Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
Price Eberechukwu Oji, on Friday, received Certificate of Recognition and Staff of Office from the Abia State Government as the new Eze Aro.
His recognition seems to have ended the ezeship tussle that has rocked the Aro kingdom for some months now.
Arochukwu kingdom for some months now, has been engulfed in tussle for the traditional stool bytwo candidates.
Two Princes – Pastor Oji, and Godwin Kanu Idei – who presented themselves for evaluation for the throne, had both laid claims to the crown.
Trouble reportedly started when the kingmakers selected Oji but Idei rejected the outcome of the selection process, and claimed Oji was not qualified to ascend the throne on the grounds that his father is still alive.
But the Okennachi kindred (kingmakers), had in a recent press conference, acknowledged Oji as the successful candidate whose selection followed due process.
Presenting the new monarch before the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Prince Uzor Nwachukwu, the Chairman, Board of Patrons, Nzuko Aro worldwide, Professor Okoro Ijeoma, said that the days of tribulation were over.
Professor Ijeoma said that Oji emerged through a transparent process, and had the support of the Aro people.
He thanked the Commissioner and the Abia State Government for their support and efforts in restoring peace in the Aro kingdom.
Presenting the Staff of Office to the new monarch, the Commissioner commended the people of Aro for peacefully resolving the tussle among themselves.
The Commissioner urged them to unite behind their new monarch for the peace and development of the Aro kingdom.
Speaking after receiving the Staff of Office, Eze Oji thanked the Aro people for their support and promised to lead with the fear of God.
He also thanked the State Government for helping to enthrone peace in the kingdom.
The new Eze Aro promised to pursue peace, unity and justice for the well being of the people.
“It’s my desire to pursue unity and absolute balance in everything I do in Arochukwu kingdom. I will be a servant-leader and a listening leader.
“Today is a great day in Arochukwu because in all the places we had taken the backseat, we will now take the front seat. We will provide good leadership to preserve our rich tradition and culture.
“We will provide leadership that exemplifies what God expects of us. We want to make Aro an example of how other Kingdoms will be ruled.
“Wherever Aro people are today in the world, I want them to be filled with a sense of joy and pride that the Aro kingdom is back.
“I call for understanding and unity. I appeal to everyone, who in the course of the process, felt offended. Please, let’s put all these things behind and join hands together to build Arochukwu.”
Later in and interview, the new Eze Aro said he emerged through a transparent process having won five of the seven votes of the selection panel.
On whether Prince Idei had agreed to step down for him, Oji said “there is only one Eze Aro.”
He said he is the only Eze Aro duly recognised to sit on the throne.
Corroborating this assertion, Eze Ibom Isii, who has the traditional right to crown the king, Mazi Amos Okoro, said Oji had been duly crowned the Eze Aro the 9th of Arochukwu, and could not be dethroned.
Speaking also, the President General of Nzuko Aro worldwide, Mazi Dozie Udensi, said Oji had the endorsement of Aro people as their new monarch.
“The process was transparent. The royal family presented the candidates before the kingmakers and the panel voted for him. The ruling house will select an Eze and show us, and that is what they have done.”
Meanwhile, some Aro personalities that accompanied Oji to Umuahia for the ceremony, included the President General of Okennachi kindred (kingmakers), Mazi Udo Chijioke; and the Aria Nzu of Arochukwu who held sway before the emergence of the new Eze Aro, Mazi Oji Kanu Oji.
Other were the Chairman, Board of Patrons, Nzuko Aro worldwide, Professor Okoro Ijeoma; former Spokesman of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mazi Ugo Okoroafor; Dr Azubuike Okoro, Mazi Charles Ijeoma, among others.
The new Eze Aro was also accompanied by a cultural troope from Ohafia.