Aro News: Welcome to our last edition of Aro News 2019, our amiable Publicity Secretary General.
Publicity Sec: The same to you all. You guys have done well to provide this space for me to update Aro people on the activities and programmes of Nzuko Aro. You have made my work easier because periodically every Aro man is on the same page with all our events.
Aro News: Your last outing was the planning and execution of Ikeji Aro Festival 2019. Tell us about it?
Publicity Sec: That is a good one, but again, Ugo, you were there as a news man and a judge. Ikeji 2019 was scientific in planning and execution. Dr. Azubuike Okoro led committee worked extremely hard to put beauty in the entire event. Every aspect of the event was excellent and masterly organized. Attendance and participation by villages was unprecedented. The arena was corporately packaged and of international standard. The villages came with their best cultural dances and those who won received their cash prizes on the spot.
Indeed, every respect of the event including media coverage was glamorous. We thank God, the committee that packaged and Nzuko Aro for taking Ikeji Aro Festival 2019 to an enviable height. Don’t forget that the Ikeji Aro already has a template put together by the first Ikeji Aro Chairman, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji from where the inspiration to package subsequent editions came. Ikeji Aro 2019 left unforgettable memories in the minds of every Aro man and woman.
Aro News: Congratulations on that historical outing. Hope you will sustain what we saw at 2019 edition of the event.
Publicity Sec: You can be sure of palpable improvement and innovations in subsequent editions because Ikeji Aro has now become an international event.
Aro News: Yes, the Christmas is here again and we know Nzuko Aro has another challenge of organizing Aro Day. What do we expect?
Publicity Sec: That is true my brother but there is no cause for alarm. Every Nzuko Aro event whether Ikeji Aro or Aro Day under the leadership of Mazi George Ezuma has a template already in place to guide whoever is planning it. The 2019 edition of Aro Day is not an exception. Dr. Ohuche is the Chairman of the Planning Committee for Aro Day 2019 with other experienced Aro sons and daughters onboard. There is a local committee, a media committee and committee in charge of security. These committees are working in collaboration to ensure a befitting Aro Day. Don’t forget every Aro event under the leadership of Mazi George Ezuma has been unique and excellently packaged. As I speak, Dr. Ohuche led committee is good to go. You can be sure of a full entertainment on the 26th December, 2019, Aro Day.
Aro News: Good one! What would be the features of Aro Day? Any special programme?
Publicity Sec: Yes! A lot of programmes have been lined up for the pleasure of Aro community and friends. It is going to be entertaining, galore and most importantly a day to honour great Aro sons and daughters who have distinguished themselves to the service of the kingdom. His Majesty, Eze Vincent Ogbonnaya Okoro CRF of Aro Kingdom in collaboration with Nzuko Aro would recognize great Aro sons and daughters who have meritoriously worked for the good of the kingdom. The award will be in three categories – of Ugwu Aro, Ikemba Aro and Adaukwu Aro. Already Nzuko Aro had set up an award committee headed by Rev. Joshua Kanu Orji who received nominations of award recipients from villages, Nzuko Aro Branches and village unions. They have since done their screening and passed on to Nzuko Aro for consideration. In fact, as I speak, those nominated have been accepted by the Nzuko Aro CEWC and published as those who would be so honoured. Plaques would be handed over to them in recognition of the good they done to Aro Kingdom.
On the whole, we saw that about 30 people were nominated for Ugwu Aro and out of which 19 were considered. Ikemba Aro had 15 nominations out of which only 9 were considered while Adaukwu Aro saw 20 women for the honour and only 9 was also accepted. That is the setting and so come 26th December, 2019, those who had been communicated would receive the blessings of Eze Aro and Nzuko Aro respectively. It is a honour for service to our fatherland and a challenge to do more. We congratulate all beneficiaries of this award and to remind them “that to who much is given, much is expected”.
Aro News: You are a beneficiary of this award, how do you feel?
Publicity Sec: Well, Ugo great. Happy that I am recognized for serving Aro well. Happy that your community can remember what little things you have done for them. That is my joy. Otherwise, I have at least 72 awards already in my career as a journalist. No journalist that I know has been so honoured, but the Aro Kingdom Award is my best award so far because my people recognized my contributions to them.
Aro News: Are you throwing a party on 2018 December because of the award?
Publicity Sec: Ugo, let us discuss that in camera. You know I am a public person. So, I cannot discuss party here before my house would be flooded with people. But if anything will happen, you can be sure you will be the first to know.
Aro News: Congratulations again for this well deserved award. Again your daughter is now Barrister Akunna Promise Okechukwu. So double celebration this Christmas.
Publicity Sec: Thank you my brother and colleague. God bless you real good. Yes, my daughter was called to bar on the 27th of November, 2019 in Abuja and I cannot but thank God enough for that feat in my life time.
Aro News: Yes before you go, Flight Captain, let me take you back to Nzuko Aro Award 2019. Heard that Lagos Branch of the union wrote a petition condemning your committee and their selections and threatened to use court action to stop the event. So what is happening?
Publicity Sec: Yes, Lagos Branch petitioned the appointment of the screening committee and what they came out with. They argued that the committee screened themselves, gave awards to themselves and family members. That was their gross, but Nzuko Aro released a statement giving details of how the screening committee came on board, who recommended the recipients, etc. Of course, apart from Nwa Mazi Dozie Udensi and Chukwuemeka from Benue State, all other recipients were either nominated by their villages or Nzuko Aro Branch and Nzuko Aro as a body cannot disqualify candidates from villages or Nzuko Aro Branches.
The Chairman of the Committee, Rev, Joshua Kanu Orji described the protest as laughable. He said due process was followed while screening the committee members who were beneficiaries of the award. And so, no game was played. The ceremony will go on as planned.
Aro News: But the matter is almost in court.
Publicity Sec: I said the Aro Kingdom award will go on as planned. You may want to know however that Dr. Alex Otti OFR has intervened on the matter. He attended the end of the year meeting of Nzuko Aro Lagos Branch, where he told the petitioners to sheathe their swords and give him the chance to wade into the case. In his words, I am not saying what is wrong is right but two wrongs cannot make a right.
Aro News: Did the protesters accept his appeal to handle the matter?
Publicity Sec: I think they had no choice. They have reduced their pressure, which is an indication that they may have accepted his plea to look into the matter.
Aro News: So what will Aro Day look like come 26th December, 2019?
Publicity Sec: A great day it will be. The planners are poised to show class in their preparations and execution. It is going to be a unique event because it is an Aro Kingdom Award. The arena will be besieged will all kinds of cultural displays from those who would be honoured. Dignitaries from all walks of life including the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, His Excellency, Udom Emmanuel will also be there because he will also be honoured. Remember the theme of this year’s event is “Honouring our Great Sons and Daughters for Greater Service”. I invite you all to join this once in a life time celebration to make your 2019 Christmas celebration a memorable one.
Aro News: How about security?
Publicity Sec: Everything is ready. Security is intact. All security apparatus in Aro would be part of that event. So bad boys look the other way or embrace the long arms of the law.
Aro News: Thank you PSG for your update on Nzuko Aro at all times. Talking to you is joy to us at all times. Your last line.
Publicity Sec: It is my pleasure to be here once again. Thank you for another opportunity to talk on Nzuko Aro activities. That is my schedule. Let me thank my PA, Nnamdi Egwuagu and my Secretary, Miracle Onyemata for helping me to package this story. Merry Christmas everyone and wishing you all a prosperous 2020.