Historical Development of Aro Monarchy -1650-2006

Yüklə 67.78 Kb.
ölçüsü67.78 Kb.
Historical Development of Aro Monarchy -1650-2006

(The Arrowhead Of Aro Nation-Building Genius)*
By Ohiaeriwa Ogbonnaya Okoro

(Special Projects Correspondent)


Boundless efforts have been concentrated on some aspects of Aro history - Long Juju of Arochukwu, the Aro and the slave trade, Aro Diaspora, Aro-British War (1901), etc- that we are in grave danger of completely ignoring important aspects of the history which constitute land mark Aro contributions to African, black and world civilization. Aro monarchy is one such aspect of Aro history that compels serious study; and upon which we turn over searchlight hereunder.

Pre-1650 Arochukwu:

The geographical area popularly known as and called Arochukwu today is located within the cross river basin. It is watered by the Enyong River, a tributary of the Cross River in whose basin is inhabited by aboriginal group of the Losi, Nchalagha, and later the Ibibio, the Igbo and the Ekoi. The Ibibio area in this part of the basin was referred to as Iwerre; the Igbo area as Unene. Whatever their seeming ethnic differences, they shared and continue to share common geographical features: a ring of highlands surrounding a vast valley base. From this ring are the sources of numerous stream-let, streams, river-lets and rivers. And as they drain the valley base, they become part and parcel of the Enyong Creeks network of waterways that empty into the Cross River. Other geographical elements played important roles in the basins. Rather than being impediment, theses geographical factors aided transport and communications, cris-cross migrations of peoples, of groups and subgroups in search of opportunities to improve their lot, their well being in the context of their socio-economic, socio-cultural and socio-military calculations. The strategic location of this part of the Cross River Basin within the period under consideration was already being realised. For nascent international trade has already begun, from the upper Cross River by the Ekoi, down to the middle Cross River by the Aro, and linking down the lower Cross River, and down to the Atlantic, linking Calabar and “Panya”, latter now known as Equatorial Guinea. The point of emphasis here is that there existed a reasonable degree of inter-ethnic economic and commercial relations enough to ensure inter-ethnic dependency in the spirit of “modus vivendi” live and let live – biri ka m biri”. But it was not always so. And this is evident in the developments that gradually but steadily unfolded themselves by the first half of the 17th Century. Relationship between the Igbo and their neighbours within what is today Arochukwu got strained and stresses in mutual misunderstanding, mutual suspicion, mutual hatred, mutual hostility, mutual violence, war and blood shed. It was the typical scenario exemplified in post Moroccan invasion of Songhai empire in 1590’s and early decades of the 17th century-comparative to the shared experience of the Igbo and the Iwene group of the Ibibio in what is today Arochukwu. The struggle for supremacy between the Igbo and the Ibibio neighbours had lasted for many years. There were years of high tension exploding into full scale wars. At other times psychological warfare, and long periods of cold war. None of them had won an outright victory. It had often been a ding-dong affair-a no win situation accessioned by a balance of terror: comparatively primitive firepower for primitive firepower; traditional remote control system for remote control system. Yet desperate problems demand desperate remedies. The alliance and intervention of the Akpa on the side of the Igbo group proved decisive and changed the course of the history of the relations between the two groups. The landmark evidence of the war remains part and parcel of our Aro history to this day. The Ibibio War as it is popularly referred to marked the turning point in Aro history, occasioning the ascendancy and establishment of Akpa dynasty of Aro kingdom. It was no longer a case of “an atomistic society perpetually at war with itself”. Nor “after this, the Sudan returned to its characteristic pattern of small independent states of being hostile to one another”. Instead the Akpa dynasty established a super structure that imposed and guaranteed laws and order, peace, security and stability; a system of government, a monarchy, future, a shared dream, a shared vision, a shared mission, a shared character and a shared manifest destiny. The career of Samore Toure reminds one of the Aro king, Akuma Nnubi. Pre-eminent historian, Afigbo describes the former thus: “Surveying the political situation of what is now upper Guinea in the early 1860’s with the eye of a military expert, he discovered that it beckoned to a man of ability to build an empire out of the fragmented and mutually hostile tiny principalities existing there”. How Aro founding fathers founded Aro kingdom, as was done by their Ashanti counterparts, Okorifo Anokye and Osei Tutu, is the subject matter for discussion in the next section.

