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Arochukwu (sometimes referred to as Arochuku, Aro-Okigbo) pronounced aruchukwu is the third largest town in Abia Statemarker (after Abamarker and Umuahiamarker) in southeastern Nigeriamarker.It is composed of 19 villages with an overall leader called Eze Aro. 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 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 led by Nna Uru. As Aro-Ibibio wars occurred, there was a stalemate. In reaction, Igbo leaders invited a priest named Nnachi from the Edda clan of northeastern Igboland and another group from the east of the Cross River through Nnachi's son Oke Nnachi. These people were identified as the Akpa people as their 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 around 1650-1700. The first king (or Eze Aro) of a unified Arochukwu was Akuma but after his death, Oke Nnachi took over and his descendants have the throne to this 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 Rivermarker neighbours (mainly Igbo) which was led by the powerful Eze Aro (king of the Aros), other chiefs, and agents of Ibin Ukpabi. After the confederacy evolved, more Aro businessmen left their homeland to settle in hundreds of settlements mostly in Nigeriamarker and claimed Cameroonmarker, and Equatorial Guineamarker. The confederacy was very influential as it monopolized trade in Eastern Nigeria, Deltamarker 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 Ohafiamarker, Abam, Bende, Abiribamarker, Afikpomarker 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 Britishmarker invasions by men with advanced and superior weapons defeated Aro forces who fought gallantly. The legendary Ibin Ukpabi (known as the Long Juju) shrine was destroyed as the Aro dominance and power was overpowered by the British forces with their superior firepower.

Diversity

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

Languages

The language in Arochukwu is Igbo.

Name

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

Notable people



References

(http://eabuja.com/index.html)


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