WHERE IS AGULERI?
Aguleri is a medium sized town in the southeastern quadrant of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which is a country on the west coast of Africa. Aguleri is the largest town in Anambra North local government area of Anambra State in Nigeria. The red stars in the following maps mark the location of Aguleri in the world, in Nigeria and in southeastern Nigeria. Census figures (which are not very reliable) put the population of Aguleri at close to 300,000 people. Aguleri has a landmass of about 380 square kilometers.
ORIGIN OF AGULERI
The people of Aguleri belong to the Igbo ethnic group in Nigeria.
Aguleri was founded on the banks of the Anambra River, which is a tributary of the great River Niger. History traces the origin of the Igbo ethnic group to Eri who was said to have descended from one of the tribes of Israel.
The inability of the ancestors of most African ethnic groups to hand down written history over the centuries has left a void that makes it difficult to authenticate exact origins of each group.
It is hoped that future advances in DNA technology would clarify the uncertainties in African ethnic origins. What we currently have to go by are oral history, traditions and folklore to help us piece together our origins.
However there is a general consensus among the Igbo people that Eri is their progenitor and that he had settled at Aguleri along the banks of the Anambra River. Of the many children of Eri, his first son, Agulu inherited his father's homestead and his descendants became known as the people of Aguleri meaning Agulu-nwa-Eri (Agulu-son-of-Eri).
Other descendants of Eri migrated away from Aguleri and settled in Nri, Umuleri, Nneyi, Nsugbe, Amanuke, Nteje, Igbariam, Ogurugu and many other towns.
AGULERI VALUE SYSTEM
The customs, traditions and values handed down by the founding fathers of Aguleri have been inculcated in successive generations of Agulerians.
First the Agulerian has a high sense of self worth. Without being arrogant the Agulerian believes he or she has a purpose in life and will work to achieve it through diligent labor. This quality of the Agulerian can be termed nobility of spirit that also respects the right of others to strive and compete fairly. The Agulerian abhors any act that will bring shame to the family and takes seriously the duty of upholding personal and family honor.
Second the Agulerian has generosity taught to him or her from the cradle. The Agulerian will share whatever little he or she has with whoever is in need. Any person walking into an Aguleri family or group at table is automatically invited to join in the meal. There is a saying in Aguleri that "no one owns food except God".
Third the Agulerian has a deep-seated respect for elders and treats older people with deference. The age grade system has established a strict pecking order, which recognizes wisdom that comes with age as an asset that society must cherish and exploit in order to make social progress. It falls on the oldest male person in any gathering of Agulerians to lead ceremonies like the breaking of the colanut, or pouring of libation. In Aguleri it is an abomination for a wealthy person to take the revered "Ogbuevi" title before his older siblings. This title is taken strictly in descending order of age of members of the extended family.
Fourth, Agulerians mark entry into and exit from life with celebration. Even as an Agulerian mourns the passing of a close relative there is simultaneous celebration with joy of what the departed person has contributed to society no matter how seemingly insignificant those contributions might have been. In Aguleri every life is respected and honored.
Fifth, the Agulerian is very appreciative of favors received, and endeavors to return favors (sometimes extravagantly). Nobility of spirit comes into play in the exchange of favors.
The Agulerian is the quintessential Igbo person.
PRESENT DAY AGULERI
Like most rural communities in Africa, most people of Aguleri used to live off the land through subsistence farming, fishing and hunting. With the coming of the Europeans to Aguleri in the nineteenth century, they brought western education and technology, which transformed the quality of life of the people.
As new generations of the people of Aguleri became educated, they moved to the cities in search of work, because they were no longer able to make a living from the land. The economics of subsistence agriculture makes farming or fishing an unattractive career for the present generation.
The solution is to arm them with appropriate education to enable them become competitive players in the global workplace of today. The minimum education that is needed to lay a foundation for the young people to begin to reach their potential, is a secondary school education that is structured to lead them to future vocational training or tertiary education.
AFNA is striving to help the Aguleri child become a future productive member of society who can operate at the highest level that can be attained by his or her intellect and effort. AFNA is helping to make Aguleri contribute to making the world a better place.
Please help us make this a reality through your donations.
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