The Foundation/Principles Of Aro Monarchy:
Great nations of the world as well as great events in history have often been founded or rationalised upon basic principles, doctrines, charters or articles of faith. Examples are readily available: the English Manga Carta, the Papal Bull, etc the principles of social contract precipitating the French revolution, the American declaration of independence, the socialist revolutions in both Russia and China as powerfully stated in Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto, down to our own experience here, the Ahiara Declaration. As a matter fact, all nations of the world, as well as the United States, have their constitutions, the basic law of the land, often spelling out fundamental principles and objectives of states policy, as well as visions and mission statements. Though neither documented nor enjoying the showmanship of a media event, pre-colonial African states had visions and mission statements not less compelling and relevant to state formation process in history. Many examples abound: the Fon of Dahoney (now Benin Republic) and the Central authority concept built around the king, the Golden Stool as the unifying element in the foundation of the Ashanti Empire, the no-nonsense military state alert and action among the Zulu embodied in the careers of Shaka the Zulu; and the survivalist tactics and strategy of Moeshoeshe. Here, among the Cross River Basin peoples, groups and sub groups, rose the Aro who within the first decades of the seventeenth century, had emerged as key actors, in among things, the trade and polities of what later became eastern Nigeria and beyond, from the Atlantic to the fringes of Rivers Niger and Benue. Aro phenomenal colossus strides within the region could be traced to the foundational principles, vision and mission upon which the Aro kingdom was founded as listed below:

  1. The principle of State security

  2. The principle of loyalty

  3. The principle of consolidation and expansion.

  4. The principles of power sharing, accommodation, inclusion and assimilation.

  5. The principle of equity-equity among the villages as fully represented at Aro Clan Council (Okpankpo)

  6. The principle of tripod power structure, a troika of the very original founding fathers of Aro kingdom (i.e. the Nna ato).

  7. The principle of inter-communal relations based on mutual understanding, cooperation, co-existence (biri ka biri) and mutual assistance through the agency of traditional alliance system (Igba ndu).

  8. The principle of Aro Jurisprudence which includes the following:

    1. the supremacy of law

    2. equality before the law e.g. “Nwa Aro Anaghi asi nwa Aro Ibeya na Ibine Ukpabi si ka ekene ya”

    3. “Ovo na ogu” – solemn or fervent prayer, request or appeal; and innocence rooted in clear conscience. That is the golden rule – do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

    4. “anaghe ebi ikpe na onu onye onu”

    5. “I he so oha bia so oha ana”

    6. “egburu okpukpu etirir urughu ru; egburu urughuru etiri okpu kpu.”

  1. Eji nna nsiko anaghi agharita nmei

  2. “Anaghe asu uzo aka onu”

  3. “Oji ovo ga ana

  1. The principle of Aro cosmology - the recognition of the supreme authority of Almighty God over mankind

  2. The principle of governance through socio-cultural and socio-economic and socio-political institutions (e.g Otusi Aro Okeigbo, Ibini Ukpabi, Ekpe society, age grade system, Okwu Umunna, the local deities etc)

  3. The principle of territorial centrality (e.g. the location of Oror as the capital of Aro kingdom).

  4. The principle of Aro Monarchy as the symbol of unity- the rallying point for all Aro at home, abroad and in Diaspora.

  5. The principle of collective responsibility illustrated in shakes pea’s “ for so work the honey bees creature that by a rule in nature teach the act of order to a peopled kingdom”

  6. The principle of equal opportunities for the sexes (e.g. a woman once ruled Aro kingdom………….

  7. The principle of “active peace and war” as embodied in Aro coat of arms.

  8. The principle of acquisition and sustenance of power through effective us of and relevance on superior science and technology and professionalism (e.g. Aro won the Ibibio war through superior fire power, superior science, technology and professionalism.

  9. The principle of Aro pride, honor and dignity as exemplified in numerous encounters especially among non-Aro with particular reference to Aro encounter with the British before, during and after the Aro- British war of 1901/1902.

  10. The principle of dynamism, resilience and adaptability as illustrated by Aro’s fast change over from so-called illegitimate to legitimate trade: and from traditional to foreign educational system without trading off core Aro values.

  11. The principle contained in Aro national motto: Ako bu ije Aro; sensible and cautious - discretion is the better part of valor.

Aro Power Structure: - Distribution Of Power Among Aro Kindred.

