The principal objective or goal of the bi-annual Anglo-Aro war memorial lecture / fiesta is to immortalize the efforts and the actors of the United States of Arochukwu (USA). Noble Aro priests, blacksmiths, farmers and traders had long built several States in and beyond the West African region even before the start of slave trade in human history. This implies that Aro people had built their United States long before the founding of the United States of America. The Arochukwu ancient Kingdom is more than 700 years older than United Kingdom of Great Britain. Before the invasion of Europeans into the kingdom, Aro had a functional system of education that Europeans admired and adopted. The system was based on mastery of ideographical symbols commonly known as “insibiri”. The ideographical symbols which Aro mastered and exported enabled them to export civilizations beyond Igbo speaking areas. But Europeans adopted the system and called it arts, sciences, religion, shorthand, alphabet, and numerals. Aro had a system of spiritual enquiry through which they drew inspiration (wisdom / ako bu ije) from the spiritual world of their ancestors. With the wisdom, they advanced (ako bu ije) to far and near communities exchanging ideas with other people through “insibiri”.
When Europeans arrived Aro, they adopted Aro’s system of administration and called it government. They adopted Aro’s system of education and called it Western education. They adopted Aro’s system of state creation and called their states colonies which later became known as nations. They adopted Aro’s system of spiritual enquiry and called it Western religion. After the adoptions, they vowed to ensure that nothing of pride would be left of Aro. They made several attempts to deface Aro culture. They plotted the fall of the ancient kingdom that civilized them. Aro and their allies, most notable were the Ohafia and Abam warriors, withstood the earlier British sporadic attacks before the final invasion in 1901. It was a 20-year war. Though the heavy attack started in 1901 and Aro was overpowered in 1902, the United States of Arochukwu combined efforts and unleashed sporadic counter attack on British administrators for 19 years (1902 – 1921). It was the state of unrest that set the stage for the historic Aba Women riot of 1922.
The bi-annual Anglo-Aro war memorial lecture will avail the history needed to arm not just Aro people but the entire African continent for the next level of development. It was Winton Churchill who says: “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” the chief goal of the lecture is to develop African culture consciousness through history in order to avoid the repetition of past failures. The intensive study of human behaviour has brought to light the fact that any society that fails to learn success from kept history must surely keep a history of failure. It is important that, as a society, we keep our cultural heritage – the history we inherited from our fathers. There are a few people in our society whom we seldom notice. But Plato notices: “Those who are able to see beyond the shadows and lies of their culture will never be understood, let alone believed by the masses.” We need to pay more attention to the clarion calls for homecoming which, most often, come from those we think do not really deserve audience.
The Lecture is built to hold on 27th December, 2021 while the Fiesta will hold the next day being 28. All Aro villages will display their cultural heritage in the occasion. All Aro settlements are entitled to join the fiesta. All Igbo and neighbouring national cultures will be highly welcomed in Arochiukwu. It will be a memorable homecoming parade of all African cultures. Aro Spiritual Priests and everyone else will enjoy many benefits from the events.
1. There will be need for accommodation of the visitors for two days or more.
2. The visitors will need Aro native foods and native foods from other cultures for two days or more.
3. There will be need for dance, music and all other forms of entertainment for the visitors for more than two days.
4. There will be trade fare for all Aro and other African products within the period of the celebration.
5. There will be exchange of gifts between Aro people and other African cultures including foreign visitors. Aro’s gifts will be spiritually valuable products while the visitors’ gifts will be physically valuable materials.
6. There will be economic growth for Aro people and others during and after the ceremony.
7. Ndi Eze Aro and Spiritual Priests will regain their lost pride, honour and respect from all Aro cultures and native nations of the world.