Emeka Esogbue

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Chukwuemeka Jerry Esogbue (born 6 June 1970), usually referred to as Emeka Esogbue, is an Anioma (Nigerian) historian, journalist, writer and Anioma crusader. He is the author of 'A Study of the Origins and Migrations of Anioma Settlements' (2015), 'A Short History of Omu' (2016), published by Carophem Communications Limited, Ibadan and 'Essentials of Anioma History' published in United States of America by SGNT Media. Esogbue is currently Research Fellow with Anioma Essence Magazine and also Associate Editor of Homage Magazine. As a historian, Emeka Esogbue favours the use of historical continuity in rendering past accounts and digging into the past of the Anioma people. He emphasises on the origin and intertribal relationship of the Anioma people of Delta, Anambra, Imo, Edo and Rivers States of Nigeria. Emeka Esogbue has in his writings passionately criticised the near assimilation of the Anioma people by related ethnic groups in the country and many of his works are centred on this. He was born to the family of Esogbue in Isieke, Umuekea in Ibusa (Igbuzo) in Oshimili North Local Government Area of Delta State, Nigeria.[1] His parents were Patrick Chukwudumebi and Theresa Nwasiwe Esogbue. Dumebi was said to be a member of defunct Biafran Commando unit during the Nigerian Civil War. His grandfather was Joseph Ozoemezie Esogbue, the first engine driver produced by Ibusa. Chief (Prof) Augustine Onwuyalim Moses Esogbue is also a member of the family.

Education and career[edit]

Emeka attended State Primary school, Lagos (1976–1982), later Agboju Secondary School (1983–1988) and Lagos State University (2000–2006). He was nominated the Peer Group Coordinator and Public Relations Officer of Pan African Agency for AIDS and Drug Abuse (PANCADA) (2001–2003) and held the position of the General Secretary of Femi Odumala Campaign Organization (FECO) it was an election within the Amuwo Odofin (Lagos) grassroots level from 2007–2008. He started his journalistic practice (though informally untrained) with the defunct Festac News, a local newspaper in the 1990s reporting for the media outfit. He was also a contributor to Ibusa Pathfinder an Ibusa newsletter. Emeka would join Trade Africa, publishers of Africa Global Business magazine, Lagos-based media outfit in 2009 as a member of the Editorial Executive. In 2010, he was a contributor with Gold Fad, an Ekiti-based magazine.

Writer of Anioma history[edit]

Esogbue has conducted considerable researches on Anioma aimed at digging into the origin of the people. The employment of oral sources is considered his major style in weighing and achieving flow of historical link. He has also sought to know the original ancestral home of Umejei the founder of Ibusa. Esogbue embarked on a historical research on the listing of the past Senior Diokpas of Ibusa. Severally, he has moved for the development of the Ibusa community especially, craving support for investments in the town and transformation of Okpuzu Waterfall as an international tourist centre. He condemned the demolition of remains of St. Augustine's Catholic Church, Ibusa built with red-baked bricks by the European missionaries in 1898, stating that the foundation of the church should rather have been strengthened to give the coming generation the opportunity to see the first church in their community and made a tourist centre. He would also condemn the limitation of street lighting facilities to Asaba stressing that Okpanam, Ogwashi-Uku and Ibusa should have benefited as other major towns near the capital city. He also criticised the conversion of the famous St. Thomas' College, Ibusa, built in 1928, to a same-sex female secondary school and described the policy as a "shameful fall in standard and marginalization of the people".

