On December 27, 2019, His Royal Highness King Eze Eronini of Nigeria decreed official Chieftaincy of the Awo-Mbieri Ancient Kingdom in the Imo State of Nigeria to Patagonian Dr. John David Arnold during the king’s First Coronation Anniversary Ceremony, attended by hundreds of Kingdom followers and dignitaries.
At the ceremony Dr. Arnold was awarded the title of Enyioha 1, which means “friend to everyone.” The award of Chieftaincy is not honorary, but a registered appointment with the Kingdom’s Secretariat and the Nigerian government. The title comes with ongoing humanitarian responsibilities.
In 2008 Dr. Arnold started traveling to Nigeria, where he began a micro-business loan program and supported a pre-school for the inner-city children of Owerri. He helped construct the school’s building from a cement brick wall that was extended and roofed to become classrooms for over 100 children. He also helped establish a sports program and install a security system protecting 500 vulnerable students at the Owerri Deaf and Mute School.
Since the Chieftaincy appointment, Dr. Arnold has established a sports academy for boys and girls for soccer and volleyball, the objective being to empower young women through sports as well as provide an activity to keep the young men off the streets and drugs.
He is also setting up a supply chain to provide re-purposed medical equipment and supplies out of his organization’s warehouse in Tucson. Later this year a cargo container of medical supplies will be sent to stock the local clinics that lack even the most basic supplies. Dr. Arnold’s wife, Nayaa, is involved with diabetes education and prevention programs in her home country of Ghana and is planning to replicate them in the Nigerian Kingdom.
Recently, Dr. Arnold was informed that his Chieftaincy Royal Throne is being shipped to Arizona. Though it will be housed at a museum recognized by the Smithsonian, it will be on loan to Grayce’s Gift Shop soon, where it will complement the unique arts, crafts and jewelry made by African women artisans. HRH Eronini has visited Patagonia twice, and some of the jewelry crafted by his daughter, Princess Chinyere, is displayed at Grayce’s.
Dr. Arnold also holds similar royal titles in Ghana as a Nana, and in Cameroon as Moh Ntoh or ‘Prince of the Palace.’
Dr. Arnold is known locally as the son of the late Grayce Arnold. He keeps Grayce’s Gift Shop open in her honor. He is also the Founder and CEO of PPEP Inc., a Portable, Practical Educational Preparation charter school system originally dedicated to improving the quality of life for farm workers and rural poor.
To learn more about Chief Arnold’s lifetime humanitarian work, visit www.ppep.org.