Arochukwu people’s concept of meeting is rigidly conservative, archaic and inconsistent with the 21st century business ideals. The essence of meeting in the African sense is within the wider sense of society, community and socialization, but meetings need not hold if it’s just for the sake of meeting. Meeting must be purposeful or it becomes self-serving and counter-productive.
For the individual, membership of a meeting is a form of insurance when calamities befall them. Whether or not meetings meet up with this solemn expectation is another matter altogether. For the community, meeting is geared towards its overall peace, stability and development. However, where the welfare of a few members supersedes that of the majority of members of the community then there is a problem.
A cursory look at how most Aro based Associations, Clubs or Unions including the umbrella body, Nzuko Aro are conducting their affairs would indicate that there is something foundationally wrong in their vision and mission. The perception of most members is primarily skewed at what they would get out of meetings and not what they can do for the community. Meetings focus on ,”ihe a ma emere onye mgbe onwuru”.Simply translated: social and death benefits.
Thus,they are members of the Aro based union/club/association simply because of the mutual benefits accruable therefrom. Hence,most of the issues discussed at such forum revolve around individuals’ fringe benefits rather than those of the community.
Paradigm shift/Business ideals: If town unions were to be fashioned along the line of business ideals, it would bring about a paradigm shift in the way Arochukwu conducts its affairs. More people who are left out of the present moribund set up would be brought in and Arochukwu would witness more activities leading to rapid development.
Scenarios: Imagine the quantum of transformation Aro would witness between 2016-2019 if just ten branches of Nzuko Aro in pursuit of the business ideal were to do as follows:
- Nzuko Aro-Aba Branch: Installation of Solar panels and Lighting system within the Eze Aro palace/adjoining road around the First Bank PLC, perhaps up to Ibom primary school.
- Nzuko Aro,Abuja Branch:Upgrading of the Eze Aro Palace and the Sports Arena at Barracks.
- Nzuko Aro,Enugu Branch: Running of Fish/Meat/Soup kitchen at Amaikpe for the feeding of very poor people-especially children and poor widows. Imagine the multiplier effect that this would have on the health care of the people knowing the full dietary content of food by most people in Arochukwu is majorly carbohydrate. Meat is expensive in Aro just as there is very low protein consumption. Diabetes, high blood pressure,malnutrition,hunger and poverty are implicated in the high mortality among the elderly. Malnutrition is considered to be high among children and youth. A well equipped soup kitchen or food trailer would fight the high rate of hunger and malnutrition in our community.
- Nzuko Aro,Umuahia Branch: Establishment of Skill Acquisition Centre where the youth can learn skills such fish farming, grass cutter farming, snail farming, poultry farming, snail farming, palm wine tapping(since we cannot have any major ceremony in Aro without palmwine, so why can’t we have our own local tappers?why must we rely on outside sources for such an important produce?),fashion designing, Disc Jockey/music production, Computer Design, Solar panel fabrication, Web site design,Soap making,Vulcanising,etc.Imagine the positive transformation that will have on fifty young people roaming around Arochukwu town presently causing mischief and social tension due to idleness and lack of jobs and skills acquisition. Imagine the effect such a programme would have on graduates who had long finished their national service and sat at home waiting for the elusive government jobs. Imagine if the legion of okada/keke NAPEP riders were exposed to skills acquisition programmes. And perhaps, after the training, All Aro USAA after strict screening and revision were to aid the trainees with revolving micro finance loans for start-up businesses.Imagine the positive impact that would have on families in Arochukwu.
- Nzuko Aro, Port Harcourt Branch: Grading,widening, and stone-basing of the Uburu-Ihe-Amuvi access road. This all important road reduces the rigmarole perilous journey through Ihechiowa-Ututu-Arochukwu road by over 30 minutes. It’s the responsibility of Nzuko Aro Port Harcourt branch to make it motorable.
- All Aro USA: Construction/Asphalting of Obinkita-New Market road and the upgrading of Amaikpe Square.
- Nzuko Aro United Kingdom/Ireland: Construction/asphalting of New market-Ibom access road.
- Nzuko Aro Canada/Italy/Germany: Construction/asphalting of New Market –Osu Gwom Gwom-General hospital road.
- Nzuko Aro Kano/Kaduna/Bauchi/Jaligo/Onitsha branches: Upgrading of the new market Abattoir and provision of water and modern meat processing facilities.
- Nzuko Aro Calabar/Uyo/Yanegoa Branches: Construction of ICT Centre and a brand new Eze Aro Palace.
What a lofty dream? What a town? what a world? Imagine how Arochukwu would be if we were to run all these self-centred, lame, sitting duck-beer quaffing Aro based unions, clubs and Associations with more of business orientation strictly for community service and development. It will discountenance the present absolute aversion to selfless community service, frivolities, waste of opportunities and perennial lack of result.
The result of years of negligence of Aro stares us all in the face each time we go home and are confronted by gross lack of social amenities. The truth is that the more the years have gone by, the more things have remained the same in Arochukwu. If indeed umuaro love Aro,they must demonstrate it in selfless communal service. They must refrain from the lip-service that has shamefully gone on for decades,and WORK to place Aro in the frontline position it maintained throughout the reign of Eze Kanu Oji.
Meetings must be result oriented and service driven.Love for our community must permeate the hardened encrustations of selfishness and individualism enthroning a new order of service that must remove the current order of drudgery and maintenance of status quo that only deepens community-wide stagnation,poverty,apathy and general lack of development.