By Romanus Okoye
After about 18 years of rancour and strife, peace seems to have returned to the Eziukwu-Aba Kingdom in Abia State. The community has also revived the long abandoned Eziukwu-Aba Day, which was recently held at the community’s civic centre.
Eziukwu-Aba Kingdom is one of the original owners of the Aba Enyimba City (Aba Metropolis) that includes other towns like Obuda-Aba, Osusu-Aba, Eziama-Aba, Aba-Ukwu and others.
Members of the kingdom from several villages trooped to the venue to be a part of the ceremony. The people danced to the Ikoro cultural music, as they embraced one another in their newfound love.
Declaring that peace had returned to the community, the president-general (PG) of Eziukwu-Aba Autonomous Community, Chijioke Ibenji, described the 2020 Eziukwu-Aba Day celebration as very unique.
“It is the collective wish of the people that they celebrate the restoration of peace and greater harmony, which has eluded their town over a long period of time. The uniqueness of the 2020 celebration can be attested to by the radiant and joyous display of smiling faces witnessed all around the Eziukwu-Aba Civic Centre,” he said.
He acknowledged the intervention of well-meaning indigenes of Eziukwu-Aba, led by Chief Dimgba Ogbonna.
He said: “Chief Ogbonna, with the collaboration of the youths, women and the elders of Eziukwu-Aba, spearheaded the formation of a peace and reconciliation committee that sat over a period and came out with a draft memorandum of understanding signed on August 1, 2020. This MOU paved the way for Eziukwu-Aba’s collective resolve to elect new officers to man the administration of the town’s council and also paved the way for Ibenji’s election as president-general.”
The PG called on the people of Eziukwu-Aba to cooperate with him and his executives. “We have set up a panel saddled with the responsibility of giving the town its next traditional ruler,” he explained.
President of the youths, Hopeson Owuala, pledged that youths would ensure that peace in their land was not truncated by anyone in any form, stressing that the people now have hope for a better tomorrow.
The Crown Prince of Eziukwu-Aba, Prince Chidiebere Ogbonna, advised the committee created for the selection of a new traditional ruler to ensure that the selection is based on merit.
“The Eze-elect must be one that is highly knowledgeable in our tradition and culture and must be well respected among the traditional elite in Igbo land,” he charged.
Chairperson of Eziukwu-Aba Women Association, Mrs. Ego Johnson Aru, noted that: “All the women are glad to see peace restored to the land and will not only ensure its sustenance but ensure it is bearing enduring fruits.”
Also, chairman of the event planning committee, Elder Okechukwu Enwereji, said lack of peace in Eziukwu-Aba has cost the community everything, including the dignity and glory befitting of an ancient kingdom.
“The newfound peace will bring series of development and push the town into the ongoing Igbo Akuruo Ulo Movement,” he noted.