Oh’ Arochukwu; once beautiful country home; please bear the pains of the injustices done against you with equanimity; hoping that very soon the light of God will shine upon you and you shall be free and prosperous again.
Time was when Arochukwu the cradle of Igbo culture and civilization, the ancient kingdom in the heartland of Eastern Nigeria was regarded as safe haven in every ramification, a serene society with its purity of custom and traditional values, having wide range of influence in the Eastern Nigeria block. Our people were said to have lived in peace and loved one another effortless. This peace connote development, mutual respect with one another for co-existence; Peace is our ability to manage and internally resolved our differences or conflicts in civility. Each time I sit back and think about our community, my heart becomes giddy and melancholic. I feel weak and desolate and I am left wondering what has really gone wrong with a once beautiful era.
Nevertheless, the more I think about Arochukwu and its numerous problems, the more pain I feel in my heart. Let us tell one another the truth; Arochukwu is no longer what it used to be; almost everybody and everything have gone crazy. Often the way we conduct ourselves, relate to each other, and treat Arochukwu is very unbecoming, wicked and insensible. The worst part of it all is that we spend precious time blaming one another, agencies and structures of governance, as if we are not aware that the problems of Arochukwu are caused by all of us. Yes; all of us; who else?
I recalled with great nostalgia, my growing up days in Amangwu, when things were still very normal, not now everything seems to have fallen apart, when men were men, and could prove their mettle (man hood) in capable ways. When we used to be our brother’s keeper and treated even a stranger like a member of our family, when children used to be polite, respectful and deferred to their parents and guardians on every matter; when there were no serious robbers, but pilfering and pick pockets, when money had value and you could build a house with just 100 pounds; when husbands and wives clung to each other like leaches and confided in each other with absolute conjugal fidelity, when education mean everything to parent and their children; when electricity and water were supplied with regularity, when kingship and their stools were revered; “mgbeelubualaosa; mgbeezi di n’ukwuukwa”, when hard work and excellence were celebrated and evil do not go unpunished, when death was not common and it was always scary and painful to learn of the death of someone. etc.
What has happened to those beautiful days when travelling abroad was just intended to acquire “oyibo” man’s education, and not for frolicking and jamboree as is the case these days. Where are our cherished cultural values and etiquette that served as the main stay of our life as a people. Where are the beautiful and altruistic ideas for which Arochukwu were once known for? “Nwa Aro Iche, mkpo-olaIche,” the strong family bonds and traditions; where have they all gone? Why have we allowed ourselves to be used by Satan and his agent to perpetrate evil against our own land and relatives? Where have all the great politician who saw politics as an instrument of developing our kingdom Arochukwu gone? Yes some of them may be dead but can’t we replicate them in some, if not all of us? Rather what have largely are opportunists and acquisitionists, who have no place in public service. All they are interested in is building fieldom all over the places and working to gain the whole world, without caring about the vanity and ephemeral nature of life.
Oh’ my God! Where are all the men and women of good conscience, whose presence inspired hope in others? They were pan Arochukwu exemplified. They walked the entire political spectra of this kingdom, spreading the good news of unity without fear or shame. Unfortunately their successors, political and even institutional leaders have squandered our common patrimony and left all of us desolate, depleted and disheartened. They flaunt shamelessly their divisive tendencies to the detriment of our common will. God, are you still there? I have asked this question because it seems you have abandoned us. Who knows, is it because of our transgression? Do not kill us before we get old, for you live and reigneth forever in this land. Cleanse our land of the evil men and women who have vowed to destroy it and your people. When will you restore our land LORD? When? If you allow things to go on the way they are, we will wake up one morning and discover there is no more community to call ours.
Similarly, the good old days’ living standard was appreciably better. Everyone was contended with what he or she had. There was no room for cheating (419) and other such crimes; lousiness, slothfulness, greed and avarice. Parents were in strong control of their children and ran their homes with love and dutifulness. Couples led a faithful life and did things together. Their children and wards emulated them with pride and reverence. These were the days children were named after their parents and bore such names that typified their character or depicted their family tradition. They bore such names as ‘Oyirinnaya’ (like his father) ‘Adaku’ (precious daughter), ‘Omeroha’ (the generous man), ‘Omengbeoji’ (he who gives when he has) etc. What do we have these days? People bear names that do not mean anything to them or portray their personality. Imagine somebody who has looted the treasury or an armed robber naming his child after himself (Oyirinnaya or Omekannya), a fraudster bearing the name “Omeroha or mbaanabara dike. Our homes are likened to the Kalakuta Republic; where relationship between couples and their children is tempestuous and estranged. Trust has taken flight in many homes, and in its place we have mutual suspicious, unfaithfulness and lust, hatred and domestic violence which lead to divorce.
Arochukwu has descended into a free for all and we have constituently stuck our heads into the sand rather than face the fact that, we as a people have lost our moral compass. Sadly, we did not suddenly arrive at this destination, it has been eroding over the decades and the product of this disgraceful behaviour has been the making of our society when we choose greed over everything else. “Our leaders are a reflection of our society and at the moment we need some better medicare to make our country regain our values and morality”.
Therefore; how culpable is each of us in the mess which we have submerged this kingdom? Let me at this point solemnly condemn in very unequivocal term the campaign of calumny by some self-styled Aro leaders and Eze(s) against Nzuko Arochkwu world-wide and its hierarchy, and the person of Arochukwu monarch, Mazi Ogbonnaya Okoro. CFR. Indeed ‘ezen’aguoha, ma obuchukwunaemeeze. “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God” Roman 13 v 1 (English Standard Version).
But it has not always been like this, this mutual suspicious, total distrust of even the guy who lived next door for a dozen years, and this fear of what tomorrow may bring will not continue. We once lived like brothers, we once were a people, we once had a beautiful era, we once had a town. Now all we have left is a land that once was and a future that is so frighteningly uncertain. If we knew exactly where and when we took the wrong turn in the road, we would retrace our steps, but do we? And if do, aren’t we so afraid of facing our past? Hasn’t fear left us almost immobile, almost totally numb to everything good and positive? How did we get here travelling the milestone and land mark that our ancient culture was? How did we move from a people speaking with one strong voice the world couldn’t but acknowledge, to a people speaking discordant tunes that has left the world shocked and sorry? Arochukwu cannot continue the way it is going, otherwise we will be imperiled. We must stand up and redeem this kingdom from the clutches of the forces of darkness that are assailed against her. Each of us has a stake in the venture.
Aro restoration is a task we all must embark upon individually and collectively, no matter one’s religion, status or political alignment. The kingdom burns, even the blind can see the imminent danger. This TITANIC Call AROCHUKWU sinks deeper every day. ‘Air-Aro’ is in turbulent weather. The need of the hour is a competent and tested pilot as well as Co-pilots; as provided by the quality leadership of Mazi George O. Ezuma, The President General Nzuko Aro and his amiable team, we owe them an obligation of support and obedience. This Aircraft must not be allowed to crash disastrously out of history.
Although the Aro nation is hobbled, confused and helpless, inexplicably oblivious of what Martin Luther king famously described as the “fierce urgency of now.” All that Nzuko Arochukwu needs is the audacity of courage to do that which is necessary and right to enable Aros respond with the force urgency of now. We must return to the “era of purity.” I therefore call all facet of Arochukwu community, the old, the young; men, women and children to get back to our root. We must galvanize and reactivate our good old cultural values that was synonymous with the beautiful era of purity.
by Mazi Ogbonnaya C. Inyama (Mezie-Aro)