We had earlier discussed power among the kindred. This is limited to the three main Aro kindred. It should be noted that real political and administrative power shifted from Ugwuakuma to Oror; and from Otusi to Aro monarchy or Aro clan council (Okpankpo) as from 1928 following the British-Aro war. With the passage of time, too, additional kindred evolved Amuze as a power block; that is Eze Ezeagwu and this gave rise to the concept of Nnato-the three founding fathers of Nnachi, Akuma Nnubi and Agwu Inobia. And so today we have three main kindred: Nnachi (Okennache), Ibom Isii and Ezeagwu in the context of Aro political and administrative power structure. Listed below are lines of succession in two of the three Aro kindred as recorded by Dike and Ekejiuba in their authoritative book: The Aro of South –Eastern Nigeria-1650 -1980. Lines of succession from Akuma Nnubi
Eze Otusi

    1. Akuma Nnubi

    2. Imuoh Akuma

    3. Oke Imuoh Akuma

    4. Onoh Imuohh

    5. Imuoh Onoh

    6. Ezuma Onoh

    7. Ulu Onoh

    8. Onoh Ezuma Onoh

    9. Onoh nwa Onoh

    10. Onoh Torty Onoh

    11. Alicho Onoh

    12. Nwosu Onoh

    13. Imuoh Onoh

    14. Kanu Imuoh Onoh

    15. Ulu Oji Onoh

Eze Ibom Isii line of succession

  1. Akuma Nnubi (also first king of Arochukwu

  2. AluAkuma Nnubi

  3. Imuoh Akuma Nnaubi

  4. Oke Imuo

  5. Oti Oke Imuo

  6. Imuo Oti Oke

  7. Imuo nwa Imuo

  8. Okereke Imuo

  9. Okoro Imuo

  10. Eze Oti

  11. Okereke

  12. Nwosu Okereke Eze

  13. Okere nwa Okereke Ezew

  14. Okereke nwa Okereke Eze

  15. Eni Okereke Nwa Okereke Eze

  16. Kanu Okereke nwa Okereke

  17. Okereke Nwosu

  18. Kanu Nwa-kanu Okereke (incumbent)

Succession of Heads of Aro confederacy. The Amuze

+ (Eze Aro after the Ibinbio war)
Mazi Oke Nnachi line of succession

  1. Mazi Oke Nnachi

  2. Mazi Eke Oke Nnachi

  3. Mazi Eko nwa oke Oke Nnachi

  4. Nnenne Mgbokwo Udo Omini Oke Nnachi

  5. Mazi Asi Eko oke Nnachi

  6. Mazi Kanu Eko Oke Nnachi

  7. Mazi Kanu Okoro Oke Nnachi

  8. Mazi Oji Okoro Oke Nnachi

  9. Mazi Kanu Oji Okoro Oke Nnachi

  10. Mazi Oji Kanu Oji Okoro Oke Nnachi

  11. Mazi Ogbonnaya Okoro Asi Eko Oke Nnachi

Achievements of Aro Monarchy
Arochukwu may not be the oldest kingdom incorporated by the British in what is today the Nigerian federation nor the largest. It may not have been the most powerful militarily, economically, politically and religiously. Nor the most influential. The Aro kingdom is slightly less than four hundred years old. Not as old as the sefawa dynasty of the old Kanem-Bornu Empire of the Kano and Benin kingdoms, and Oyo empire.
Yet within the relatively short period of its centre-stage roles in Nigerian, African, black and world history, Aro’s impact has been phenomenal, pacesetting, impressive, ingenious, and in some respects, non-parallel as illustrated below:

  1. Unity in diversity: The Aro were able to mould and hold together heterogeneous ethnic groups and sub-groups into one entity of common interest, common identity and common destiny.

  2. Alliance system through blood pact (Igba ndu). This preceded the world-acclaimed alliance system woven by Prussian chancellor Bismarck, the blood an d iron chancellor.

  3. the establishment of economic community – a free trade zone that long preceded the later 20th century communities such as East African Economic community, the various such experiments in North Africa, ECOWAS, the Chad Basin Commission, the Volta Basin Commission, AU and NAFTA.

  4. the establishment of the Aro system, using Aro institutions (Ibini UKPabi, Ikwu, umunna, alliance system) to associate, incorporate and assimilate non Aro and non-Igbo groups and subgroups.

  5. Establishment of government of the day; guarantor of law and order in most parts of what is today eastern Nigeria. And this the Aro did without imposing any central government upon non-Aro, non Igbo groups who recognized and still recognize Aro as government of the day” bekee mbu’ Even the derogatory Aro Okwa eshi mbu” implies and admits of Aro power and influence in pre-colonial period.

