Arochukwu is one of the large and respected towns in Abia state.
History has it that after Aba and Umuahia the next town to mention is Arochukwu, it is also known or referred to as ‘Aro okeigbo’.
The Indigenes of this town are known for business and travelling abroad. They are also other popular town in Abia State known for business and community development but Arochukwu is best known for his culture.
Here are some of the highlights of the Arochukwu people as described by those that have been there and in accordance with history.
1. Ibini Ụkpabi
You may have heard of Arochukwu ‘Long Juju’ while studying for primary or secondary school.
‘Long juju’ is what the British colonists call the Arochukwu religious God known as Ibini Ụkpabi.
The Long Juju temples or Ibini Ukpabi is a famous Arochukwu Shrine where people convicted of murder, poisoning, witchcraft, family or community disputes take their cases to court for fair hearing and possible punishment to the group of the defaulter.
The Ibini Ukpabi is known for the transparency in judgement and immediate punishment to the verdict or guilty personal.
2. The Aro War and Britain
The Aro people were ancient warriors.
They were driven out by the British in a four-day battle known as the ‘Anglo-Aro war’.
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The British fought the war because they saw the Aro people as their scapegoats and in their efforts to take over Igbo land the Aro people saw it as a ‘visionary’.
3. Selling of Slavery:
The Aro people were famous for their slavery in ancient times.
When a person is sentenced to death by Ibini Ukpabi, they will sell the individual to slavery instead of allowing the verdict die like that.
But when the slave trade began, the Arochukwu people sold the guilty to white people instead of killing him.
An ancient story tells of a rich man named Omenuko who became very rich through slavery.
Not only that the Arochukwu people have Ibini-Ukpabi, but also they go to help other communities to establish idols in their community.
5. Arondiuzogu, Ajali, Ohafia and others who are brothers of Arọchukwu
Aside from culture, the Arochukwu people are also known for their business.
The Arochukwu people are hard workers and do business trips to various villages in Igboland and other countries.
Many times they moved to another country, took up residence there, got married, and multiplied.
Currently, there are people in Arondiizuogù, Ajali (Anambra State), Uzuakoli (Abia), Arongwa (Abia state), Afikpo (Ebonyi state) who are immigrants of Arochukwu Kingdom.
Many pastors meet on the phone every year for the ‘Mass return’ at the second ceremony.
6. The Aro have a personality
The Arochukwu people have famous names in Igbo and around the world.
In fact, Arọchukwu was one of the ‘International Kingdoms’ that the famous musician was Oliver de Coque like mentioning while singing his songs.
The famous people from Arochukwu include Alvan Ikokwu, a colorful teacher, Professor James Ijoma, Brother Okoro, Alex Onye Ado, Alex Otti, Chikwe Udensi, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, Mazi Kanu Ivi, Mazi Obasi Lawson (Sobaz), Etokebe, Avina, Dozzman, and host of other people.
7. Killing twins
In the past, Arochukwu people threw twins and their birth mothers into the jungle because they believed the twins were causing a lot of trouble in the Kingdom.
But Linus Nwagba explained that “Mary Slessor is picking up the children in their care”.
But to the Glory of God, the coming of the missionaries (Mary Slessor) and some Christian church has brought a closure to the Aro formal culture and Traditions in as much as twins are now accepted in the present day of Arochukwu.
©Nnadozie Victor Onyemaobi