By Ike A.Offor
It is said that those who do not know their history always pick any story about who they are and run with it.
The effect of the military intelligence and propaganda onslaught during the Nigeria versus Biafra war by the Nigerian federal troop against the people of Igbo extraction, who were viewed, though erroneously, as the sole ethnic group that make up Biafra, has not been completely eliminated.. This created enormous distortion of pyschology and conmittant erroneous distortion of history amonsgt Igbo speaking people within the ancient Biafran region.
Recently, the governor of Delta State Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa, was quoted of saying that Anioma, though they speak Igbo are not Igbo and so not part of Biafra. He warned the Biafran agitators to steer clear of his state, Delta.
Though, most or majority of Anioma people accept their Igbo ancestry, but so many ugly politics has been played since the war ended with the identity of Anioma or Ika people.
The best people to tell children who they are are indeed the elders, they are masters of history and custodians of tradtion and culture. So, who is the best person to tell it the way it is other than the traditional ruler of Ukwuani in Anioma?
The traditional ruler of Ukwuani in Anioma Local government of Delta state, Okpala Ukwu emphatically told the governor of Delta state that he lied about Anioma and their ancestry.
The aged traditional ruler seen here in the photo told the media that, the governor lied and said that Anioma people are Igbo and therefore part of Biafra.
But there is a saying that goes this way “those who where present during burial can tell where the head of the corpse lies”. Those who are custodians of tradition and masters of their history can veritably tell who they are and narrate their history.
Though many argued that Gov. Okowa has deep knowledge that Anioma is Igbo but he, as a sitting governor, cannot openly support those agitating for sovereign state. Some argued that the best thing was for him to remain mute about the agitation instead of making efforts to rewrite the history of Anioma people.
A great number of Anioma scholars both at home and in diaspora have been very emphatic about the Igbo ancestry of Anioma people. Though a small number of them have deep hatred traced to the wartime propaganda, which still eoches in some quarters till this day.
Though the words from the aged traditional ruler may reaffirm the stand of the majority of Anioma people, it will not douce the fire amongst those who do not want to be counted as Igbo and consequently Biafra.