Following the crisis over who occupies the Eze Aro stool in Arochukwu council area of Abia State, Governor Alex Otti has said he has no interest in who becomes the Eze Aro of the kingdom.
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has accused Otti of being behind the crisis and trying to impose one of the candidates on the throne, Eze Aro.
However, the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Prince Uzor Nwachukwu, has dismissed the allegation that the governor has a preferred candidate for the stool.
Nwachukwu, who disclosed this at Government House, Umuahia, explained that Otti has no interest but is only trying to ensure that people obey the laws they made themselves as well as ensure peace in the kingdom.
He said, “The Governor of Abia State, Dr. Alex Otti, does not have any interest in who emerges as Eze Aro. Governor Otti has no interest in who becomes the Eze Aro; he has no interest in the process. He is only trying to ensure that the people obey the laws they instituted themselves.
“The key interest of the governor is to ensure peace and tranquilly in all the communities in Abia State.
“What the government is trying to do is ensure a peaceful and harmonious existence in every community according to the laid-down rules and laws.
These rules and procedures for who emerges as Eze Aro were enacted by the people, not the government, and they submitted them as part of their laws, saying that these are the laws that govern our community.”
“The government is not trying to mandate them to do something different from their own rules.”
The Commissioner also stated that the Governor has made several personal commitments to ensure the peaceful resolution of the matter.
His Excellency called these people and said, ‘Okay, look, why don’t you sit down and resolve your issues?’ The two people came together, but they were unable to resolve their issues. They went back and fixed different dates for coronation; one fixed his own on the 24th, the other on the 26th, and the government said both of you cannot go ahead.
If the governor has any interest, he would have told his preferred candidate to go ahead and hold the coronation.”
Nwachukwu further noted that he wrote a letter to the police, and the two individuals involved were forced to reconsider their positions, stressing that one of them still went ahead and had his coronation done in secret.
He also stated that the scenario in the Eze Aro tussle was that, for an Eze Aro to emerge, he must emerge from any of the families that could produce a king.
There are two families in contention in this instance, and once the kingmaker screens those who have presented themselves, whoever they choose, they now present to the ‘Eze Ibom Isii’ whose duty is to do the crowning.
“The duty of Eze Ibom Isii is to do the crowning; his duty is not to choose. Now the committee, whose duty it is to do the selection, has finished with its selection. They had a candidate, but the candidate they produced was not the one that Eze Ibom Isii chose to crown. So, at the time that the Eze Ibom Isii chose the candidate against the people whose traditional authority was to produce a candidate, they raised alarm and wrote a petition to the government.
“It was at that point that a petition was written that the government told the Eze Ibom Isii to suspend what he was doing and go back to the process and follow the procedure as established by the tradition of his people, which he flouted. When Eze Ibom Isii failed to rescind his decision, he was suspended by the government according to law.
“Based on his refusal to rescind his decision and to settle allegations that were being created, the Arochukwu government established an administrative panel of inquiry to look into the matter. The panel has concluded its assignment and submitted its report to the government, who would study it and come up with a white paper.”