Arọbinagụ – I was born into a strict Catholic and prayerful family. My parents raised me to put absolute trust in God almighty, the maker of heaven and earth, according to the teachings of the Bible.
I fear no other gods, and I genuflect for no being in total submission. Out of courtesy and in obedience to social obligations, I bow to heads of religion and communities, as society expected.
I know practically nothing about Igbo deities and cosmology.
Two weeks ago, while waiting for my appointment with Tesco Supermarket promoters who want to distribute our Larsor Seasoning and also the new products we just developed in the UK, I walked into the British Museum of History, Arts, and Culture in London, which was founded in 1753, and has more than eight million objects in its collection.
At the mid-section of the aisle housing the African collections, I came face to face with Arọbinagụ. And suddenly, the table started vibrating. I was stunned and confused but not yet afraid.
Few other visitors around me were frozen, and for a few seconds, nobody could comprehend why the vibration was happening. It took a shrill cry by an Italian lady for one of the Museum attendants to come by. At that very moment, the glass cubicle housing Arọbinagụ shattered in our presence as soon as the attendant reached my side.
We were quickly escorted out of the Museum and taken upstairs to meet the curator, who wanted to interview us personally. When they noticed I was a Nigerian, I was isolated and taken to a private room where I filled out a form and made a copy of my passport.
The curator revealed that what happened was the second time the Museum had experienced that. The first was in 1958, before the Nigerian Independence when a Chief Priest from Anambra visited the Museum to demand the return of Arọbinagụ.
I convinced them that I had come to London for business and had no intention of getting involved with Arọbinagụ and other African gods with a history of the Western heist.
Yesterday, while returning from a town in Anambra, I stopped at their village square to pick organic fruits. On alighting from the car, I noticed mild vibration similar to what happened in the UK. The fruits arranged in a pyramid form on a stainless tray scattered, and birds in nearby trees started flying away with the ferocious flapping of their wings. A stealth breeze circled and raised volcanic dust in the air.
It took the ear-piercing sound of the fruit seller to bring me back to reality, and at that very moment, a significant branch of the nearby tree where the birds flew out broke and crashed with loud noises. I knew it was Arọbinagụ repeating the London experience.
I quickly got back into my car, and the driver, totally shaken by what he just saw, managed to drive off with unsteady hands and legs.
This morning I woke up and noticed that my bed was vibrating. The shocking thing about this was that while the wooden frames of the bed were steady and firm, only the foam and the pillows were shaking.
I placed the Foam on the bare floor and continued my sleep.
I called Ozii Baba Anieto and narrated my experience. Though he tried to make fun of the entire experience initially, when he was convinced that I was serious, he gave me the names of 2 Professors of Igbo history to call.
I’m still angry and completely dazed that both of them suggested that I go back to the UK to discuss with them about returning Arọbinagụ to its rightful place.
I don’t want to cause any diplomatic problems for Nigeria and UK. I’m a businessman who wants no distraction. Not this time that we are about to launch three revolutionary products that will shake the foundation of the Nigerian market.
At this time, put me and our products in your prayers.
We shall never be distracted.
Arọbinagụ shall always find its way home.
According to Odogwu Akataaka as featured in Light House of Wisdom;
“Arọbinagụ as you may like to know is what Igbo know as ezumezu mmụọ, perfection and completion of spirits given to the people or persons.
This is why it’s institution asked for a complete vulture. Nothing shall be found wanting from the body of the vulture during this ritual performance.
Remember, the presence of vulture in every ritual symbolises presence of the spirits.
Among 100 rituals, only 2 to 3 see the presence of vulture. Having complete, body of a vulture during Arọbinagụ institution simply talks about its powers.
Preparation of Arọbinagụ ask for big clay pot that has two hands(oké ite ọna). This kind of clay pot is no longer found at place (recent). In the olden days, it is this kind of clay pot that we used to prepare Arọbinagụ for the people.
This is why it last eternal. Open the ground next five hundred years, one million years or five million years to come: it remains same. It never corrupt or decay in the ground.
Nowadays, it is done with open clay pot (ọkụ). Both hands are used to install all ritual materials inside the pot until it is completed _ asị n’aka abụọ ka eji efikwa arụsị.
When it is completed, to install it for the people to help effects. In the olden days, Arọbinagụ must be sacrificed alive with a boy and a girl (to help effects). Hence its oke arụsị na nne. Reason for its powers and quality services.
Nowadays, it is no longer in practice this is why we sacrifice alive using a ram and female goat. One white colour the other black. They are both buried alive during rituals in the temple.
Arọbinagụ brings light and progress, prosperity and security to the people. This is why it must be sacrificed with a goat seasonal.
Arọbinagụ is like Ọda Ọmụmụ but not same as Ọda Ọmụmụ eve though some people mistake them, calling both same name thus they work alike.
Arọbinagụ serves same purpose with Ọda Ọmụmụ but with differences. The difference has to do with the fact that Ọda Ọmụmụ serves just the purpose for child bearing and security to the sons and daughters born in the family (where he/she is present/in charge). Another different has it that, ọda ọmụmụ has male and female. While Arọbinagụ contains both male and female.
Arọbinagụ serve purposes of ọda ọmụmụ as well but with more services on wealth and security etc. That made it arụsị Odogwu. It was found in the house of dike ọgụ or Odogwu (warrior or wealthy men) whereas Ọda Ọmụmụ does not cause prosperity and wealth.
Ọda Ọmụmụ can only be seen in a family where the gods fight lives of the people(sons and daughters born to the family). And in most cases where children refused coming to a family or staying after birth.
Arọbinagụ is reason why most family are richer and more wealthy than others in igbo community today. Hence as many as families that have this institution those days are bound to be rich and wealthy upon ritual sacrifices. Because not all family could afford Arọbinagụ, but wealthy families with noble men: some families did not have such till this day. Despite financial ability those days to afford the rituals, some men weren’t after riches and wealth therefore unable to set the path by instituting Arọbinagụ. Moreover, Poor families or clan can’t afford the institution. From time immemorial, not all men were able to carry on with spiritual activities just like nowadays.
Ọda ọmụmụ or Arọbinagụ shrine are those points when you come in a family, you find out that there is a temple where the elders offer ritual sacrifices with goat occasionally. Some arọbinagụ might ask you sacrifice with goat twice a year and with fowl after four eke or orie or afọ market days. Whichever be the market must allign with market day of the community. If the people /community have eke market days, this ritual is observed after four eke market days. Upon this ritual order are more light upon the sons and daughters born in the family. Secret of the wise, most times remains untold!(wisdom of Odogwuakataaka). These are the deeds and acts of the ancient that has gods permit. Mmụọ dike _ the spirits are most powerful.
Imagine what happens when such was removed from its place or been denied off ritual proceedings owing to religion and belief. Why the mighty are falling!