Aro News: Welcome to 2020 my PSG. How are you doing?
PSG: All is well Ugo! It’s another great year and God willing we are working hard to further lift Nzuko Aro.
Aro News: Let us look at Nzuko Aro in 2019. How will you assess your performance?
PSG: Great year, great outing. All CEWC meetings happened as scheduled. Several program earmarked for the year were perfectly executed from Ikeji Aro to Aro day all in 2019 Great events, well packaged and enjoyed by Aro kingdom.
A special trust fund called ADF(Aro Development Funds) is now in place, exclusively designed to take care of some major projects in the kingdom. Some major financial traps set up by Nzuko Aro executive are pushed into the account for our capital projects.
The 2019 Ikeji Aro was an improvement of our previous editions. More villages participated and indeed the Ikeji 2019 was described as a carnival. The same for Aro day 2019. It was the climax of Aro Events in 2019 because Aro recognized their Great sons and daughters who have served the kingdom unreservedly in various capacities. Ugwuaro, Adaukwu and Ikembaro were the titles bestowed on those who were honoured. So, 2019 was celebrated in a grand style. Let me inform you also that Nzuko Aro paid condolences to various bereaved families of its late Patrons and were adequately represented. The civic centre fencing is still ongoing and salaries of those working at the Civic Centre were remitted to them as at and when due. I am proud to be part of the success story of this present Nzuko Aro leadership.
Aro News: That is great! What is your projection for 2020?
PSG: Well, we have our time table of action. We have taken a giant leap into the year by holding the first CEWC meeting in Abakaniki in Ebonyi State. A very beautiful way to begin the year. The meeting discussed lots of issues that bother on the development of Aro kingdom. The meeting which had the women wing and the Patrons discussesed issues ranging from the review of the 2019 kingdom award. The recovery of pledges from those so honoured and the issue of a common date for all burials in Aro were elaborately discussed. The same for Nzuko Aro constitution, the 5th All Aro National conference and the nemesis of Ekpo cultural dance during festivals.
Aro News: We are interested on three major issues you mentioned. What was agreed upon on Aros burying their dead one on one date?
PSG: The debate on this subject is still going. The PG, Mazi George Ezuma said the committee set up to work on all stakeholders including Eze Ogos, PGs of villages and the Principal Aro traditional rulers had submitted its report and there seem to be an agreement on this issue. However, because of deserting voices on the issue, more consultation will continue to carry majority opinions along on this delicate issue. For now, I think the part we are following is the part of doing more consultations on the subject because of its sensitive nature.
Aro News: You also talked about 5th All Aro national conference, what is it all about?
PSG: This is a conference organized by Nzuko Aro to discuss issues of importance to Aro Kingdom and the country as a whole. It is done every three years. The last one was during the reign of Elder Nnamdi Udoh as Psresident General of Nzuko Aro. The planning committee of the 2020, Edition of the conference was chaired by Professor Emeritus Okoro Ijeoma (Ugwuaro) and assisted by several sub-committees including the local organizing committee. This edition is coming nine years after the 4th conference to rekindle the bond among Umu Aro. The theme of the conference for Abakaliki 2020 is, The Aro and the development of South Eastern Nigeria; legacies, pains and prospects.
Aro News: So how did the event go?
PSG: Nzuko Aro Exco, Patrons, Matrons, Paper presenters, representatives of the women wing of Nzuko Aro all arrived Abakaliki on Friday 13TH and had NEC meeting the same Friday at Arochukwu hall. The conference proper happened on Saturday at the International conference centre, Abakaliki. It was a colourful outing as papers were presented by eminent scholars like Prof. Emeritus, Ugwu aro Okoro Ijeoma Prof Nnennaya Nkanno, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa mon, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Oji whose paper was presented by Dr. Nnennaya Onoh, Dr. Kanu Ohuche, Prof J.O Nwankwo and Prof P.C. Ugboaji.
Aro News: What were they talking about and how would these ideas be collated for the benefit of the larger society including Aros who were not privileged to be at the conference?
