The Aro Confederacy In Igbo Land, Facts You Need To Know

The Aro confederacy was the only confederation in pre-colonial Africa. It lasted for more than 200 years;from 1690 until the British defeated the Aros and captured Arochukwu in December 1901.It was probably the biggest colonial war in what later become Nigeria.

For instance,the British attacked and destroyed Benin with about 1200 soldiers in 1897.British casualties in Benin was very minimal. In Ijebu, Oyo, Sokoto and other Nigerian pre-colonial kingdoms, the story was similar. The British however planned the invasion of Arochukwu for two years. They attacked with about "87 officers, 1,550 soldiers and 2,100 carriers in four axis of advance to Arochukwu from Oguta, Akwete, Unwana and Itu"

The Aro military fought back with their inferior weapons and killed over 700 British troops before they were finally defeated and Arochukwu captured.

The key word here is;
(1)the only pre-colonial confederation in Africa 
(2)the British fiercest, most damaging colonial conventional war with a kingdom in Nigeria.


The Aro knew the British were laying siege on them with superior weapons but they didn't sue for peace or surrender.

The "Aba Women Riot " of 1929 that led to the killing of 55 women happened around here.

Some of the most courageous Biafran soldiers all descended from the Aro confederacy
1.Col Ogbugo Kalu from Ohafia
2.Col Tony Eze from Arochukwu
3.General Philip Effiong from Ikot Ekpene
4.Col Achibong also from Ikot Ekpene
5.Col EA Etuk on the Nigerian side.

Is Nnamdi Kanu also an Aro descendant? Will he and his people ever accept anything other than confederation?

Mbe Nwaniga 


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