Facts About Aros In Ikwerre

 

The petition of Oha-Na-Eze to the Justice Chukwudifu Oputa panel investigating Human Rights Violation in 2001 alleging that the Aros (Igbo) have lived in Ikwerre axis of Rivers State since time immemorial is not true and lacks historical support.

 

The Aros made their first entry into Ikwerre land at the beginning of the 20th century as traders and farm labourers.

 

It is pertinent to say that the Aros took advantage of the traditional hospitality of Ikwerre people to settle in Ikwerre land where they refused to relate with their hosts but strenuously maintained an identity of their own.

 

The Aros were  mostly itinerant traders dealing in such commodities as tobacco, clothes and slaves. The last category posed as gents of the so-called Long Juju of Arochukwu, and under the pretext of guiding people to the Oracle diverted them to Bonny and other riverine slave markets.

 

There is hardly any community in Ikwerre that did not lose precious human resources to these notorious Aro slave dealers.

 

A few of the Aros later became more sedentery. During the farming season they rented land from their Ikwerre landlords for farming. In most cases, what the hosts demanded was  just a bottle of native gin for the previlege. At the end of the farming season, the land automatically reverted to the Ikwerre owners.

Author: Capt. Elechi Amadi in.2001.

Part 2 will focus on: The Aros at Igwuruta.

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