Anioma are Igbo communities in Delta State. They occupy Delta North Senatorial District which consist of Enuani(Oshimili/Aniocha),Ika and Ukwuani/Ndokwa linguistic zones of Delta State. Anioma means" Good Land in Igbo Language and it has an estimated total population of approximately 1.8 million people.
Anioma is located in the areas of the West Basin of River Niger, south-south within the present Delta state of Nigeria, it encompasses a land mass of about 6,300 km2. In the political matters of the state, Anioma is often referred to as Delta North as against the other peoples known as the Delta South and Delta Central in the same state. Anioma is bounded on the East by Anambra State, south-east by Imo and Rivers States, south Bayelsa State, south-west by Isoko, west by Urhobo people, north-west by Edo State and north by Kogi State. Anioma may therefore be regarded as highly contiguous to very many neighbours ethnic groups. The people have drawn experiences as a result of lying contiguous to numerous other towns, communities and states which characterizes the Anioma as one of the most peaceful regions in the country.
A pure dialect of the Igbo language, Enuani, and two Igboid languages, Ukwuani and Ika, are the primary indigenous languages. There are also small numbers of Olukumi, Ozzara and Igala-speaking communities.
Anioma in Delta State
Asaba (an Anioma city) has been the capital of Delta State since the creation of the state in August 1991, by the then Military president, Gen Ibrahim Babangida (Rtd). This development continues to generate criticism from the people of the Delta south notably Professor Itsay Sagay, an Itsekiri, Dr. Temi Akporhonor and Professor Obaro Ikime backed by Urhobo Historical Society. In an article in The Guardian, August 15, 2002 Professor Itsay Sagay openly campaigned for the relocation of the state capital from the Anioma city of Asaba to the town of Warri in Delta south. This was preceded by the reaction of Dr Cyril Uchenna Gwam published in the defunct Post Express Newspaper of June 1999 and several internet forums in reaction to the publication of Obaro Ikime in which he argued amongst others that centrality factor had never been the major criteria for the location of State or Federal capitals. This was also followed by another article be Clem Okonji published in The Guardian, July 8, 2002 in which he maintained that Asaba had come to stay as the capital of Delta State. He further stressed that the peoples constituting the state are all located within the Delta region. Reactions in favour of the stay of Asaba as the capital of the state has since been supported by Henry Ogochukwu, Michael Ozah, Emeka Esogbue, Tony Odiadi, Emma Okocha and others alike. Dr. Temi Akporhonor would call for a political arrangement whereby governorship power would remain with what he termed 'The real Deltan' because according to him the capital of the state is located in the Igbo speaking town of Anioma. (Whither Delta state?, The Guardian, May 23, 2002) The strong resistance of this call has ensured that Asaba remains the state capital. Though all would unilaterally admit that a separate creation of another state from the present Delta State to constitute Anioma with the capital at Asaba, and Delta with state capital at Warri is necessary.
Anioma has abundant oil deposits particularly in Ndokwa land, Akumazi, Umunede, Ute-okpu, Ute-erume, Ute-Ogbeje, Ekuku-Agbor, Nsukwa, Olodu, Ewulu, Idumuesah, Ejeme and other Anioma regions. Records also indicate that oil was discovered in Ubulu-Uno and Ubulu-Uku in 1958 by Shell B P Petroleum Company two years after the first discovery was made in Oloibiri now in Bayelsa state, but exploration of the oil was not carried out by the Federal Government. Anioma region is also rich in other mineral resources such as rubber.
Notable Anioma people
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- Joseph "Hannibal" Achuzie
- Phillip Asiodu, former Federal Minister
- Maryam Babangida, wife of General Ibrahim Babangida
- Prof Joseph Chike Edozien, the Asagba of Asaba
- Justice Michael Agbamuche, former Federal Minister of Justice
- Tony Elumelu, Chairman of Heirs Holdings, the United Bank for Africa, Transcorp and founder of The Tony Elumelu Foundation
- Air-Marshal Paul Dike, former Chief of Defence Staff of Nigeria NASA
- Buchi Emecheta, Nigerian-born British novelist
- Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
- Elizabeth Isichei, prominent historian
- Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, Minister of State for Petroleum
- Stephen Okechukwu Keshi, former Super Eagles captain and Malian National Football Team Coach
- Demas Nwoko, prominent Sculptor of Nigeria
- Nduka Odizor, former Lawn tennis player
- Joy Ogwu, former Mangaging Director of Nigeria Institute of International Affairs
- Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the current Managing Director of World Bank
- Ifeanyi Okowa, former Nigerian Senator and Executive Governor of Delta State
- Austine "Jay-Jay" Okocha, former Captain of Super Eagles of Nigeria
- Sunday Oliseh, former Captain of super Eagles of Nigeria
- Dennis Osadebe, politician, poet, journalist and former premier of the now defunct Mid-Western Region of Nigeria, which now comprises Edo and Delta State.
- Jim Ovia, M/D Zenith Bank
- Zulu Sofola, the first published female Nigerian playwright and dramatist and first female Professor of Theater Arts in Africa.
- Nduka Ugbade, Nigeria's former football player and the first African to lift the world cup
- Patrick Utomi, Presidential Candidate and Founder of Lagos Business School
- Reawakening in Delta North[permanent dead link]
- Anioma USA
- Udeani, Chibueze. Inculturation as Dialogue: Igbo Culture and the Message of Christ. p. 11. ISBN 9042022299.
- Ikime O. (ed). Ground work of Nigerian history. Heineman educational books (Nigeria) PLC, Ibadan, 1980: 89-121.
- Onwuejeogwu MA. Igbo civilization: Nri kingdom and hegemony; London, Ethnographica, 1981.
- Obi Efeizomor II (Obi of Owa). Community development in Owa kingdom – the Nigerian factor. University of Benin press; Benin City-Nigeria; 1994: 303.