  6. The spread of development to many parts of what is today eastern Nigeria in terms of agriculture, plantations, evangelization, infrastructure and social amenities, education, etc

  7. the construction of Aro roads at the instance of Aro long-distance regional trade, of which were readily and easily converted to modern road networks or systems.

  8. establishment of institutions as agents of development and nation-building: otusi Aro-Okeigbo, Ibini Ukpabi, Ekpe society, Iyamba, Ikwu, Umunna, age grade.

  9. the establishment of Aro Diaspora all over what is today eastern Nigeria; and the sustenance of cordial relations between metro- politan Aro and her Diaspora.

  10. Promotion of multi-lingualism for metropolitan Arochukwu provides a fertile ground for the use, speaking and spread of numerous dialects and languages within the Cross River basin and the rest of Igbo land and what is today eastern Nigeria

  11. the role of Arochukwu as a melting pot of many cultures: Igbo, Ibibio, Efik, Ekoi and many other Cross River basin peoples, group and sub-group. Aro, not doubt, is a foremost exporter and importer of cultures

  12. promotion of specific varieties of traditional Igbo, nay Nigerian and African arts and culture: music, dancing, writing, poetry, drama, fashion, folklore, history, ritualism, arts and crafts, festivities, ancestor medium of divine worship.

  13. the promotion of elaborate use of diplomacy as an effective instrument of communal, regional, national and international relations.

Aro Monarchy And Town Unions As Partners In Progress
Town Unions are the offshoots of colonial order and governance in Nigeria, especially in Igbo land. One of the consequences of colonial rule is the creation of negative environment that caused breakdown of the customs and traditions of our people. It also caused disharmony and disunity among our people; and consequently things fell apart. China Achebe laments: The white man had put a knife on the things that held us together and we have fallen apart. The introduction of many innovations, principles, concepts, systems and practices of colonial governance weakened the traditional ones. But at the same time it provided multiplication of options and opportunities for persons and interest groups hitherto assigned second fiddle role in the traditional society and dispensation. Urbanization, the new religion, the foreign education system, the civil service, the labor market demands and the shifting of the frontiers of opportunities including opportunities for employment have weakened and destabilized the Aro traditional system, no less the Otusi Aro-Okeigbo which by 1928 had ceased to function as Aro traditional council, the then power house of Aro political and administrative system. With the passage of time, a generation of Aro at home, abroad and in Diaspora, brimful of ideas, patriotism, dynamism and reasonably educated founded development unions at family, compound village and town levels. About the first of such unions, Aro youth’s committee was founded in 1924. Professor Umozurike’s published work on the subject provides ready materials for this particular study. Among the village Unions founded in the period under consideration are: Agbagwu progressive union, Amanagwu Improvement Union, Amuvi welfare Union, Atani welfare Union, Obinkita Progressive Union, Ugwuavor Welfare Union, Ujari National Progressive Union.
Pan-Aro Unions
Aro Youths Committee

Aro Patriotic Front

Arochukwu Improvement League

Abroad (Amalgamated)

Arochukwu Peoples Congress

Arochukwu Union

Nzuko Arochukwu (Men’s and Women’s Wing)

Pan-Aro Social Club

  1. Arochukwu Social Club of Nigeria (ARSCON)

  2. Omenuko

  3. Aro-Okeigbo Social club of Nigeria (AROSON)

  4. Ezinne Social Club of Nigeria

  5. Ezinneoma Social club of Nigeria

  6. Ezienyi Social Club

  7. Nzuko Okwara Aro

  8. Arochukwu Culture Revival Organization (ACRO)

The relationship between these unions and social clubs on the one hand and Aro monarchy on the other rested and continues to rest upon mutual understanding, cooperation and mutual assistance. These unions and social clubs owe obligations of respect, loyalty, cooperation, service, responsibility and accountability, etc. Aro monarchy, on the other hand owe the unions and the clubs the duty of protection, care, goodwill, cooperation, fatherly advice, Aro development and progress, guidelines, royal blessing, crisis management, showering of readily available fatherly and royal experience, patronage and modus vivend’ that is live and let live, has brought to Arochukwu boundless development opportunities: development and improvement of social amenities, public utilities such as hospitals, and clinics, post and telegraph, water boreholes, educational institutions and resources, roads etc.

In Aro diaspora similar development and trends abound: from families, compounds, kindred, villages and apex town union or social club level. For example, Ejezie Izuogu Development Union (village) and Arondizuogu Patriotic Union (APU). Overall, law and order, love peace, unity, development and progress in Arochukwu and in Aro Diaspora depend largely on the complementary relationship existing and guaranteed by both Aro monarchy and the town unions and the social clubs. Relationship based on mutual understanding, mutual respect, cooperation, mutual assistance founded upon the spirit of live and let live: united we stand divided we fall; son behold your father, father, behold your son principles.

