Arochukwu


Arochukwu

Infobox Settlement
official_name =Arochukwu
other_name =Aro-Okigbo
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pushpin_map_caption =Location in Nigeria
subdivision_type = Country
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subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_name1 = Abia State
subdivision_type2 = It is composed of 19 villages.
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government_footnotes = One of the few kingdoms in Nigeria, practices the monachical system of government.
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leader_title = The leader is called Eze Aro.
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population_blank1_title =Ethnicities
population_blank1 =Igbo, Ibibio, and Akpa
population_blank2_title =Religions
population_blank2 =Christianity, Traditional religions
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longd=7 |longm=55 |longs= |longEW=E
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Arochukwu (sometimes referred to as Arochuku, Aro-Okigbo)) pronounced aruchukwu is the third largest town in Abia State (after Aba and Umuahia) in southeastern Nigeria. Arochukwu is one of the few kingdoms in Africa, it practices the monarchical system of government.It is composed of 19 villages with an overall leader called Eze Aro. As of 2005, the population of the area was 97800 and it contains convert|130169|acre|km2 of land. Arochukwu is a principal historic town in Igboland. It was also one of the last towns in the Southern protectorate conquered by the British colonial government. Several historic tourist sites exist in the city. The educationalist Mazi Alvan Ikoku (1900-1971), the football star, Kanu Nwankwo are sons of the kingdom. The mystic Long-Juju shrine, the slave routes and other relics of the slave trade era are frequently visited by tourists. It is also in the food belt of Abia state where most of the staple foods are produced.

History

Arochukwu is believed to have been the homeland of the Ibibio as they arrived in 300 AD from the Benue valley and founded early states like Obong okon Ita and Ibom. Many years passed as Igbo immigrants came along and pressed into the Ibibio occupied territory and founded several states. The first Igbo group were the Ezeagwu group. As Aro-Ibibio wars occurred, Igbo leaders were unable to turn the conflicts in the favor of the Igbo. In reaction, one Igbo Priest named Nnachi from Edda clan, invited some allies from the east of the cross river through his son Oke Nnachi. These people were identified as the Akpa people as there firearms attracted their Igbo allies. Akpa forces led by Osim and Akuma Nnubi, they helped the Igbo forces capture the area and settled in the Aro region. This formed the alliance of 19 new and old states in the area known as the Arochukwu kingdom in a time around 1690-1720. The first king (or EzeAro) was Akuma but after his death, Oke Nnachi tookover and his descendants has the throne to this very day. Slave trade hit the hinterland around the same time.

Slave trade formed the Aro Confederacy which was an alliance of the Aros and their related Cross river neighbours (mainly Igbo) which was led by the powerful Eze Aro (king of the Aros), other chiefs, and agents of Ibini Ukpabi. After the confederacy evolved, more Aro businessmen left their homeland to settle in hundreds of settlements mostly in Nigeria and claimed Cameroon, and Equatorial Guinea. The confederacy was very influential as it monopolized trade in Eastern Nigeria, Delta areas, southern Igala areas and perhaps even beyond the borders of Nigeria by oracular and economical forces. Some slaves were captured by fierce Aro slave raiders and warriors were feared and backed up by allies such as Ohafia, Abam, Bende, Abiriba, Afikpo and other warriorlands that supplied recruiters and mercenaries.

Tensions rose between the Aro confederacy and Europeans in the late 19th century leading to the power to decline and eventually the Anglo-Aro war in 1901-1902. Constant British invasions by men with advanced and superior weapons defeated Aro forces who fought gallantly. The legendary Ibini Ukpabi (known as the Long Juju) shrine was destroyed as the Aro dominance and power was overpowered by the British foreces with their superior firepower.

Diversity

The kingdom has been home mainly to the Igbo, Ibibio, and Akpa.

Languages

The language in Arochukwu is Igbo and Ibibio.

Name

Arochukwu is one of the only towns in Igboland named after God. Though named after God, it was named this before Christianity ever came, implying a belief in one "Supreme Being". 'Aro' translates as 'Spear' and 'Chukwu' as God.Put together this could imply Spear of God.

References

* [http://www.aronetwork.org/geography.htm Arochukwu Network geography page] (http://eabuja.com/index.html)


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