Other works[edit]

Esogbue has written on many subjects, particularly on the political front of his country, and has in several of his writings condemned the policies of the government of Nigeria, which in his own opinion have visited the citizens with unbearable hardships. The relocation of the nation's capital from Lagos to Abuja as propagated by the military regime of Murtala Mohammed leading to the duplication of national facilities, establishments of the Ajaokuta Steel Complex and the sudden emergence of Abuja have received criticisms from him as factors that have depleted the nation's economy. He is known to have condemned high bride-price in Nigeria, particularly in Iboland at various times. It is his belief that elders must never sit down in the village and demand high bride-price over a girl-child when they did not contribute to her up-bringing and know nothing about. "In his view, except the trend is reversed, it would continue to lead to a higher population of unmarried Ibo women, single parenting, out of wedlock pregnancies and high mortality rate".[2]

Anioma activities[edit]

Emeka has been in the forefront for the creation of a separate State for the Anioma people currently situated in Delta State of Nigeria which according to him should include Igbanke in Edo State, while also settling for South-South as an ideal geo-political zone for the proposed state. "Any further creation of states in Nigeria without the consideration of Anioma will mean further marginalisation and strangulation of the people."[3] He has also advocated for a sixth state for the South East zone, probably Njaba and Adada for the Nsukka District of present Enugu State. Esogbue is also known for his vigorous campaign for the ceding of Igbanke and Ekpon to Delta State to be included in the proposed Anioma State. The two communities are of Ika speaking presently located in Edo state. On 21 December 2011 Emeka Esogbue delivered a lecture titled 'History of Igbanke and Setting Agenda for Igbanke' in which he described the town as an Ika community both by origin and language. He described himself as a friend of the community that has thoroughly researched into her history. It was the first All Igbanke Conference organised by Igbanke National Progressive Association. In 2013, He was announced as the Reviewer of the book, 'Wild Ixora', a literary book authored by Philip Ngozi Ifechukwude. In December 2013, Esogbue announced Dr (Mrs) Ngozi Olejeme as the winner of Anioma Personality of the Year, an award won previously by Arc Kester Ifeadi and Mr Awele Nwabuokei, Ubulu Okiti and Ogwashi- Uku indigenes respectively. On 1 January 2014 Esogbue featured as one of the three discussants at a seminar organised by Ibusa Sports Club in Ibusa to launch the body's calendar. He spoke on 'Youth Restiveness in Ibusa: Who to Blame'. Emeka Esogbue is the initiator of Ibusa Singles Meet, an organisation concerned with the promotion of Ibusa inter-marriage. On Saturday, 23 March 2014, Esogbue, on the request of Igbanke Nationals Progressive Association, the socio-cultural organisation of Igbanke went on a fact-finding mission to Igbanke in Edo State to ascertain the general level of developments in Oligie, why Oligie does not have portable water despite the award of the project, challenges faced by the Enogie of Oligie, igbanke and challenges faced by Igbanke people as a whole were later reported by him. After the mission, reports were made available to the Igbanke community with recommendations made. Part of the 7-point recommendations read that 'That Oligie is troubled with underdevelopment as the investigators did not observe functional portable water or solar-streetlights near the palace of the Enogie and that the bore-hole sited was not functional'. It was also reported that there were no good road, light, factories, industries and other means of employment in Oligie. The organizers of Ibusa Youth Forum would announce Emeka Esogbue as a notable Guest Speaker expected at the event in Lagos also attended by renowned Economist and Co-founder of Lagos Business School, Prof Pat Utomi and the nation's former Chief of Naval Staff, Vice-Admiral Joseph Dele Ezeoba. On 8 October 2016, Esogbue, in his speech, at the event told participants that 'about 51% of youth vices committed in Ibusa was by non-indigenes'. He also opined that such non-indigenes were urged, goaded or guarded by indigenes. He also stated that while pre-1990 was the peak of social development for the community, post-1990 has been a period of neglect for the same community while noting that the period stifled and repressed any hope of development on the community by the government under the Capital Territory Development Area policy of the newly created Delta State in 1991. On 7 January 2017, Esogbue launched his book Essentials of Anioma History in Ibusa with important dignitaries mostly from Anioma personalities that included traditional rulers and Omus from the region in attendance.