Aro Monachy And Creation Of Autonomous Communities
The Aro proverb that when a very large and towering tree falls to the ground numerous birds that depend on it as habitat take flight in disarray like sheep without shepherd is instructive. We had an overdose of this experience after the death of late Mazi Kanu Oji, Eze Aro VII of Arochukwu kingdom. The period between 1988 following his death and up to 2000, the beginning of the new millennium was marked by the following: separatist agitations, conflicts, disunity, confusion, endless recourse to history (Itu eye) extremism (Amankwe) confusion, social and political upheavals, kindredism, endless litigations, breakdown of law and order, violence and bloodshed. Above all, we had on our hands hydra-headed traditional constitutional crisis climaxed with succession to the Eze Aro throne.
One recurrent red-hot offshoot problem of the period was the agitation for the creation of autonomous communities in Arochukwu. Chief among them Ibom Isii, and Ezeagwu and Okwaragwu. No single issue cut Aro deep to the marrow as did the demand for and against the creation of autonomous communities in Arochukwu. It was far more a deadly blow than the succession dispute to the Eze Aro throne.

Arguments for creation of autonomous communities in Aro

  1. Bringing government closer to the people

  2. Bringing democracy closer to the people

  3. Addressing the wrongs of history, pre-colonial, colonial and post colonial

  4. Bringing development closer to the people

  5. Creation of employment opportunities

Argument against creation of autonomous communities in Aro

  1. Aro kingdom was founded right from its cradle upon Otusi Aro-Okeigbo which created satellites(autonomous communities) in recognition of the group or section of Aro kingdom coming of age loyalty, service role(s) during the Ibibio war, goodwill, friendship or strategic calculations

  2. The exercise of creating nine satellites (Otusi tonu) was evolutionary, not revolutionary. It therefore withstood the test of time.

  3. Creation of such communities in Aro kingdom is practically impossible given the criss-cross and close-knit metropolis settlement pattern.

  4. The concept and practice of Otusi gives a reasonable degree of autonomy, land for settlement, a market, a sphere of influence and representations at vital Aro power structures and institutions.

  5. There is a reasonable degree of freedom, justice, fair play, opportunities which made agitations for the creation less attractive

  6. The Aro system has worked successfully over the years and many elements of unity have interplayed to unite Aro, thus the concept of unity in Aro history for example, marriages, Ikwu, Ekpe, Ekpo, Ikeji festival, Izu festival, Nzuko Arochukwu, village and town unions, social clubs, shared religious membership, shared old pupil/old student fellowships.

  7. A large body of Aro intelligentsia

  8. The roles of the mass media - Aro community newspapers

  9. The institution of Nnato Aro ruling troika which already enjoys a reasonable degree of autonomy comparable to that enjoyed by heads of government created autonomous communities

  10. Most Aro strongly believe in Aro monarchy as a powerful and irresistible symbol of Aro unity. And so the flash-in-the pan attractions of autonomous communities in Aro kingdom were repulsive to them.

  11. The leadership of Nzuko Arochukwu opposed the creation of autonomous communities in Aro kingdom. And even went as far as impressing upon the government on the integrity and indivisibility of Aro kingdom. It thereafter settled with the government for the recognition of the traditional Aro Nnato Aro tioika of Aro monarchy – Eze Aro as His Royal Majesty (HRM) with his top flight Federal Government award CFR, Eze Ibom Isii and Eze Ezeagwu, both as His Royal Highness.

  12. The role of Aro social clubs whose leadership and memberships deeply versed and practiced in Aro history, opposed the creation of Autonomous communities in Aro kingdom

  13. Many Aro VIPs worked assiduously mostly behind the scenes, to nip in the bud the creation of autonomous communities in Arochkwu.

  14. We Aro are generally conservative and therefore could not swallow the political carrot that was dangled and swallowed by numerous communities in Igbo land, and got them selves in blind alleys of endless acrimonies, confusion and disunity

  15. Aro mindset against autonomous communities, but in preference for one and only one indivisible Aro kingdom, reflects global trend of macro regional and centripetal state formation structures, institutions and entities. And these have often encouraged coalition and unity in diversity.

