As Ikpeazu bringing Abia back to worka�� (1)

March 4th, 2018

Aba, at the heart of the defunct Eastern region of Nigeria had everything to do with the reputation which the region spotted as the a�?Japan of Africaa�?. It was Aba that typified and symbolized the can-do spirit of the Igbo race. For the ordinary person, Aba might just be a sprawling town at the centre of the East, but to the initiated, Aba is the very heartbeat of the Igbo nation that pulsates non-stop, in tune with the energy and the never-say-die spirit of the Igbo person.
The Enyimba City is a mega-workshop, because, just as every inch of Onitsha, the commercial centre of the East is a market of sorts, every inch of Aba is a workshop, where somebody is tinkering and manufacturing something. If one really wishes to fully understand the honeybee character of the Igbo Person, the seeker should go to Aba and study how it functions, on a daily basis and how resilient its inhabitants are. Aba is the psychological capital of the Igbo Race.
That is why the fate and prospects of Aba are of intimate concern to every Igbo person who understands how Ndigbo got here. The centrality of the Aba character to the Igbo psyche can hardly be treated in a short newspaper article because it has many strands which go far beyond the colonial era and Nigeriaa��s independence and the creation of the Eastern Region, Biafra or the East Central State which gave rise to Aba finding itself in Imo and later in todaya��s Abia State. Suffice it to say that Aba has been home to Igbo people from all parts of Igboland, and each will tell you that he never had felt less at home than any Ngwa person who are supposed to be native to the place, hence the nickname of Aba-Ngwa.
Aba, the business capital of Abia State and obviously the industrial hub of the East was happy to be one of the best planned cities of Nigeria, having benefitted amply from its beautiful and relatively flat terrain, which made the colonial masters to expertly carve-out the city with well-manicured streets and layouts which became the delight of the business and persons that flocked to inhabit and populate Aba into the beehive of socio-economic and even, political centre it became even before the amalgamation of Nigeria. Those who think that Aba had always been about industry and commerce must have forgotten that it was equally the centre of principled agitation and militancy, to the extent that as far back as in 1929, the politically-minded Aba women had organised the first of such organized revolt in the entire West Africa.
Famously described as Aba Womena��s Riot, the women organized themselves and held out against the British colonial overlords against the taxation of women. Hence, the fastidious culture of the Aba residents has very old and deep roots; thata��s why future efforts at self-actualization and quest for freedom from that part of the world had always drawn its spiritual energy and inspiration from Aba. But then, that is a story which I have amply told in my 2008 book, entitled: The Land of the Risen Sun.

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