The power of spoken word
I am very sorry to encroach upon your precious time on the above subject, but I am confident that you will graciously use your good office to look into this matter of vicious verbal attacks on some people of Aro-Okeigbo by a few Aro men and women. I therefore humbly wish to draw your attention to the issue of negative name callings that has fueled crisis in Aro Kingdom especially at Nzuko Aro and Aro village meetings.
This issue should be quickly and effectively addressed to avoid creating more problems in the community. The time we waste on name-calling could be usefully applied to addressing some challenges in Aro Kingdom and help improve our quality of life. Nothing good is gained by fighting and quarrelling amongst our people; it’s an ill wind that blows no body any good. We need love, not hate. Equality of rights of citizens is guaranteed in the Nigeria Constitution.
Some derogatory names which some Aro ascribe to some other Aro have created a feeling of hate, dehumanization, abuse of citizen’s rights and lack of trust among the Aro citizens include but not limited to the following:
1 “Nwa Mba Ovia”: Non Aro women married in Aro are being called “foreigners” “nwa mba ovia, nwa mba kamesi, onye na bugi nwa Aro bu nwa mba ovia.”
2. “Ndi Obia’ra Aro na ukori”: Aro sons and daughters born and bred outside Arochukwu including Aros in the Diaspora/settlements are being derogatorily referred to as ‘Ndi Obia’ra Aro na ukori’ (those that came into Aro later in their lives). What a shame!
3. Non Aros from other towns who love Aro and have made Aro their natural home are called ‘Ndi ji okpa bata Aro’. All these insults should be discouraged.
Your majesty, our Eze Aro, this bad attitude of name-calling has eaten so deep into the fabric of our existence to the extent that some women are discriminated against being elected/voted into key positions. At Nzuko Aro, some women bragged that top leadership positions are exclusively reserved for the Aro – women born and bred in Arochukwu (‘ndi amuru na ulo zuo na ulo’).
I am writing this because I was one of the first victims of this unwarranted discrimination. Sometime in 1985, at a general meeting of Nzuko Aro in Enugu branch, the branch president called me ‘a non-Aro lady, a foreigner’. I took it up very seriously and petitioned the Central Executive of Nzuko Ikom/Inyom. The then President General, Mazi Emman Okorafor, set up a committee that looked into the matter. That committee and many Aro people frowned at such name -alling, scolded and blamed the lady; and I won the case; that was a big lesson.
Unfortunately, the same name-calling is flying around everywhere these days again. Your majesty, I am pleading on bended knees that you wade into this issue passionately with a view to giving every of your subjects a pride of honour for being an Aro. Your fatherly intervention and protection in this regard will be highly appreciated. I will be ready to come before you or any committee you may set up to look into this matter and substantiate on this if deemed necessary. No Aro man or woman is more Aro than any other Aro man or woman. We are all Aro and must be seen and treated as such.
May the Good Lord grant you peace in your days and continue to protect you and your family. Thank you very much.
I remain your loyal subject,
Phil Adielechi Mbadiwe (Mrs.)