In the true spirit and traditions of “Igbo enwe eze”, it is understandable why the creation of numerous autonomous communities succeeded with effortless ease in mosts parts of Igbo land. But in the true spirit, tradition and foundation principles of Aro monarchy, it is also understandable why the creation of autonomous communities met with stiff resistance. The practical resilience, durability and the aura that surrounds Aro monarchy are incontrovertible evidence of the solid and sure foundations upon which Aro founding fathers established the Aro monarchy.

Aro Monarchy And Succession Disputes (1988 – 2006)

Succession disputes have been the recurring decimal rocking the very empire of the world from time immemorial. Africa had and continues to have her fair share of the virus in the West African sub-regions for instance; succession disputes contributed to the fall and collapse of old Ghana, Mali, songhai empires. The empires of central Sudan were spared neither kanem-bornu nor Hausa states. Empires within the forestland region of West Africa shared similar fate: Oyo, Benin Ashanti, Dahorney etc. One classic example of this bug was the succession dispute between two rival princes of Lagos: Kosoko and Dosemu. Aro history seems to have been spared the nightmare that succession disputes pose. But the very long reign of late Mazi kanu Oji, Eze Aro VII left Aro off guard, complacent, overconfident, misconstruing the relative calm and stability of his region for eternally guaranteed unity, peace and security. And as a result, we failed to streamline our line of succession to the Eze Aro throne and consequently reopened the whirlwind.

General causes of the success disputes to Eze Aro throne

  1. Aro remained for too long without a clear and obvious crown prince or crown princess, and lost the opportunity for apprenticeship for leadership training

  2. Aro took the relative long period of peace and stability for granted

  3. Okpankpo judgment on who should be the Eze Aro between the two rival princes was subjected to overheated controversies that landed both parties in foreign judicial system, not in our traditional system.

  4. Foreign religious practices have weakened our customs and traditions, which many consider efficacious and swift and therefore would have saved Aro the trauma of avoidable judicial rigors and tensions

  5. Far too many vested interests doggedly played partisan roles for or against each of the parties

  6. There seems to be very reasonable outside moral and material support, thus importing, complicating issues and options for the resolution of the dispute.

(g) Public Service Career in some cases far away from Arochukwu had deprived the princes’ adequate leadership apprenticeship.

(h) Urbanization, in some cases involving the princes living far away from Arochukwu, had deprived the princes’ adequate leadership apprenticeship.

(i) Increasingly poor sense and serious study of history has narrowed our visions, our missions, our roles as a group and the pedigree of Aro Kingdom, Aro people in the comity of nations of the world.

(j) A shocking unawareness of the pedigree Aro Monarchy attained in the eyes of the world.

(k) Very poor record keeping partly caused the succession dispute. It devalued the high rating Aro people had hitherto enjoyed in the eyes of the world.

General Effects Of The Succession Disputes To The Eze Aro Throne:

  1. Aro in disarray; “to your tents, oh Israel” a house divided against itself can not stand.

  2. Near breakdown of metropolis authenticity.

  3. Ascendancy of pretenders, charlatans’ opportunists and adventurers, playing roles in normal circumstances they would not have played. And this in itself complicated and prolonged the dispute.

  4. Aro socio-economic, socio-political and socio-cultural developments slowed stage.

  5. Separatist interest and forces took centre stage.

  6. Village and kindred headship disputes tear villages and kindred apart as mediocre and Johnny just-comers and fellow travelers with questionable credentials and backgrounds impose themselves as power brokers.

  7. A riot of litigations among and within families, lineages, compound villagers, kindred and all Aro.

  8. Traditional systems of crisis management or conflict resolution take back seat.

  9. Foreign religious adherents dominate membership of Okpankpo and indeed other apex Aro power structures and institution.

  10. Aro image rubbished; object of caricature e.g. “Aro Okwana eshi mbu”

  11. Sacrileges and abomination happened with increasing frequency: e.g. destruction of one of the village Mgbana Ekpe; in another village, a snake swallowed another snake. “When these prodigies do so conjointly, let no man say, these are their reasons. They are natural. For I believe they are portentous things unto the climate they point upon. (Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar paraphrased).

  12. It was the period of petition writing and recourse to Zone 6 and later Zone 9 – frequent rehearsals of the Scenario, “trouble dee sleep Inyanga go wekam up”

  13. The period may have prematurely consumed the lives of many of our illustrious sons.

  14. The recourse to history (itu eye) hitherto relegated to the junk yard of irrelevance and insignificance, resurfaced to the centre stage of Aro Public Affairs.

