creation of the Facebook page known as the'Movement For the Creation of Anioma State.'
Those of us who live in Europe were already well into the first working day of the week but we did not care. We were too excited to even sleep after the e-meeting came to a reluctant end but not before Clemmie Nicholas quipped about visiting me soon to eat our famous Anioma soup, Nsala. I forgot to tell her to bring along with her, ofe Osumade.......
I could think of nothing but the symbol and what next to do with it. Someone in Spain was already at work with the Symbol. I got a call from an excited, jubilant, zealous and passionate Jonathan Ojei. I must mention here that Jonathan is a very polite man, soft spoken, patient and would hardly be caught speaking over anyone, but on this blessed Monday, the day after the the release of the symbol of our agitation, he lost all decorum! He wanted me to see what he'd done with the Anioma symbol. He had gone to a great deal of trouble to enlarge the symbol and proudly had his photo taken as he displayed it. Later that evening as we skyped, he focussed the camera on the wall where this huge Anioma "37" symbol occupied a place of prominence in his home. He was very excited and was grinning from ear to ear.
And then there was Charles Chukwunwike Anyasi who added a spiritual signature to the symbol of the Movement for the Creation of Anioma State. Although I do not know him in person, Charles, like most people from Anioma, is a christian. This is not a clever guess at all; you only need to look at his profile on Facebook to see how easy it is to work out where his spiritual loyalty lies. I was therefore, not surprised at all when his personal interpretation of the symbol of our agitation for the creation of Anioma state reflected that fact. It’s not how he designed it, it’s what he said on it. 'On Anioma we stand'. Yes, we have been sitting for a long time so its time for us to stand together and be counted for our motherland. We can no longer afford to sit on the fence and watch a few Anioma sons and daughters, who are consumed with a burning desire for self actualisation and self-governance, go it alone. “As the Lord wills it” This to me is the ultimate because unless the Lord wills it, we will suffer burnout, divisions and schisms. The evidence so far points to the fact that He is pleased. He has given us a burning desire, passion, zeal, oneness of heart and mind, dedicated and selfless leadership. My brothers and sisters, The Lord has willed it, so let us all stand up and be counted.
'The labour of our heroes past shall never be in vain', is a line in our Nigerian national anthem. It is so true of Anioma and her history. The battle to protect our autonomy and independence has been on for 140 years. Anioma past heroes included Dunkwu Isu of Onicha-Olona,Nwabuzo Iyogolo of Ogwashi-Uku, Awuno Ugbo, Obi of Akumazi, Agbambu Oshue of Ibusa, Idabor of Issele-Uku, Abuzu of Idumuje-Unor, Idegwu Otokpoike of Ubulu-Uku, and my great-grand-fathers, Ochei Aghaeze and Ikediashi Odogwu of Onicha-Olona. We cannot forget more recently, Chief Dennis Osadebey who coined the word Anioma. We must not let the labour of our heroes past ever, ever be in vain.
As the Lord wills it, let us all stand and be counted for Anioma so that we can reap the fruit of the seed planted long ago by our forebears as Barrack Obama is reaping today what Martin Luther King and others sewed many years ago.
Ofu Obi Bu Ike Anyi.