Raymond Ozoji, Awka
Awka kingdom is renowned for its ingenuity and craft in local technology and innovation. Historical records reveal that the town is proficient in the making of guns and other weapons that could be deployed for Internal and external defence.
The dexterity and technical know-how of Awka town in blacksmithing together with other hand-made materials cannot be over-stressed as history records that the gate in Burkingham palace London was crafted by an Awka indigene. Though Awka is not too big a town when compared to other towns in Anambra state and by extension, the entire southeast, it has gained global recognition and acceptance for its ingenuity and industry in the transformation of metallic substances to useful materials and objects for the benefit of mankind.
It is for this and some other reasons that Chief Emmanuel Nweke, an Awka-born Maritime expert and politician, sought to X-ray the need for government to take advantage of the inventiveness and natural proclivity of the Awka people especially in the making of light and heavy weapons to establish factories in Awka for the aforementioned purposes. Nweke who spoke with our correspondent in his country home Awka said there was a special God-given area peculiar to Awka people. He said they are highly proficient in craftsmanship, pointing out that it is no longer news that Awka people are blacksmiths known all over the world such that the European nations have discovered them as well as learnt a few things from them in terms of creating useful things all over the world today.
Nweke also said that it is no longer news anymore that Awka people are known manufacturers of all kinds of guns and also make materials used for farming adding that Awka has a special place in the southeast. He therefore stated that should government leaverage on the ingenuity of Awka people, a lot would be achieved with local technology. He however observed that government imports virtually every material used for internal and external defence but made case for the establishment of factories in Awka so that raw materials can be harnessed from within.
According to him, today some places are being founded up because they manufacture guns and some other equipment, noting that it was time government helped to expand the manufacturing of those things from light to heavy weapons and that it takes representatives to bring such issues to the frontburner of public discuss especially as it concerns what is possible with their respective communities.
Nweke explained that with strong and virile representation, issues of rural and community development will be accorded priority attention for government to know that natural resources abound in the rural communities that can be harnessed and deployed effectively for national development.
He further explained that while government spent billions to procure light and heavy weapons, such resources could be ploughed back to the development of local technology as obtained in Awka kingdom, where the people deploy natural talent in the making of industrial and household items. According to him, should the federal, state and local government authorities pay attention to the blacksmithing industry as well as the ingenuity in craftsmanship in Awka, it will not only increase the Gross Domestic Products of the state and Internally Generated Revenue, it will equally create employment opportunities for people in the state and boost the entire economy.