  15. Aro – Okeigbo Social Club of Nigeria (AROSON) become more or less the “Government of the day” running the affairs of Aro in the sense that it gave hope and succor to all Aro by proving the point that it was the only thing that was working in Aro as the Kingdom laid prostrate punch – drunk by its own internal contradictions.

  16. The womenfolk managed to distance themselves from the seemingly endless acrimonies and extremities of the man folk. They just managed to hold unto their neutrality and they ceaselessly prayed for return of peace to Arochukwu.

  17. Aro youths toed similar line as the women, charting the path of neutrality, praying and hoping.

  18. Aro Diaspora was marginally affected and involved. It was the Aro VIPS that were lobbied into partisan camps for support.

Proposals against future occurrence

  1. The royal families through the agency of the kindred meeting provide platform for the streamlining of the line of succession among the princes.

  2. The royal families, the kindred and Okpankpo Aro should ensure that the princes undergo sustained leadership grooming seminars, workshop and conferences

  3. Both the kindred and Okpankpo should ensure that our princes enjoy observer status at Okpankpo and Nzuko Arochukwu meetings.

  4. The royal families, the kindred and indeed all Aro should encourage our princes to be adequately educated. They should among other things be interested in the study of the humanities such as History, Religion, Government, Economics, Literature, Sociology and Anthropology.

  5. The princes should be encouraged to participate in many socio-cultural activities such as Aja Avo Izu Aro and Ikeji Aro – Okeigbo.

  6. Our princes should be encouraged to visit Aro Diaspora to enable them interact with and familiarizes themselves with their problems, and above all encourage and sustain their relations with Aro metropolis.

  7. Our princes should be encouraged to pay visits to traditional rulers not only in Igbo land but also in the rest of the country. This will be an outreach to broaden their world view, national and world trends.

  8. The princes should be involved in the membership of committees or delegations for crisis management or settlement of disputes in various Aro villages, at Okpankpo and in Diaspora.

  9. The princes should be encouraged to socialize with the high and the mighty, and at the same time, the low and the weak: at social and cultural occasions such as marriages, burials, launching ceremonies and government functions.

Aro Monarchy And Traditional Leadership Axioms
It is often said that the words of our elders are the words of wisdom. Aro Monarchy is not short of such words of wisdom.

1. Anaghe achi aro achi, ana esowo eso” (you don’t lead Aro; you, instead follow them in accordance with their wishes, their decisions. (Mazi, Kanu Oji, Eze Aro VII)

2. “Amamihe na abia na awa na awa” (wisdom, new ideas, come one after the others in sequences each an improvement upon the previous one) – Mazi Okereke Nwosu, Late Eze Ibom Isii.

3. “Kama mu na Ekpe ga enwe okwu, Kama ka muna WAKA nwee” ( I would rather not entangled in Ekpe suit. I stead prefer such as a suit be settled at WACA – West African Court of Appeal) Mazi Kanu Oji Eze Aro VII.

4. “Ihe so oha bia so oha a na.” (A group or collective matter should also be settled collectively) – General Aro proverb.

5. “Izu Agbara na mba anaghi ebie ya anota na Aru.” (you don’t imprt and enforce decisions taken outside Aro here in Aro) – General Aro proverb

6. “Onye obi oku na ebu onye nuru iyi uzo anwu.” (A hot- tempered man dies sooner than the man who has taken a traditional oath.

– General Aro proverb

7. “Ekwe anuo!” (Going to war depends upon reaching an agreement in the first place). – an Aro proverb sourced from an Amazu – Uno, Arondizuogu, peace or war debate.

8. “Ohazumeme” (Collective will, collective decision and collective action attract no opposition; and form the basis (or democracy).

- General Aro personal name statement.

9. “Okwu ana aso anya anaghi ebi ngwa.” (Equivocations, quibbling, tongue in the check prolong issues.)

- general Aro nick name meant for no-nonsense, fearless and outspoken persons.

10. “Nwa Aru anaghi asi nwa Aru ibeya na ibini Ukpabisi ika ekene ya” (No Aro man can rightly claim superiority over another Aro man.

- general Aro proverb.

11. “Nwa Aru icho, nkpona icho” (The truly born Aro and a man of riches are two different things) a general Aro proverb.

12. “Nwa Aru asughi ngongo, omaa ama.” (if the Aro person does not slow down and weigh his speech, he reveals secrets)

- a general Aro proverb.

13. “Ana etoru mazi etoru.” (you don’t attain mazi title any how or by happenstance. You do so through exposure and experience. You don’t just acquire or buy it. You merit it).

