Igbo names and spellings for various settlements
Abakaliki is Abankaleke; Afikpo is Ehugbo; Awgu is Ogu; Awka is Oka; Bonny is Ubani; Enugu is Enugwu; Ibusa is Igbuzö; Igrita is Igwuruta; Oguta is Ugwuta; Onitsha is Onicha; Owerri is Owere; Oyigbo is Obigbo... any more will be added.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Background of the Movement for an Anioma State

The people of Benin Province were mostly Edos and people of Warri Province were mostly Urhobos. The Ibo-speaking people living in the area were put into two Administrative divisions namely, Asaba Division and Aboh Division. Asaba Division was put into Benin Province and Aboh Division was put into Warri Province. This exercise is an example of the old Roman practice of "Davide et Impera (divide and rule)". Naturally, this did not please the Ibo speaking people West of the River Niger and so early in the Nineteen-forties, some fifty years ago, they formed the Western Ibo Union with headquarters in Lagos to demand that Asaba and Aboh Divisions be taken out of Benin and Warri Province and constituted into their own province to be known as Western Ibo Province. The British paid no heed to this demand and the people went on agitating.

– Dennis Chukude Osadebay (1991). "History of the Demand for the Creation of Anioma State."

Agitation for a separate political identity for the West Igbo dates back to 1939 when a Western Ibo Union, following the division of the Southern Provinces into East and West, requested a merger of the Igbo-speaking communities on the west of the Niger with their kith and kin on the east. Although the colonial government recognized the demand, 'the exigencies of the Second World War made the necessary boundary adjustment impossible.' At a mammoth rally at Amai in August 1956 delegates from West Igbo areas of the former Western Region forwarded to the Colonial Secretary, Rt. Hon. Lennox Boyd, a resolution on the creation of a West Niger Province which would have given them 'a sense of belonging in the context of Nigeria,' and placed them 'on equal footing' with Benin and Delta Provinces.

– Ugbana Okpu (1986). "Genesis of the Anioma Movement" In: Asian and African Studies: Vol. 20, No. 3. pp. 338–340.

The Western Ibo Union has lately been very active in the propagation of the idea of a Mid-West State, and it has spent a considerable amount of money sending delegates to accompany Western Ibo politicians touring the Mid-West, in order to explain the necessity of voting solidly for the creation of a Mid-West State. Western Ibo land has been a traditional National Convention of Nigerian Citizens area, and most of the elite feel, justly or unjustly, that as a result of their political alignment, they had not, in the former Western Region, received their fair share of amenities.
– Chukwuka Okonjo (1967). "The Western Ibo" In: “The City of Ibadan.” p. 114.


Enugu Nigeria ENBS in English 1400 GMT 16 December 1966--N
(Text) The people of Asaba and Aboh divisions resident in Benin in Midwestern Nigeria have protested to the military governor of the region, Lt. Col. David Ejoor, against the recent attack on some them in that city during the recent anti-Ibo demonstrations there. A copy of the letter of protest, which was signed by six representatives of the people of Asaba and Aboh divisions, was sent to the oba of Benin, Akenzua II; Commissioner of Police Joseph Adeola; and leading traditional rulers in the two divisions including, the obi of (Udelekwu-- phonetic ), the iyakere of Aboh, and Chief O. I. Dafe, minister of finance in the suspended Midwest Government.
In the letter the people said it was (?superfluous) for any one group in the region to claim exclusive rights of belonging to the Midwest or to point at any other group as strangers in the region. To (words indistinct) any group from the Midwest by some misguided elements of these days, the people maintain is to redraw the map of the midwest because, as they put it, as free citizens of their ethnic areas they cannot be expelled beyond their fatherland. They reassured the military governor that they will continue to be law-abiding but warned that they have had enough of provocative (?assaults) from some sections of the Midwest and will be compelled to defend themselves in the event of any further provocation.
In the four-point resolution passed by the people at their recent mass meeting in Benin City, they called on the military governor to use his good offices to prevent a repetition of the incidents anywhere in the Midwest and to insure that his government brings to book those persons responsible for the looting and destruction of the property of their fellow Midwesterners. The resolution also calls for compensation to be paid to the affected traders and hoteliers. It also calls on the military governor to make the Midwest commissioner of police account publicly for the conduct of the police in the region on the day of the incident.

From the daily report on foreign radio broadcasts by the CIA.

No comments: