Addressing the Myriads of Problems Confronting Ibusa Town in Delta State

Everyone who has had the course to surf the internet for information regarding Ibusa must have been struck with my numerous works pertaining to the town; this cannot be gainsaid in the least. My write-ups on Anioma have also to a far extent provided social information on Ibusa as a town within the Anioma-Igbonoid society. I am of the opinion that if the numerous Associations and social clubs in the town encourage the youths of the town to carry out scholarly researches on matters bothering on the town, the ills in our Ibusa will be identified for correctional purposes.

It is surprising that much as large and prominent as the town appears with learned and prominent figures, no single communal Daily paper or magazine exists for the people, I am not aware of the existence of any after the much prized “Ibusa Pathfinder” found its way out of the Nigerian media world. The Ibusa Pathfinder was unbiased, reliable and accurate in the information it circulated to the people of Ibusa and Anioma.

Capable Ibusa indigenes should look the way of Ibusa Pathfinder especially now that government assisted developments are not arriving the town. The Organisation for the Advancement of Anioma Culture has similarly commenced this move with the monthly publication of “Anioma Essence” a magazine that that has come to champion the cultural course of the people. I only hope that one day; OFAC will find reasons in opening up a branch in Ibusa.

Much as Chief Fred Ajudua has come under heavy criticism in the town, he is obviously a perfect example of an incontrovertible fact that a community can be developed as a result of self-development if indigenes give in their best towards attaining this. This write-up does not set out to sing praises of him but the History of Ibusa will surely remember him as a man that has contributed his quota to the development of Ibusa. The Umejei Road stands today as deteriorated as no one can imagine even as many of us believe that the road is too narrow for heavy duty vehicles to ply in the first place.

Consider the fact that the town is blessed with high-profiled politicians, yet the town cannot be lit up with electricity for moments beyond minutes by Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) Electricity problem is both natural and national ion Nigeria but the situation is worst in Ibusa. PHCN had always maintained that the town awaited the construction of a transformer but today it is a different story, “someone stole something from the transformer” is the news from PHCN. This is a comedown on our high-profiled politicians. Charity should begin at home at least and this situation requires urgent arrest.

Far worst than this is the lack of unity which the town is known for. Often, trivial issues regarding age-long traditions and cultures become blown out of proportion and the aged are made to view these issues with schism. These issues become insolvent in the end and everyone begins to wonder at the tenacity with which parties involved stick to their gun. This trait gives Ibusa infamy.

Several numbers of legal suits in the name of the town abound in several High Courts of the federation, it would seem that the indigenes living outside the town relate more cordially than those inside the town. The Ibusa Community Development Union (ICDU) from which most of the decisions affecting the town emanated from in the past are not free from these crises as a faction, Ibusa Association of Nigeria (IPAN) emerged from this group following what local observers described as an irreconcilable difference in matters. A certain Nnewi Historian once described the indigenes of the town, Ibusa as unruly; a trait he concluded was a hereditary trait and similarity between “Ibusa –Isu” and “Isu-Nnewi from where he claimed that Umejei the founder of Ibusa journeyed from.

This sad situation became exacerbated when the idea of “Obuzor” was sold to the government of Delta state. With the efforts of the Delta state government emerged which has become the “mother of all controversies” in the town. Different groups have different interpretations of Obuzor. To some, obuzor means “King of Ibusa” to others it means “Onu Diokpa” (Diokpa’s Messenger.”

Anyone who understood the strong attachment the people of Ibusa have for traditions, cultures and customs would certainly have developed curiosity on the workability of the idea of “Obuzorship” with the continued practice of “Senior Diokpaship.” What the progenitors packaged appeared like another Diokpaship (King of Ibusa) and even the Supreme Court of Nigeria was not left out in this confusion. For one, what the Supreme Court knew judging from the political background of Asaba was the “Asagba of Asaba” which very much was similar with what the people of Ibusa were agitating for.  

In my own opinion, the progenitors of the Obuzor institution failed to get it wholly right. The idea was good since it was that based on moving the town forward to meet up with the current societal and political trends but badly implemented with obviousness. Reformation was necessary but certainly creating what appeared like another sovereign institution and the whole lot of ideologies associated with it was bound to fail in the first place and misleading in totality. The idea was good because the idea of Diokpa (i.e. is the oldest man as the head of a community) is somewhat backward in terms of real political governance and representation of the people to the highest level, settlement of very complex politics-related matters involving indigenes of the town and those of other communities, representation of the people at Aso-Rock Villa and canvassing for the development and betterment of the people outside the country especially in this present dispensation are all part of these.

The Ibusa Community Development Union and Ibusa Progressive Association of Nigeria recognize this need which makes the presence of a President necessary as their organizations are composed at present.

Was the senior Diokpa intended to share sovereignty with the Ibusa? Now that the Supreme Court has ruled in recognition of Obuzor as the King of Ibusa, what is the way forward? Do we allow the matter as it is presently to linger on tearing and dividing every available house against one another? Is it possible to return to status quo even with the ruling of the Supreme Court and other future candidates waiting to take their turns? There is now a case of one community with two kings. Contemplation of furthering in this situation will amount to nothing because it has never worked anywhere. This is why I take objection in the original idea as propounded by the progenitors on the basis that there would be the Diokpa and assistance in the personality of Obuzor. The title of Obuzor is too much for an idea like this. The workability would have amounted to the 8th wonder of the world.

The progenitors may have taken a cue from Asaba where the Asagba reigns but rather than fold our hands and watch every Quarter divided against each other with the cry of “Otu Diokpa and “Otu Obuzor renting the air in customary matters of the town something positive we need to sit down and address this situation, face it squarely.

Ibusa has a seeming insurmountable problem of lack of portable water in the town. Many indigenes of the town still resort to traveling down to Oboshi, Atakpo and Odiche streams. This is a common problem in Anioma as a whole and needs to be addressed because the people now sink bore-holes with unrestricted monopoly to the detriment of the underprivileged who have to purchase this water. Mention should also be made of gully erosion threatening to bring down many beautiful houses in the town, a large number of trees have given ways to this natural disaster.

Ordinarily Ibusa should be designated by number and name of streets, roads, avenues, closes, layouts etc. It has also been noticed that new structures in the town do not conform to town planning regulations which ensures that certain measurement should be observed from the road. From the turn out of things in Ibusa now, vehicles may also find it difficult driving into their compounds.

Our Ashia-Eke market needs to be restructured and modernized for the good of the community. I am aware that if permanent structures are erected the market will automatically convert to a daily market where transactions can take place on a daily basis. The marketing activities now encroach to the major Umejei Road because the shops are too few to accommodate the traders. Therefore what needs to be done is construction of a more modern market with storey-buildings.

By far the greatest problem in the town is facing is the problem of security which the cases of juvenile delinquencies in the town have come to worsen. This situation needs to be addressed urgently lest violence engulfs the whole town.