Association of Anambra State Development Union (AASDU), is an association which comprises all the 179 communities in Anambra State. It was founded in 1981. At the time of its establishment, it was meant to bring together the entire south-eastern states in Nigeria, even though Anambra state and Imo state were the only states created at that time.
Subsequently, when other states were created, the need for each state to have their individual association arose and that birthed AASDU, Association of Anambra State Development Union.
Gradually, other eastern states began to form their individual association. For instance; Enugu state has ESDU i.e. Enugu State Development Union.
AASDU has its major branches in Lagos and Abuja. The 179 unions of the association come together to fight a common course- well-fare of Anambra State indigenes in Lagos and Abuja- which is a top priority of the association. Each of these unions has a president general who oversees the affair of the union.
Members of the association are mostly business owners, professionals, and public servants, who are all exceptional in their chosen careers and occupations.
AASDU has different departments in Lagos and Abuja that cater to different things as they concern the members of the association including; mediating between between their members and the locals; intervening on conflicts between their members and the government; and also when members of the association have issues at their places of business, e.tc. Generally, ASSDDU aims to see to the well-fare of all Anambra State indigenes both in the diaspora and those who have come from the state to do business in Lagos while ensuring their safety.
Annually, members of the Association of Anambra State Development Union come together to celebrate and promote peace and love among each other. The event lineups for the annual get-together often comprise the Lecture & Awards Day and Cultural Day.
The essence of the Lecture and Awards Day is to recognize those who have excelled in their various chosen career in Anambra State and have used their positions to exhibit the resilience of Anambra spirit with a focus on three categories; professions and career, business and industry; and philanthropy and charity.
According to the Chairman of the just concluded Anambra Lecture and Awards Day 2022, Barr. Ben Chukwukelu, the awardees are selected, through the Anambra Liaison office in Lagos, by the 179 communities in Anambra state who have agreed that “You are the role model for the coming generations. You are selling the true image of Anambra State. We want to thank you; we want to recognize you so that the coming generation can look at you and then do better than you have done.”
The Award Day also recognizes some friends of Anambra state i.e those who have shown interest in things of Anambra State and have in one way or the other, worked to raise a standard and investments in the sate.
Meanwhile, the Cultural Day hopes to showcase the cultural heritage of the various communities in Anambra state and the cultural richness of Anambra state as a whole. It is an event that brings together the indigenes of all the 179 towns in Anambra State who live in Lagos to achieve a common course- portray Anambra cultural and traditional attributes.
Likewise, the cultural day is an avenue for the sons and daughters of Anambra State born in Lagos to know more about their culture and tradition and also see exactly how these are being portrayed back at home. This will give them the awareness that there is a place they came from.
Speaking on the essence of the cultural day, Barr. Ben. Chukwukelu maintained that it is a way of bringing their children back to their root.
“All these we do in order to inculcate into our children that there is a place they come from and you cannot leave your tradition behind and expect to excel in other things you want to do because it is your tradition and culture that give you direction. If you don’t have that in your mind, you may not get to where you are going easily. That is the essence of the cultural day.”
During the cultural day event, cultural performances by different dance troupes, masquerades and communities are witnessed. It is often a colourful event with men and women of the 179 towns in Anambra state donning traditional attires peculiar to each union.