One ancient and popular tree in Abiriba normally called Okpu Achị community fell down today sparking mixed reactions among Abiriba people and citizens alike.
If you’re from Abiriba or have been to Abiriba for a visit in Abia state, you will come across a ginormous Achị Tree, commonly known as Okpu Achị meaning ancient Achị tree in Igbo.
Abiriba community is located in Ohafia Local Government Area of Abia State. Popularly referred to as small London, Abiriba is one of the finest, if not the finest villages in the whole of Igboland. It boasts of well built and exotic edifices, mansions and resorts.
However, at the centre of this flourishing community, lies an ancient and sacred tree. The tree is said to be the cradle of civilisation in Abiriba land. To Abiriba people, the tree is shrouded in mystery. It is both symbolic and spiritual. It is highly revered and celebrated in the whole community.
Sometime ago, Ndukwe Dike Kalu, a former Professional Footballer in America and s successful radio personality, once said, “Whenever I am lost, I look for the Achi Tree and I know where I am.” This depicts how venerated the Okpu Achi is.
According to reports, Okpu Achị is the symbol of unity and peace in Abiriba. Its strategic location at the centre of the community, its gigantic nature, the age long stories that make deify it, the stop over of corpses at its location and for the fact that it is called the Isi Ụzọ (Central way) in Abiriba just distinguished the relic.
Today, the Okpu Achị in all its glory fell mysteriously. The tree is apparently old and has stood for as long as Abiriba people lived in Abiriba. Its fall might be as a result of dieback and old age.
What really caught people’s attention after its fall was some padlocks hanging loosely from the trunk of the tree. There were speculations that those padlocks were used to cage many destinies in Abiriba. This discovery resulted in celebration across quarters in the community as people praised the name of God for pulling down the stronghold that has ruined lives in Abiriba.
However, a proud son of Abiriba has evaluated the spiritual significance of the fall of Okpu Achi. According to him, there was a time some branches of the Okpu were yanked off by ferocious. The aftermath of it resulted in bloodshed, hostility, disunity and lack of progress in Abiriba. Till date, Abiriba is still battling these issues.
Now that the Achi has fallen, who knows the catastrophe that would befall Abiriba? It’s really a bad omen for the ancient kingdom and as such, they must arise and do something fast to remove the hand of the monkey from the pot of soup before it changes to a human hand.
The tree even fell on a bus. I’m glad no live was lost.