Arochukwu kingship tussle: Okennachi king makers backs the selection of Prince Oji, says Prince Idei is an imposter


Ogbonnaya Ikokwu, Umuahia

The indigenes of Okennachi kindred in Arochukwu kingdom, Abia State have insisted that the choice of Prince Eberechukwu Oji, as the Eze Aro designate of Arochukwu kingdom remains sacrosanct and concluded.

Speaking during a chat with journalists on Thursday in Arochukwu the President General of the Kingdered Mazi Udo Chijioke, said the kindred which is saddled with the responsibility of selecting a new monarch to fill the Eze Aro stool had performed the function inline with tradition of the community.

Chijioke dismissed a bogus theory and speculations that a Prince whose father is still alive cannot be crowned an Eze Aro, pointing out that the great Aro ancestor Nnachi was alive when his son Oke became the Eze Aro.

He described the purported crowning of Prince Godwin Kanu Idei, who failed at selection process as Eze Aro by the the Eze Ibom Isii Kingdred Mazi Kanu Nwa Kanu on October 20, 2023 as unaccepted by the Kindred and remains null and void.

The Kindred leaders revealed that the entire Arochukwu were worried about the inability of the Okennachi Royal Family to present a new Eze Aro designate more than two years after the burial of His Majesty Mazi Ogbonnaya Okoro who occupied the throne for 25 years.

Chijioke, who was flanked by other leaders of the king making kingdred, added that the Umbrella Town Union in the Kingdom (Nzuko Aro) had mandated the kindred in a letter dated December 23, 2022 to resolve all the lingering issues and present an Eze Aro designate by December 2023.

The community leader pointed out that before the commencement of the selection proceeding, the Okennachi Kindred received a leter dated October 18, 2023, the Eze Ibom Isii Kindred Mazi Kanu Nwa Kanu and Eze Ezeagwu N’Okwaragwu dictating to her “who should become Eze Aro and who should not”, adding that the role of the selection of an Eze Aro is outside the jurisdiction of the Ibom Isii and Eze Ezeagwu N’Okwaragwu

“The action of the duo of Eze Ibom Isii and Eze Ezeagwu N’Okwaragwu was entirely meddlesome and a breach of the independence of the federating Kindreds in Arochukwu. Besides, the action was also in violation of the January 2, 2015 vow entered and signed by Aro traditional rulers and Nzuko Arochukwu Patrons and validated by consent judgement of October 26, 2015 by Justice S.A Nwakanma of Abia State High Court Umuahia… “That No kindred Eze should interfere with the internal village administration and selection of Eze Ogo”, he stated

Chijioke said when all efforts by the kindred to plead with the royal family to produce a consensus candidate did not pay off, the kindred resorted to setting up a seven-man selection committee to resolve the impasse.

He said, “Faced with this situation ,the Okennachi kindred commissioned a group of eminent persons with the mandate to interact with the Princes and broker peace and create the atmosphere to help the Princes come up with a solution on how to give Aro an Eze.

“The effort finally paid off when the older princes agreed that those over 70 years wouldn’t participate.The most senior was also mandated to bless and relinquish claim to the throne however there was still no consensus on who should be Eze Aro as divisions persisted between and among the families.

“When the royal family was unable to agree on a consensus candidate after almost three years ,the Okennachi kindred decided to take the bull by the horn and therefore developed a framework to select an Eze Aro and on September 22, 2023 the report was presented to the princes/representatives of the 3 royal family units.

“The royal families approved the template to be used for the selection and were full of gratitude to the Okennachi kindred for their spirited intervention.However it should be noted that even at the meeting,the royal family units were encouraged to produce a consensus candidate from among themselves before considering the option of selection by the kindred committee.

“The meeting however resolved to pursue the selection only if the three royal families failed to agree on one consensus candidate.A deadline of October 5, 2023 to submit names of their best candidates was set if they didn’t agree on one candidate.Before  October 5 2023 deadline ,Okennachi kindred had received nominations in writing for the throne of Eze Aro.They are Prince Obioha Ogbonna Okoro from Asi Eko Oke,Prince Godwin Idei from Kanu Okoro Oke and Oji Okoro Oke,Prince Oke Kanu Oji and Prince Eberechukwu Oji.

“The two nominees from the Oji Okoro Oke family were told to reconcile and present one candidate which led to Prince Oke Oji stepping down for Prince Eberechukwu Oji to be the preferred candidate of the Oji Okoro family unit.

“A panel of 7 Okennachi sons were constituted by the President General of Okennachi kindred to evaluate the two candidates left.The panel admonished Prince Godwin Idei and Eberechukwu Oji to meet privately and agree on one candidate with a proviso that they would only be evaluated if they failed to reach a consensus.

“On october 18, 2023, when the proceeding resumed,agreement were yet to be reached on a consensus candidate,and therefore the two candidates will be evaluated after which they both promised to support whoever may emerge as winner. Those present were happy and joyous that at least peace will reign in the land.

“After the presentation of their profiles and taking questions from the two candidates the seven-member selection panel did their evaluation and returned a verdict of 5 to 2 in favour of Prince Eberechukwu Oji. In other words, Prince Eberechukwu Oji is the person the Okennachi Kingdered selected as the Eze Aro designate.

“It was therefore in shock and utter disbelief that Okennachi Kingdered learned that Prince Goddy Idei who failed at the selection process ran to Eze Ibom Isii on October 20, 2023 to put what he called Okpu Arunsi on his head and called him Eze Aro.

“This is unheard of in Aro traditional. It is only an abomination, this is pure gangsterism, a total illegality and a nullity. The Eze Aro stool is not for gangsters. Goddy Idei is an imposter since it was not him that the Okennachi Kindred selected to be Eze Aro”.

Others community leaders present during the media chat were the chairman of the Okennachi Eze Aro selection panel Mazi Emma Kanu Ivi, the Eze Ogo Amuvi Arochukwu
Mazi Thomas Okorojir and Mazi Nkem Okoro

The rest were the representative of the Okennachi in diaspora Mazi Dr Chima Dike, a member of the selection committee Mazi Princewill Chima Okoro and
Mazi Okoro Eni Nwaka.