Another intellectual harvest is in the horizon. It is that season when the Aro introspectively examine their heritage and how it is impacting the present with a view to preparing for the future. It is the 5thedition of the All Aro National Conference. This unique masquerade will beon full display on Saturday, Afor, 14th March, 2020 at the International Conference Centre, in the historic town of Abakiliki, Ebonyi State, a state that has witnessedso much positive transformation in the last few years. Indeed, Ebonyi has become a poster state showcasing the correlation between democracy and development while highlighting the role of focused leadership in attaining groupgoals and progress.
With the theme‘The Aro and the development of South-Eastern Nigeria: Legacies, Pains and Prospects’ the conference will feature key resource persons including Chairman, Aro National Conference, Mazi Okoro Ijoma, Distinguished Professor and Scholar of Aro and Igbo History and Culture. Others include Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa,MaziKanuIvi, Professor Paul Ugboaja, Professor Joseph Nwankwo, Professor T.N. Kanu, Dr. KanuOhuche, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji and Mazi Ohiaerinwa OgbonnayaOkoro.
His Majesty, Eze Ogbonnaya Okoro, CFR, the Eze Aro Kingdom and Mazi George Ezuma, the President General of Nzuko Arochukwu Worldwide, would present special messages.
Since renowned scholar, Professor Anezi Okoro, set the tone at the first All Aro National Conference in 1996 with a lecture titled, “The Use of Culture as an instrument of social development: The Aro perspective”; it has been one good outing after another.
The second conference took place in Aro-Ndizuogu in 2000. The third and fourth conferences were held in Ajalli and Owerri in 2005 and 2011, respectively. The richness of the presentations has made the All Aro National Conference a much sought after event by the Aro andother communities including the international community.
The All Aro National Conference isaimed at documenting the social, political, economic and cultural contributions of the Aro to the growth and development of South-eastern Nigeria while identifying the reciprocal gains in the light of diaspora experience.
It systematically documents and exposes to the world, the essence of the Aro and their contributions to Igbo and World civilization. The All Aro National Conference helps to bring together the Aro both at home and in diaspora to articulate cultural, historical and economic development strategies that would impact their environments positively. The Conference is a veritable tool to explore the industry, bridge building and diplomatic skills of the Aro which enabled them to build more than 300 communities all over the South East and beyond. In today’s hate filled world, values that promote understanding and good neighborliness are worth propagating.
In the same manner the colonial powers implanted centrifugal forces in the erstwhile colonies which has made it impossible for countries that emerged thereafter to enjoy stability, alot of effortswere also put into sowing seeds of disunity, especially, among the Igbos to conquer their can-do spirit by the colonialists. Conferences such as this discourage the demarketing of Aro and Igbo accomplishments by colonial writers and their surrogates while affording the opportunity to present the facts as they ought to be.
The conference highlights the inter dependence of mankind and promotes the benefits of peaceful coexistence within Aro communities and between Aro and other neighboring communities.The Aro are remarkable for establishing great friendships, reliabilityand commitment to mutually agreed causes.We must encourage, especially, the millennials to imbibe these virtues while leveraging on our heritage to navigate the future.