In 2008, a colleague of mine in the Ministry of Environment, in Umuahia, had requested of me for a favour, as he had termed it. He had requested me to take him to Arochukwu for a visit to the historic and the ‘cradle of Igbo cilvilisation’ town. I obliged him readily, and before long, we had fixed the date for the visit (after all, I thronged Arochukuwu nearly every weekend, I had said to myself).
So, on a Thursday in November that year, we drove out from Umuahia, and headed for Arochukwu: first, to my Isimkpu village-home; and later, to the other villages of Arochukwu – without exception. We had gone to all the villages of Arochukwu for site-seeing.
What of the Ulo Nta Okoroji? We had visited the place: we rode on a bike to be able to penetrate the town. We really ‘saw’ Arochukwu. After the visit, he (my visitor, Johnson) had requested to visit Amuvi again after the first visit. I obliged and we did so: at that, he was hilarious and mirthful to me.
Then, four days after Ikeji Aro, 2016 (this year), the same professional colleague phoned me. Do you know his request? Yes; ‘take me back to Amuvi for a third visit. I like the village. I like what I saw there.’
So, we went to Amuvi, after his arrival. This time, I took him to all parts of Amuvi as much as I could. I took him to the primary school I had attended (ACPS); to the Saint Thomas’ Catholic Church; to Inyivara stream where we used to bait for and catch fish as children in the 1970s; then to the magnificent health centre; to the secondary school built by the village alone; to the ‘stadium’ premises of Dr Nwakamma Okoro; we rode through the ‘streets,’ and ‘roads’ of the village; we had gone to the house of Mazi Alex Onyeador (built in the 1960s); we had visited more them one hundred magnificent buildings and structures built throughout the village. Yes; we saw Amuvi, really.
Then, I told my visitor-friend, in history, how those from Amuvi had been contributing to the development of Arochukwu generally, not Amuvi village alone. I told him that the symbolic Omu Aro insignia was patented for Arochukwu by the Okereke Brothers of the village. I had told him how the Nwakamma Okoros, the Alex Onyeadors and the Martin Okoros, et cetera had brought fame to their Amuvi village and Arochukwu in general. Yes; I had told him that the two publications of Arochukwu today, Aro News and The Omu Aro were conceived and founded (and sponsored) by two illustrious sons of the village, Dr Azubuike Okoro and Barrister Ndionyemma Nwankwo respectively.
Then, on our way to my Isimkpu residence, my guest-visitor had exclaimed in satisfaction: ‘Amuvi is the best village I have seen in my life. Amuvi “streets” are well-planned; the people live in well-marked out plots, as what obtains in the townships; their buildings are magnificent and imposing; they are more cohesive and progressive in their life-styles; the village is the only one in Arochukwu that has built a college for the educational development of their children; their primary school is the best in physical appearance in Arochukwu; ditto their health centre; the landscape of the village could go for the best in the world; the location of the village is unique and special, each family has “freedom of the mind,” in the way they live ….’ I can not write more on how my colleague had described Amuvi Uda that day.
When, finally, I let him know Amuvi was my maternal village where I had lived and was brought up in my childhood, and where I had had my primary school education through the help of my mother’s relatives, receiving the best in kindness, care and domestic training, he finally concluded in exclamation: ‘No wonder you behave the way you do. You had a good background. Congrats. Really, you have Amuvi blood in you.’