Aguluzigbo, the town and the people
Aguluzigbo is a Town in Anaocha Local Government Area of Anambra State , Nigeria . It comprises six villages: Iruowelle, Etuleze, Ihulu, Ufa , Ifite and Nduana . It is bordered by towns such as Agulu , Ora-eri , Akwaeze , Igbo-ukwu , Nanka, Obeledu and Umuona . There are various pointers to the origin of the name. One version has it that the name "Aguluzigbo" is a shortened way of saying "Agulu, nke di na uzo e si eje Igbo-ukwu" which translated in English would mean "The Agulu which is along the route to Igbo- ukwu".
Apparently, the description serves to distinguish it from its neighbouring town which also goes by the name "Agulu".
The town has a modern post office, Hospital and health center. It has several Primary schools amongst which are: Igweamaka primary school, Udokamma primary school, Ebenesi primary school and Community primary school. Its Secondary school (Community High school) popularly called " Enyi agba oso" meaning- "an Elephant never run".
It has a market (Oye market) situated right at the heart of the town. The "Oyemma " as it is fondly called serves as the town's centre. It is lined with shopping malls, restaurants, salons, Patent drug stores, mini-mart and barber shops. It has two catholic churches, 'The Queen of all hearts and Saint Patrick's' whose edifice are enormous. The town also has two Anglican Churches, 'All saints and Saint Mark's' and several other pentecostal churches.
The new yam festival, organised yearly, has attracted dignitaries and tourists from within and outside Nigeria. The town is renowned for its peaceful nature, cultured people, well maintained road networks and good town planning.
Aguluzigbo people are naturally intelligent people who have made distinctions in several endeavours. Those ones in business world are without excellence, in the aspect of Education, years back, when the light of education hasn't been illuminated on their minds, the Aguluzigbo people engage mostly in trades, farming, livestocks and crafts; the few who chose the line of education excelled beyond measures. In recent times, Aguluzigbo indigenes are seen in every facets of educational heights, producing professors and PhD holders.
Politically, despite the geographical limitations per landmarks, their names are heard. Hon. Joseph Dimobi made a mark in Anambra State house of assembly representing Anocha constituency II. Chief Victor Umeh, (ohamadike), an accomplished estate manager and surveyor is the national chairman of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
Aguluzigbo is one of the few towns whose history has been researched and documented. The book 'The History of Aguluzigbo' was written by an indigene of Aguluzigbo, Chief Barrister J.P.C. Anetoh. The first parts of this write up was culled from his work on the history of Aguluzigbo. He is currently a senior staff with the CBN.
Just like every other communities, they have an ancient heathen culture believed to be originally from 'Umuona' migrants. It is called the 'gbudugbu' or 'Onuma-nkwu'. During this festival, the heathens patrol the streets naked and no woman or Child dares to step outside. It was believed that seeing the rituals of the 'gbudugbu' would cause a swelling of the stomach, leading to death. It was said that the chief priest or any of the gbudugbu' acolyte would make a voodoo utterance on seeing a defaulter. They usually say "gbudugbu' tokwoo hụ awhọ oo!" meaning "may gbudugbu protrude your stomach."
When Christianity came in, so many unhealthy cultures were forgone and many deities were pulled down. The Community High School, Aguluzigbo now occupies the 'enyiagbọsọ' deity's position. The 'Udo' deity was pulled down, and St. Patrick's Catholic Church built. There were hosts of other Shrines and deities: The Obunana shrine, the Nnenwayi shrine... e.t.c.
Today, Aguluzigbo people, just like other Igbo communities, are culture-friendly people. They are lovers of Masquerades and they have prominent ones like the 'Ajị buusu', the 'Okwo-Mma', the 'Otawalikpo', the Ndidi ka onwu' and hosts of others. These masquerades appear during New yam festivals, burials and condolence visits. Masquerades are used by the Aguluzigbo people to propel sanctions and debt payments (though this style is now outdated).
Their favorite food includes the 'Aniga' (Mbụgụ), gotten from cocoyam; the 'Achịcha' is another kind of food from cooked and dried cocoyam. It could be cooked into a mixture of 'akidi' (vigna unguiculata). They are lovers of roasted yam and local sauce. These are amongst other Igbo indigenous foods and recipe.
Aside the love for their local food and culture, they are socially sound- ndi Aguluzigbo. They have age grades, Development unions, progressive movements etc, and all these aren't limited to the town dwellers but also extends to people living abroad and indigenes in diaspora. They play unity soccer tournaments (The Ochendo cup) every month of 'December' and an illustrious son, Chief Ernest Aneche (ogbuefi ochendo) donates and sponsors it.
Aguluzigbo is a lovely town and the people are beautiful people. The girls, as it is fondly said, " Umunwanyi Aguluzigbo na ama mma di egwu" meaning that the female folks of Aguluzigbo are incredibly beautiful. A slogan for Aguluzigbo is "The home of wisdom."
•Written by Ogunwa Chibuike E.