OTTI HAS NO INTEREST IN WHO BECOMES EZE ARO – COMMISSIONER
The Abia State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Prince Uzor Nwachukwu has dismissed the insinuation that Governor Alex Otti has a prefered candidate in the Eze Aro enthronement tussle in Arochukwu LGA of the State.
Prince Nwachukwu made the clarification while addressing the press in Government House Umuahia in company of the Commissioner for Information and Culture Prince Okey Kanu and other members of the Executive Council who rose from the maiden New Year Executive Council meeting chaired by Governor Alex Otti OFR. He said,
“His Excellency, the Governor of Abia State, Dr. Alex Otti does not have any interest in who emerges as Eze Aro. Governor Allex 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 by themselves”
According to him, the key nterest of the Governor is to ensure peace and tranquility in all the communuties in Abia State. He stated that,
“What the government is trying to do is to ensure peaceful and harmonious existence in every community according to the laid down rules and laws. These rules and the procedures of who emerges as Eze Aro, they were enacted by the people, not the government and they submitted it as part of their laws that these are the laws that govern our community.” He added that the government is not trying to mandate them to do something different from their own rules.
The Commissioner, who recalled the personal commitments of Governor Otti to the peaceful settlement of the matter noted that , at a point,
“His Excellency called these people, said, okay look, why don’t you sit down and resolve your issues? And the two people came together and they were unable to resolve their issues. They went back and fixed different dates for coronation , one fixed his own on 24th the other on 26th and government said both of you cannot go ahead.”
He said, if the Governor has any interest, he would have told his preferred candidate to go ahead to hold coronation. Prince Nwachukwu further said that he wrote a letter to the Police and the two individuals involved were forced to reconsider their positions, regretting that , even at that, one of them still went ahead and had his coronation done in the secret.
The Commissioner narrated the scenario in the Eze Aro tussle and said that, for an Eze Aro to emerge , he must emerge from any of the families that could produce a king. He explained that,
“There are two families in contention in this instance, and once the king makers screen 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 the Eze Ibom Isii is to do the crowning ,his duty is not to choose. Now the committee ,whose duty is to do the selection, finished with their selection. They had a candidate but the candidate they produced was not the one that the Eze Ibom Isii chose to crown. So at the time that the Eze Ibom Isii chose the candidate as against the people whose traditional authority was to produce a candidate, they raised alarm and wrote a petition to the Government.”
Prince Nwachukwu maintained that, 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. He said when the Eze Ibom Isii failed to rescind his decision , he was suspended by government according to law, adding that based his refusal to rescind his decision and to settle allegations that were been created in Arochukwu government established an administrative panel of inquiry to look into the matter. He informed that the panel has concluded its assignment and has submitted its report to the government, who would study it and come up with a white paper.
Azubuike Jinanwa/Divine Nwankwo
Govt. House Press, Umuahia.