Thousands Of Aros Gathers In Unity To Welcome Their Detained Eze, Points Finger On Alex Otti Led Government As Having Hands In His Detention

Nnadozie Victor

In an unforeseen turn of events on Friday, 5th January 2024, the peaceful ambiance of Arochukwu Kingdom was disrupted as the Palace of Eze Aro, His Majesty Eze Godwin Kanu Idei Kanu Okoro Oke, became the focal point of a dramatic episode involving the Nigeria Police Force. Armed with arrest warrants alleging felony, impersonation, and acts breaching peace, over 60 stern-faced police personnel in ten trucks descended upon the palace, holding everyone within hostage for over four hours.

The tumultuous situation took a toll on the King's mother, affecting her health. Despite the distressing circumstances, His Majesty voluntarily followed the police to Umuahia, accompanied by Aro volunteers and subjects. The ensuing events unfolded over the weekend, marked by lengthy bureaucratic delays at the Commissioner of Police office and subsequent transfer to the State Criminal and Investigation Department (SCID) at Uzuakoli road.

The night at SCID saw Eze Aro confronting a petition authored by Mr. Paul Ogubunka, the Abia State Solicitor General and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice, representing Governor Alex Otti's government. His Majesty responded to each allegation, only to find himself remanded, with attempts to secure bail proving futile on Saturday due to stringent conditions.

The decision to charge him to court on Monday was met with compliance, and Eze Aro faced the Chief Magistrate Court at Ikot Ekpene Road, Umuahia. The court granted him bail on self-recognition with a surety on liberal terms, adjourning the trial to a later date. His alleged crimes, surprisingly, stemmed from a peaceful online New Year Day message and his praise for the Governor, along with the Aro people's warm reception on December 29, 2023.

For Eze Godwin Kanu Idei Kanu Okoro Oke, the ordeal was a sacrifice for the liberation of Arochukwu Kingdom from perceived oppression. Despite the emotional and physical trauma, he dedicated the court ruling's dividends to Umu Aro, emphasizing that the price for Arochukwu's liberation was a burden worth bearing.

The triumphant homecoming of Eze Aro on Monday, after three days of detention, was met with unprecedented joy and affection. The 19 villages, led by Eze Ibom Isii and Eze Ezeagwu, trekked over two kilometers to welcome him, creating an atmosphere of love and celebration. Over 5,000 Aros, still at home after the Christmas and New Year period, joined in the festivities upon his arrival in Amuvi village.

Indigenous sentiments strongly condemned the arrest, attributing it to Governor Alex Otti. The Aro people expressed their dissatisfaction, vowing to reciprocate the perceived injustice. They criticized the Governor's involvement, highlighting the limited time he has left in office compared to the lifelong tenure of Eze Aro. Emphasizing the importance of upcoming elections, they pledged allegiance to any candidate endorsed by Eze Aro, issuing a warning to the Governor to reconsider his actions for the sake of his own longevity.

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