By EJIME UDUEME
In years past, Ika Nation comprising of Ika South and Ika North East was known for its doggedness in farming and bumper harvest in agricultural produce.
This age-long agricultural activities pushed many families to be deeply rooted in polygamy as a result of the need to raise more children to assist in farming.
This practice of subsistence and commercial farming tutored the people to be industrious, focused and innovative.
As a result of the profit in farming, most families were able to train their children in different Tertiary Institutions to become graduates who are today doing well in their chosen careers.
Based on the “I can win attitude”, Ika people are making waves at home and in diaspora especially in politics, banking, football, entertainment, mechanized farming, industrialization, communication amongst others.
Apart from being an emporium of food in the West African sub region, the area is known for peace and hospitality.
Currently, Ika land is enlisted into oil producing areas in Delta State because of the large quantity of oil discovered by experts.
It is on record that the area is the only place where oil has not caused ethnic crisis.
Ika land also is blessed with first class traditional rulers who are the custodian of the culture of their various kingdoms.
These include the Dein of Agbor kingdom, Kiagborekuzi the first, the Obi of Owa Kingdom, Dr Emmanuel Efeizomor the second who is presently the Chairman, Delta State traditional rulers counci, as well as the Obi of Abavo, Obi Uche Irenuma the second among others.
The icing of the cake is that the Ika ethnic group is the only group in Nigeria with two serving governors; Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, Governor of Delta State and Mr Godwin Emefiele who is the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.
They are both in their second tenure and have remained good ambassadors of Delta and Nigeria at large.
The language that binds the people is Ika.
The two local government areas that make up Ika land, Ika South and Ika North East have always worked as a team in pursuit of its visions – socio-economic, infrastructural and political aspirations despite pockets of differences.
The agrarian town has also produced an acting governor in the person of Prince Sam Obi who was in power for three months while Mr Simeon Ebonka of blessed memory was also a deputy governor during the Late Felix Ibru’s administration.
In all, the ika people of Delta North Senatorial district have done well in promoting their cultural heritage and have also been in the vanguard of any move that will fast track the overall development of the area and the state at large.
Since the birth of democracy in Nigeria, the area has played pivotal role in the emergence of past and present governors.
More support is needed from Ika indigenes more than ever before, basically for the fact that their son, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa is the governor of Delta State.
The support is to offer suggestions and prayers for him to succeed based on the fact that his government has been people friendly in the last five years.
A clarion call is also extended to all Ika sons and daughters at home and abroad to join hands with government to address challenges bedevilling the area, as government cannot do it alone.
The area needs more roads, schools, hospitals, skills acquisition centres, small and large scale industries, empowerment and other socioeconomic projects to stem the tide of poverty.
More worrisome is the fact that most youths from the area have lost their lives to questionable foreign trips all in the search for greener pastures.
It is also alarming that most youths of Ika extraction are jobless and are already posing security risk.
An injury to one should be an injury to all.
All well to do indigenes should come home and establish companies that could create wealth and meaningfully engage the youths.
If this obvious problems are not addressed with a serious sense of urgency, a time will come when the rich will sleep with their two eyes open.
Let us be fully involved in the Ika project, which is to make the area the most peaceful and most developed, not only in Delta State but in Nigeria at large.
Onu kokome Ogbu ofifi!
May God bless Ika land!!!