Ibusa Like-minds Association[edit]

Emeka Esogbue is the co-founder of Ibusa Like-minds Association, an Ibusa-based youth empowerment organisation.[citation needed] Esogbue was a member of Ibusa Like-minds Association's delegation that visited a number of prominent Ibusa natives including the Obuzor of Ibusa (traditional ruler) HRH, Obi (Prof) Louis Chellunor Nwaoboshi, Prof Chike Onwuachi, a one-time Director-General of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) and Hon. Pat Ajudua, former Minority Leader, Delta State House of Assembly, who was not on seat. The object of the visits was to seek an end to existing social-political problems in the community.

Umu Anioma Foundation Worldwide[edit]

Esogbue was between 2010 and 2011 a member of the board of directors of Umu Anioma Foundation Worldwide, alongside Emmanuel Ohai, Gloria Adagbon Eluebon, Clemmentina Nicholas, Charles Chukwuwinke Anyasi and others. In November 2010 Esogbue jointly signed a congratulatory statement in a Press Release sent to the Acting Governor of Delta State, Prince Sam Obi, in which Sam Obi's attention was drawn to the plight of the Anioma people in the state while also urging him to take urgent steps in providing them with drinkable water, good roads and other social amenities.[4] In February 2011, Umu Anioma Foundation would appoint Emeka Esogbue as the co-chairman of Community Outreach Committee (COC) alongside Godfrey Osakwe and charged with the task of reaching out to the traditional rulers and other stakeholders in the Anioma region via courtesy visits to create inroad opportunities that will cause familiarisation of the problems challenging the people and precisely how the Umu Anioma can be of support in ending many of these problems. Esogbue would highlight Asagba of Asaba, Obuzor of Ibusa, Obi of Ogwashi-Uku, and Obi of Issele-Uku as parts of the beneficiaries of the first phase of the courtesy visits of the Community Outreach Committee (COC) of Umu Anioma Foundation. He also listed Hon Pat Ajudua, Chief (Col) Mike Nduka Okwechime, Hon Ndudi Elumelu, Chief Ifeanyi Okowa and others.

The Umu Anioma Foundation on 1 April 2011 announced the return of Emeka Esogbue as its Board member with his appointment as the Asst Publicity Secretary of the Group worldwide for the year 2011. other members of the Board were Lauretta Onochie, Prince Charles Anyansi, Gloria Adagbon and Isaac Chukwunalu Eke. According to the report released by the Group's Publicity Secretary, Isaac Chukwunalu Eke would be Abuja Chapter Coordinator while Vincent Ngozi Mokwenye was assigned the position Regional Coordinator, Umu Anioma Foundation, South East USA.

Esogbue led a delegation of Umu Anioma Foundation to the MTN Nigeria and West African Food Seasoning sponsored Anioma Cultural Festival in Asaba, Delta State, on 14 May 2011 at the Arcade Ground. The OFAAC organised event featured cultural dances, traditional wrestling, fashion show and raffle draw. The occasion was graced by some royal fathers from the Anioma region including HRH, Obi Kikachukwu, the Obi of Ubulu Unor; HRH, Obi Okolie I (JP), the Obi of Egbudu Akah; HRH Obi Johnson Ekpechulu, the Ezemu of Emu; HRH Obi (Prof) Louis Chellunor Nwaoboshi, the Obuzor of Ibusa; HRH Obi Emmanuel Offor, the Obi of Ewulu HRH Obi Godwin Onyeweuwa,HRH Obi Ezewali Ahoma Collins, the Obi of Otolokpo; HRH Obi Ofuokwu, the Obi of Obior; HRM Obi Martha Dunkwu, the Omu of Okpanam and HRM Dr Emeka Ilunor, the Ezeduna II of Ifitedunu, Dunukafia LGA, Anambra State. The delegates presented the aims and objectives of Umu Anioma Foundation to the monarchs in attendance.[5] In February 2012, Esogbue suddenly announced his resignation as the Assistant publicity Secretary of Umu Anioma Foundation, with no reason offered. In less than 48 hours further resignations followed from Gloria Adagbaon, Gen Secretary of the Foundation, and Lauretta Onochie, the Foundation's spokesperson and Publicity Secretary.

