King Makers Move to Resolve Coronation Impasse in Abia Community

King Makers Move to Resolve Coronation Impasse in Abia Community

Emmanuel Ugwu-Nwogo in Umuahia

With the lingering impasse over the coronation of a new king for the Arochukwu Kingdom in Abia State, elders of Okennachi kindred, the traditional kingmakers of the kingdom, have taken steps to resolve the issue.

The kingmakers stated their position at the weekend at a press conference at Amuvi Arochukwu, saying they stood by the outcome of the selection process which had produced Prince Eberechukwu Orji as the Eze Aro-designate.

The President-General of Okennachi kindred, Mazi Udo Chijioke, who addressed journalists on behalf of the kindred, insisted that the Eze Aro-designate, Prince Orji, emerged through a transparent process.

He also absolved the state Governor, Alex Otti, of having a hand in the impasse created by the tussle for the Aro kingship crown and the botched coronation ceremony which had raised tension in Arochukwu kingdom to boiling point.

Chijioke said Otti should even be commended for his quick intervention which averted a potential bloodshed in Aro Kingdom had the planned coronation ceremony gone ahead in December.

He explained the process through which Prince Orji emerged as the Eze Aro-designate, noting that his emergence was transparent and followed due process in line with the traditional succession of the kingdom.

The selection of a new Aro king had been enveloped by controversy as two princes of the royal family had emerged, each claiming to be the authentic Eze Aro-designate.

The tussle got complicated when one of the contenders, Mazi Godwin Kanu Idei, was crowned by the Eze Ibom Isii, who is vested with the traditional responsibility of putting the crown on the head of Eze Aro-designate.

But Chijioke dismissed the “crowning” exercise as futile since it was not based on the result of the selection process, pointing out that apart from Prince Orji, any other person laying claims to the throne, “is an imposter.”

He stated that the selection of the new Aro king “followed the traditional process and endorsed by the three Otusi that make-up Okennachi (whose decision) is final and irrevocable, thus cannot be revisited or reopened under any guise.”

Chijioke expressed the displeasure of the kingmakers over unsavoury development given that the two candidates, Prince Oji and Prince Idei, who were nominated by their respective family units, had agreed to the terms of the selection process.

“Both pledged to support whoever emerged winner and consummated the covenant with a traditional libation conducted at the “Ukwu Ovo”, the ancestral holy place of Arochukwu, by the eldest of the royal family, Prince Oji Kanu Oji.”

According to the Okennachi PG, the result of the selection process announced on October 18, 2023, showed that Prince Orji got five endorsements while Prince Idei received two from the seven-man selection committee.

He said with the 5:2 outcome in favour of Orji, he remains the Eze Aro-designate, warning of dire consequences should anybody dare the ancestral spirits by denigrating the Aro royal throne.

Chijioke expressed shock and dismay over the “misrepresentation of facts by certain individuals and their sponsors,” adding that the time-honoured succession tradition of the ancient kingdom.

“It has been a slew of rehashed falsehood, accusations, calumny and damaging misrepresentations propagated against the Okennachi kindred for the emergence of Prince Eberechukwu Oji as the Eze Aro-designate,” he lamented.

However, the inability of the royal family to present a consensus candidate to ascend the throne, two years after the king joined his ancestors, prompted the Nzuko Arochukwu (Umbrella Town Union) to ask the Okennachi kindred to activate the selection process.

Related Articles