- a general Aro proverb, recently quoted by Mazi Okereke Okoro, Eze Ogo Ugbo.

14. ”Anaghi eturu ivuru eye” (you don’t trace history for the prodigal; for he may misuse the knowledge).

- Nwa Mazi Ohiaerinwa Ogbo nnaya Okoro on some aspects of Amankwu Arochukwu history.

15. “Ekpe enweghi ubi; onweghi uno avia, nke ona enwe ikpeghe na uno aku. OO anyi bu umu ekpe bu ngwa avia ya.” (Ekpe has no farm, no shop, nor bank account. It is we who are the source of its income.

- a general umu Ekpe proverb.

16. “Imebie Ekpe, Ekpe emebie gi.” (if you sabotage Ekpe, Ekpe will sabotage you).

- a general umu Ekpe proverb.

17. “Mu na Ekpe nna m enweghi Okwu.” ( I have no quarrel with Ekpes my father, my mentor. How dare I?)

18. Ojemba enwe Iro” (A sojourner does not make enemies for himself or herself)

- a general Igbo proverb.

19. “Ekee Oburu Uzo.” (One who leads the common pack)

- a general Arondizuogu nickname for a person who has many leadership qualities.

20. “Onye Umunnaya si ojee ejee, ojee ejee.” (Once your kinsmen have decided your fate, your fate remains decided. Outsiders are helpless to alter it.)

- a general Aro proverb rooted in slave trade period of our history.

21. “Okwuru anaghi aka onye kuru ya.” (The okoro plant does not outgrow the planter.)

- a general Igbo proverb.

22. “Nwata bunie nna ya enu, akpa keke avochie ya anya.? (when a boy dares lift up his father the private part covers the eyes.)

- a general Igbo proverb.

23. “Amamihe bu oke ovia” (wisdom is like a jungle. There is no end to knowing every part of it.)

- a general Igbo proverb.

24. “Okoro etoghi eto wara ogodo, uvere buru ogodo, oburu Okoro.(One who dares the impossible is swept off by the impossible

- a general Igbo proverb.

25. “Ijiji enweghi onye na adu ya odu na eso ozu naa na I ni (The fly that has no one to advise him, follows the corpse into the grave.

- a general Igbo proverb.

26. “Eze na anu okwu ugbo abuo.” (the kind is opportune to get information from many source)

- a general Igbo proverb.

27. “Anaghi aso keke ukwu anya, obughi ya ga eme onwe ya.” (Set aside sentimental considerations when taking tough decisions)

- a general Aro proverb.

28. “Amankwe !” (I disagree, over my dead body – extreme and intolerant stand on issues – a general Igbo proverb, recently used by Mazi Vincent Ogbonnaya Okoro, Eze Aro VIII, CFR, on the dangers of hang – tough extremism.


This study has highlighted the following: pre-1650 Arochukwu, the foundational principles of Aro monarchy, distribution of power among Aro kindred, Aro monarchy, town unions as partners in Progress, Aro monarchy and the creation of autonomous communities in Arochukwu, Aro Monarchy and succession disputes (1988-2006), Aro monarchy and traditional leadership axioms, and conclusion. And from the foregoing, it could be concluded without fear of contradictions that Aro monarchy has been the arrow head of Aro nation building genius, pacesetting and success story. Whatever the Aro achieved in their nation building enterprise, Aro monarchy occupied the driving seat, the launching pad, right there at the centre stage. Aro monarchy takes full responsibility for the successes and failures associated with the Aro in our grandiose experiment in nation building. Whatever our failings, we can confidently raise our heads proudly, walk tall as having made considerable impact among our fellow Igbo, African and black brethren and compatriots, and the rest of the world- contributions and achievements that are boundless, ageless and timeless. And when during colonial period the British monarch honored Late Mazi Kanu Oji, Eze Aro VII with an OBE title; and then Imo State government assigned him to make peace among Oguta princes over succession dispute there, it is in recognition of the pedigree of Aro monarchy in the world. And when the present government honored the incumbent Eze Aro Mazi Vincent Ogbonnaya Okoro, Eze Aro VIII, with a CFR no one was left in doubt that Aro monarchy has come of age, among the very few most important in Nigeria and the rest of the world.

* The full text of this article and other works on Aro monarchy could be read in Aro News Book Series – Perspectives on Aro History & Civilization.

Verilənlər bazası müəlliflik hüququ ilə müdafiə olunur ©azrefs.org 2016
rəhbərliyinə müraciət

    Ana səhifə