The Coming Of The Whiteman in Uturu the Role Of Arochukwu People


After the fall of Aro Confederation of 1902, the Arochukwu People who Journeyed to other parts of Igboland, including;  ARO NDIZUOGU, ARO OKPOROENYI, ARO IKWERE,  ARO IZOMBE,  ARO AJALLI, ARO  ARO NGWA, ARO ORU and many more could not return home, instead, they occupied and established themselves in those areas which they visited.

In Uturu, the Aro people occupied a special place, the vicinity of the area called Agụ. There was a folk tale which claimed that, when the White men were coming to Uturu Community for the first in about 1904, some Aro People who have occupied Agụ, setted a trap against them. According to the folk tale, they wanted to assassinate  those White Men and perhaps stop them from entering Uturu Community. But they (Aro) couldn’t succeed; the White Men, eventually, used their gun and killed all those men who were involved in the trap setting and their corpse were buried. From that day, that place became “Agụ-tata-Arụ-ise” now called Agụtaro(the famous Hopevill in Uturu)The few who survived, ran to Ogwahia- Ukwu a community located in Uturu ,where they met some of their colleagues and concluded to support the White men. They also adviced the residence of Uturu community to buy some fruits and vegetables which they would use to welcome and entertain the White men to avoid truma, destruction or death. The Uturu people obediently decided to do as the Aro people have advised them to do.

According to an oral story by Chief Augustine Chima (March 2012) and HRH Late Eze  A. A Nwautirikpo(August 2010), the White men came Isuikwuato axis to Ugba(where the Abia State University is located today) and then took the pathway road leading to Umuanyi (a community in Uturu). On getting to Umuanyi, they met a man called Mazi Nwaro Ekeugo, who welcomed them, and afterward the white men gave him a post known as “Warrant Chief”. From Umuanyi, they took the pathway leading to Agutaro and them proceed to Ogwahia-Ukwu (before Nnembi) where they were hosted by a community referred to as Ndi Uturu, particularly Achara. From Ogwahia, the whitemen were taken  to the Nkwo-Achara market square where they met people from other part of the Uturu community. According to information, it was a very big wonderful day for Ndi buturu For the first time, The Uturu people were joyfully seated under one of the big trees in Nkwo Achara market, listening to the sweet voice of the whitemen.

Afterward the whitemen appointed “Three Warrant Chiefs” in Uturu community. They include;Mazi Ukandu Onyeonu from Ogwahia Achara, Mazi Nwaro Ekeugo – from Umuanyi and one Mazi Okezie from Ezieke Akpukpa. Their duty is to, ” to act as a representatives for the British among the Uturu people who will be charged with the responsibility of interpreting and communicating back to the people of uturu.”

Hence, there was no attempt by the White men to learn , study or understand the language of redidents of Uturu community or to find out who has political power among them or  where the system of political jurisdiction lies. The law made by the whitemen, intimidated the Uturu people as Ọfọ title holder (Onye-isi ji Ọfọ Uturu) to submit to British imperialism. Uturu People could not stop the British law and so the Village group heads and other administrative organs in Uturu were no longer functioning.

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