When will Nzuko Arochukwu branches build their own halls?

Ogbonnaya Akoma

It is now apparent that Dr Alex Otti has ‘given’ Arochukwu a civic centre at Oror. The hall is now a reality – after forty-one years the ‘construction’ had lasted! This is one of the many ways Dr Alex Otti has written his name in gold forever in Arochukwu. I suggest that Aro Civil Centre at Oror should be renamed Alex Otti Hall – since this illustrious son of Arochukwu has done what all others before him had failed to do, or could not do.

But now Arochukwu has finally got a hall of her own, what next? Yes; what next – particularly with regard to Nzuko Arochukwu branches? Should the branches of Nzuko Arochukwu continue to hold their meetings on rented apartments and in the halls built by other town unions worldwide? The answer to the above question should, of course, be no! They should build their own halls in Aba, Abuja, Calabar, Enugu, Kaduna, Kano, Lagos, Sokoto, Umuahia, PH, London and NY, et cetera. If not the late Chief Agwu Nwankwo, an illustrious son of Asaga (Arochukwu) living in the Diaspora in Abakaliki, the town’s branch of Nzuko Arochukwu would have been holding her meetings in rented apartments in Abakaliki today. So Chief Agwu Nwankwo had built a hall for the Aros in Abakaliki to be holding their meetings, as what obtains till today!

Ditto Atani Welfare Union. This illustrious Aro village built a hall in Lagos. This translates to mean that no branch of Nzuko Arochukwu has hitherto been able to build and own a hall of its own throughout the world! This is a shameful thing, really. Nzuko Aro leaders have come and gone and will be coming and going in future but none of the past leaders had been able to act the way Alex Otti has acted concerning been a catalyst in galvanising support and building any hall in any of the Nzuko Aro townships!

This is one of the reasons why I had left Nzuko Aro in Umuahia and swore never to attend any Nzuko Aro meeting again. As a civil servant in the town, I had belonged to the executive of Nzuko Aro in Umuahia – and we had made a move in acquiring and building an Nzuko Aro hall in the town. But on one occasion, one member had told me to ‘soft-pedal on your inquisitiveness,’ because ‘you are not the only Aro man in Umuahia. We had been without a hall here before you came. Take it easy,’  in apparent reaction to my zealousness in pursuing those things that would make us build an Nzuko Aro hall in Umuahia, where we had carried out our monthly meetings in a hall Arondizuogu Patriotic Union had built at Awkuzu Lane By Enugu Road way back in the early 1960’s!

Following that developmental oddity, I swore that I would never attend any Nzuko Aro meeting in any non-Nzuko Aro hall in any city wherever I live, and that has been the situation till today! I had argued that if Arondizuogu Patriotic Union members living in Umuahia could sink their differences, contribute money and build the hall Nzuko Aro members were hiring to meet in Umuahia, why couldn’t the numerous Nzuko Aro members living in Umuahia do same? APU also has meeting halls in nearly every city in Nigeria unlike Nzuko Arochukwu.

So, now that Alex Otti has given Aro a hall, the example should be copied by the leaders of the various branches of Nzuko Arochukwu in emulation. It is not enough to pride themselves as leaders and members of Nzuko Arochukwu, meet in rented apartments and go ahead to ‘smash’ their hands on tables in beer parlours thereafter, order drinks and sip away bottles of beer in hilarious moods and going further (as usual) to boast as ‘Umu Aro’ on those bottles of beer, and after that, nothing more!

Nzuko Arochukwu must build branch halls in the townships where they exist. It is shameful that Nzuko Aro branches have been holding their meetings in rented apartments in the towns where they exist, and in the halls other town unions have built; or those owned by individuals – as what obtains in Port Harcourt where Nzuko Aro reportedly meets at Aliozu, in a private business premises built by an illustrious son of Atani Mmawuru.

We should not continue to demean ourselves in doing this; it simply means that we are not capable of leading ourselves in this way – even though we  always claim to be the bekee mbu, which actually means nothing these days; as some of us continue to carry our pompous and self-praising nature about. Bragging with our town’s name means nothing today when we meet in the halls of those we debase and denigrate as inferior to us, and call them mba ovia.

Yes; we must change for good. Nzuko Aro branches must build their own halls where they should be holding monthly meetings and carry out other Aro functions. If other town unions can do this, why can’t Nzuko Aro members do same?



About author

Ogbonnaya Akoma

Public health practitioner/public affairs commentator
Trans-Amadi Layout, Port Harcourt, Rivers State

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