Anioma In Nigeria

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Cannon Fodder:
Anioma & the Balance of
Power in Nigeria


The Royal Niger Company
Anioma was a critical entity in local and international politics even before the formal creation of Nigeria. The first sets of European missionaries and explorers landed on the west bank of River Niger in 1830. The missions were the Church Missionary Society (CMS) and the Roman Catholic Mission, while the European explorers included the two brothers, Richard and John Lander. At that time, Aniomaland was simply called “Western Bank of River Niger”. The European explorers and missionaries were very impressed by the geographical location of Aniomaland and the hospitality of the people such that soon the explorers built a number of catering houses and
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Firstly, the colonialists had lost several men in the campaign, and secondly, the First World War (1914-1918) was looming, such that it was not prudent to commit troops and resources on two deadly fronts. They duly ceased hostilities in 1914; discharged the African soldiers, some of whom decided to settle at Asaba and Lokoja while others who continued their military service were relocated to Lagos, Ibadan, Kaduna and Enugu.
Anioma in the Early Years of Independence
Due to its strategic status, Anioma and its people have been playing critical roles in the socio-economic and political development of Nigeria. In the early years of independence, for instance, Anioma people were instrumental to the creation of Midwestern Region in 1963. The first Premier was Chief Dennis Osadebey, an Asaba-born politician and man of peace.
Anioma under the Action Group Government of Western
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Locally and internationally, they have made tremendous impact. An Anioma indigene [Dr. Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as Minister of Finance] led the team that negotiated a huge debt relief for the country as well as initiated reforms designed for a turn-around for the economy, transparency and accountability in the conduct of public affairs. Interestingly, she was the Managing Director of The World Bank Group until her recent reappointment as Nigeria’s Minister of Finance. There are several others in virtually all fields of human endeavor, as amplified in the segment of Anioma Who’s Who of this

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