Ibom Hall, one of the largest village halls in Arochukwu and perhaps the oldest, is currently undergoing general repairs even as that of Obinkita, another important hall in the heart of the city, is also under reconstruction.
The renovation of Ibom Hall started with N500, 000 donation by Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, who was then aspiring to the office. Ikpeazu made the donation when he visited Arochukwu during his campaign for Aro votes.
When Aro News visited the hall recently, buckets and tins of paints were seen packed inside the hall, an indication that renovation work had started in earnest.
Also, Eze Ibom Isii, His Royal Highness, Mazi Kanu Nwakanu Okereke, disclosed that already the two-wing eaves of the building have been renovated with long-span roofing sheets, ditto the top-roof ceiling boards painted white while other burglar-proof works and protectors were being fixed. His Royal Highness further said the renovation project had already gulped about N1.3million. He also said that Ibom Isii had attracted an electric transformer which boosts electricity supply to the area, built a modern health centre in addition to renovating Ulo Mazi (mgbala ekpe) in addition to his building of Ibom Guest House at the heart of Ibom village in reference to economic and physical developments of the area.
Also speaking to Aro News on telephone interview, one of the members of the committee reconstructing Obinkita Hall and a well-known community cum political leader in Arochukwu, Hon. Chima Nwafor, told Aro News that the hall was to be reconstructed and made a one-storey building, adding that the building will gulp about N15million to complete. He was of the opinion that structure may be ready before the end of the year.
Meanwhile, the roofing-tiles the colonial masters used in constructing the only Post Office at Baraki in Arochukwu had started to cave in as a result of dilapidation and lack of care, even as some doors of the colonial building have fallen off as some portions of the building were virtually open; while some doors were held in closing position with ropes and twine.
Speaking to Aro News during a visit to the Post Office, the Post Master, Mr. Okorie Ogbonnaya (from Bende town) said “since the Post Office was built in 1940 by the British administration, it has not undergone any form of renovation till today. That is why here is like this. I don’t know why. But in Ohafia, all the Post Offices have been renovated once or twice, or new ones built; I don’t know why the leaders of Arochukwu have failed to do anything about attracting the renovation of their only Post Office. See, the roof title-sheets are daily falling off and leaking here and there. If not these buckets we placed under the leaking spots, the entire floor would have been flooded. This is a terrible situation. The state of the dilapidated roof is posing serious health problems to us; people should do something about this, please.”
Asked if the officers of the Post Office had ever presented the problem to the authorities of the Nigeria Postal Service, Mr. Ogbonnaya replied in the affirmative, but emphasised that hitherto, nothing had actually come out of them.
Indeed the condition of the Post Office has become a challenge to the leadership of Nzuko Aro, to push for its renovation and rehabilitation.