PSG: Good question, first, papers were delivered on several topics by those great Aro sons as I had mentioned earlier. The conference had rapporteaurs who were assembling the key issues raised by the paper presenters. A communiqué team led by Dr. Azubuike Okoro carefully articulated the key issues and came out with a communique in line with the theme of the conference. That document has already been circulated and will be printed in book form for all to read at the appropriate time. I am very sure that efforts are being made to circulate the Abakaliki 2020 conference communiqué to all Aro Events for proper circulation.
Aro News: We heard that the AANC now has a new management team. How true is this assertion?
PSG: You are very right. Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa was named as the new chairman. He indeed took over from Prof. Okoro Ijeoma who said his age will not allow him to continue besides the need for the younger and more energetic ones to take over. So Mazi Sam is new head of AANC. Dr Friday Ohuche is vice Chairman and Mazi Sir Anicho Okoro will serve as member/secretary. There are other members. You know them.
Aro News: Congratulations to Nzuko Aro and the AANC planning committee for that excellent outing. Briefly tell us about the attendance to the conference?
PSG: Attendance was 100%. Aros from all walks of life attended. The three principal traditional Ezes in Aro and some Eze Ogos were at Abakaliki for the event. Eze Orji Kanu Orji represented Eze Aro. His Majesty, Eze Vincent Ogbonnaya Okoro CFR,; HRH Eze (Dr). Kanu Nwa Kanu (Eze Ibom isii) and HRH Eze Okoroafor Uror (Eze Eze Agwu) were all at the conference. Other Ezes and prominent Aros in other Aro settlements graced the occasion. The climax was the presence of the state governor of Ebonyi State, Engineer David Nweke Umahi who was ably represented by his Chief of Staff. Great outing I must tell you.
Aro News: What decision was taken about Ekpo festival?
PSG: Well, it has been discovered that Ekpo dancers have returned to their evil days of destroying lifes and properties. Nzuko Aro is no longer comfortable with Ekpo dancers using guns machetes and fire to threaten people. The meeting decided that it will write to village heads, PG’s and Chairmen of Ekpo dancers, that hence forth any Ekpo dancer that causes mayhem has called for outright ban of Ekpo dancing in such a village.
Aro News: Thank you so much, so much about the conference and back to Nzuko Aro activities. What is Nzuko Aro’s plan for the year 2020?
PSG: So much has been said about this by the President – General, Mazi George Ezuma on what we have to do this year. We are working on the security of Aro kingdom. You saw checkpoints springing up. There is much crime in Aro now. Eze Aro’s palace will be restructured for a befitting one. The civic centre area will be repacked even as the compound is enjoying a first class fencing. The union is collaborating or discussing with some of our great sons in government on how to improve the infrastructural needs of Aro people. So, above all, we shall spend quality time to ensure peace and harmony in the kingdom which is the panacea for any meaningful development.
Aro News: Thank you so much for speaking to us on a number of issues bothering on Nzuko Aro activities. Your last line.
PSG: Just have to thank you for this opportunity all the time. I am not taken it for granted. We will just appeal to Nzuko Aro Branches to brace up to the challenge of meeting up their obligations to the union. We call for support from great Aro sons who are blessed with resources to support the developmental programmes of Nzuko Aro for the good of the kingdom. Ndi Ezeogo should drop politics and ensure that Aro villages are in peace. Those nursing ill feelings about Nzuko Aro should come up with better ways of doing things bearing in mind that no leadership is perfect. It will be wrong to conclude this interview without thanking the Patrons, Prof Okoro Ijeoma, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa Mon, Mazi Dave Imoko and other patrons who have supported every move by George Ezuma led Nzuko Aro to improve the well being of Aro people.
Our God will bless and keep you for more services to Aro kingdom in Jesus Name. Let me conclude by thanking my PA, Nnamdi Egwuagu and Miracle Ikechukwu my Secretary for their assistance. I also thank my help make, Mrs Bibian Okechukwu for helping to proofread this document. Happy Easter to you all.