Following his resignation, Esogbue, Lauretta Onochie, Gloria Adagbon and Emmanuel Nwaokolo created Ndi Anioma Group of Nigeria with a youth wing known as Ndi Anioma Youth Movement. These groups have in their membership arrays of prominent Anioma sons and daughters and in some instance, friends of the region.

In "Goodnight Sister Maryam", a tribute published in Anioma Essence, he said that the late Maryam Babangida would be remembered for managing to keep herself from any scandal all through her tenure as the First lady and was to some people, "that quintessential wife and mother who stayed married to husband and family despite all odds"[6]

Emeka Esogbue was a Special Correspondent with Ibusa Development Project, Atlanta, USA; reporter, Daily Eagle (online magazine. In July 2012, he was appointed the Publicity Manager of Ada Anioma Cultural Beauty Pageant. He also enjoys the position of the Chairman of Anioma Man of the Year Selection Committee, an award of Wikinson Publications, publishers of Anioma Trust Newspaper. In the same year, the award was conferred on Arc Kester Ifeadi of the Organization For the Advancement of Anioma Culture, Mr. Awele Nwabuokei would win the award in 2013, Dr (Mrs.) Juliet Olejeme won it in 2014 and in 2015, HRM (Dr) Martha Dunkwu, the Omu of Okpanam/Anioma.

Some selected articles and researches by Emeka Esogbue[edit]

  • Ibusa (Igbuzo) People
  • "Dora Akunyili: Can She Survive the Tide?"
  • Anioma People
  • A Contribution of the Holy family Catholic Church to the Social Development of Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area (unpublished)
  • Widowhood Rituals and Practices (Ikwa-Ozu) in Ibusa Town (Unpublished)
  • "Where in Igboland is the Isu Home of Umejei the founder of Ibusa?"
  • "Omar Al-Bashir: Walking on a Tight Rope"
  • Edo-Nkwo Nnewi Market in Nnewi, Anambra State
  • Anioma State: waiting to be created by the National Assembly of Nigeria
  • Top Ten Enemies of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
  • High Bride Price: Blame our Elders in the Villages
  • Ibusa: A Call for the Social Development of the Town
  • Anioma Igbo: Since When?
  • Anioma: Re-discovering Our Cultural Heritage and Knowing who we Are
  • The Eze Ofu Ani Factor In Igbuzo: What Is it?
  • Anioma: The Need for Identity and Leadership
  • Traditional Marriage: How the Ibusa people Do It
  • That the Igbanke May find Identity in Anioma and Witness Growth and Development
  • Agbor in History
  • The annoying Empty spontaneous Speeches of and David Mark's Own Idea of Democracy For Nigeria
  • The Challenges Faced by Nigerian Bank Workers
  • Nigeria and the Beauty of Pidgin English
  • Okpuzu Water Fall, Nigeria
  • Marrying an African Woman? You will Never Regret It
  • All Hail the Almighty Barcelona Football Club
  • A Visit to Obollo-Afor in Enugu State
  • Is Reuben Abati, the Newest Anti Igbo Bigot?
  • Why Listen to Jimoh Ibrahim and his Wolf Cry on Biafra
  • Nollywood: What Has happened to Igbo Movies?
  • Why You Must Fall in Love with Kate Henshaw-Nuttall
  • 2008/2009 African Footballer of the Year: Hayatou you are a Cheat

Books

Honours and awards[edit]

  • In December 2010, Esogbue was nominated for the Igbo Legendary Awards, which rewards Igbo legends who have distinguished themselves and helped to redefine Igbo consciousness and collective aspiration of the people. The awards were held on 29 December 2010 (12.00pm) at Nike Lake Resort Enugu, Enugu State, Nigeria.
  • Emeka Esogbue is a two-time nominee of Umu-Igbuzor Man of the Year award on 21 December 2012 and 30 December 2013.
  • Who's Who in Ibusa, 2011
  • Who's Who in Anioma, 2011
  • Umu-Igbuzor Man of the Year, 2014
  • In 2015, he received the Patriot Award in recognition of extensive researches and literatures on the Anioma people

References[edit]

External links[edit]