Jump-starting Aro Renaissance

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Let me from the on set make clear the intentions of this intervention. While modern communication practitioners strongly believe that if you do not blow your trumpet no one will blow it for you, I’m more inclined to the threatened thinking that action speaks louder than words, that one should let his or her achievements ‘do the talking’ . This position is strengthened by current happenings. Listening to the radio, watching TV or reading newspapers, you can be excused if you conclude that many of our states have been transformed to some form of paradise. But visit some of the glamourized states and you get the shock of your life. The gap between publications and performance is usually so wide that you tend to loose faith in the mass media.

However, we need information to make informed decisions, and decisions are critical to change. Change is usually the product of conscious and unconscious actions of individuals and groups. This write up therefore, seeks to acquaint readers with the goings-on in Nzuko Arochukwu since the 6th Central Working Executive Committee led by Mazi George Okoronkwo Ezuma was elected a year ago.

Since 1981 Nzuko Aro as the umbrella body of Arochukwu, has remained work -in -progress, tasking the ingenuity and bringing out the best in leaders such as Mazi Emmanuel Okoroafor of blessed memory, Elder Ukwu Udonsi, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, Mazi Emmanuel Kanu Ivi and Elder Nnamdi Udoh, to mention a few. A lot had been achieved by previous leaders but as it’s true of every community of people, a lot still requires to be done.

At the time the elections took place last year, the Community was groaning under the weight of broken down infrastructure such as impassable roads, internal and external. Hospitals existed in name. Even the local government had little or no impact on the locality. Our people were beginning to loose faith in themselves such that even simple problems which the people could come together and solve were left to fester. We were more interested in creating needless crises that further polarized the Community. Our youths have been heading in the wrong direction, embracing hard drug use as if it is a visa to success. Teenage pregnancy is on the increase. Respect for elders took flight while some of the elders easily compromise age old principles further confusing the disoriented youths and creating the impression that anything or everything is possible.

The turn out for the elections was the first indication that Arochukwu was yearning to jump start its renaissance. For the first time in recent memory, the Arochukwu Civic Centre could barely take those that turned up. National Patrons spent sleepless nights to deliver a hitch free, fair and transparent election.

In the past one year, the current Nzuko Aro Executive has worked assiduously to rekindle the confidence of Umu Aro in their ability to confront and surmount the numerous challenges facing the Kingdom. They have setup a transparent and accountable financial regime which has encouraged people to contribute to development projects. The financial statements of all the events and projects embarked upon so far, from Ikeji to Aro Day 2016, and from Okobo Road to internal roads, have been circulated to all branches of Nzuko Aro. The financial statement of Nzuko Aro for the past one year is published in the current edition of ARO NEWS.

Nzuko Aro has built a strong synergy with the elected representatives, Sen. Mao Ohuabunwa, Hon. Uko Nkole and Hon. Luke Ukara. They have championed the challenge of reversing the infrastructure deficit plaguing the Community. To the glory of God, the contractor handling the Aro/Ohafia road has returned to site. Nzuko Aro interfaced with the Akwa Ibom state government and conveyed appreciation for work on Nkana road.

The NDDC through the assistance of Ugwu Aro Dr. Alex Otti carried out palliative works on eight kilometres of the Aro/Ohafia road in December which made it possible for our people to use that road during Christmas. Nzuko Aro
graded the Arochukwu/Abam (Okobo) road as well as some internal roads to ease the pain of our people. The state government has promised that work on the Aro/Abam road would be speeded up.

On the Health sector, Nzuko Aro constituted a Health Committee which is currently working on how to improve medical facilities in Arochukwu. The Union helped to clear medical equipment shipped by the All Aro USA for the maternity built by the Aro USA women. The Maternity will be commissioned on Easter Saturday.

Nzuko Aro has rekindled the interest of our people in our cultural heritage by staging what has been acclaimed the best Eke Ekpe festival in modern history. For the first time in a long while all the 19 villages of Arochukwu participated in Eke Ekpe, some with multiple representation. Cultural troupes from Ndi Izuogu and Ajalli complimented the event. The 2016 Aro Day attracted many Aro elites in a scale never seen in a non award presentation ceremony.

Work has commenced on the Aro Civic Centre project championed by Dr Alex Otti. It is expected that the 2017 Aro Day celebration will hold in a completed Civic Centre.

As part of efforts to enhance the dignity of the royal institution, Nzuko Aro invested in regalia for our Eze Ogos, procured royal umbrellas for the Eze Aro, Eze Ibom Isii and Eze Ezeagwu while some welfare packages were extended to the royalty to assist them in the discharge of their duties.

Nzuko Aro is working with Okpankpo Aro for the construction of a befitting Palace for the Eze Aro. The Union through the assistance of Dr. Jombo Ofo is interfacing with the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company to improve power supply to the ancient town, resolve the issue of estimated bills and obtain prepaid meters for customers.

Following the protracted leadership tussle in the Women’s Wing which defied all mediation efforts, the Central Executive Committee in keeping with its constitutional responsibility, dissolved both factions and approved fresh elections. The election produced a new leadership for the Women’s Wing. The High Court sitting in Arochukwu has since upheld the position of Nzuko Aro. At its meeting held in Enugu, the CEC resolved that there were no losers while the Arochukwu Community is the only winner.

Realising the need to review the Constitution of Nzuko Arochukwu to create a legal regime that will underpin the expected Aro renaissance, the CEC has set up a Committee to propose necessary amendments to the document. We are also developing a coordinated programme of youth re-orientation and empowerment that will be flagged off soon.

There issue of security especially in relation to the herdsmen menace is receiving attention.

There are still challenges. Our penchant for manufacturing and encouraging quarrels needs to be curbed. We will continue to engage our traditional institutions to get their buy -in to developmental initiatives. It is imperative that we begin to get our politics right because politics ‘determines who gets what when and how. Not the least, we need to work on our attitudes -how we think and what we think; the things we say and how we say them; how we react to communal values and issues that define us; the commitments and sacrifices we are ready to make.

Aro renaissance will first happen in our minds. Painstakingly, and with God, we shall make it happen.

About author

Anicho Okoro

Anicho Sunny Okoro, is a political scientist,political administrator, outstanding journalist and community development catalyst. An alumnus of Abia State University where he studied Government and Public Administration, he also has training in Law and Mass Communication. The focus of his post-graduate studies is Conflict Management. For more than two decades, he served in the Imo/Abia Broadcasting Services, winning several awards and playing key roles in information management of Abia State as Press Secretary. He has also served Nigeria at the Presidency and member of several Federal Boards. He is currently the Publicity Secretary General of Nzuko Aro worldwide. Anicho is a recipient of several awards for community service including Ezinwa Obinkita.

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