Eze Uzu Awka, His Imperial Majesty, Obi Austin Ndigwe yesterday celebrated the Otochal Awka Day with a call on Nigerians to embrace peace and unity in the New Year as a way to ensure economic and political advancement in the country.
Speaking at this year’s Otachal Awka Day celebration in Awka, which attracted dignitaries from Anambra State and across the country, Igwe Ndigwe observed that it was only through peaceful coexistence that Nigeria can develop its human resources and economic potentialities.
Obi Ndigwe remarked that Awka ancient kingdom has been known for her love for peace and unity, emphasising that the kingdom will continue to uphold unity and tranquility.
The traditional ruler of Awka prayed for the uplift of Awka indigenes and Nigerians in general in the years ahead.
He wondered why some people in high places are creating a non-existing picture of threat to peace in Awka, warning that any attempt by any individual or government to sow seeds of discord or hatred in Awka kingdom will be highly resisted.
Ndigwe gave assurance that his reign will bring peace, progress and unity in the entire Awka kingdom, while giving assurance that all avenues through which the due for Awka indigenes were blocked have been opened through the joint efforts of committed sons and daughters of Awka ancient kingdom.
The peaceful celebration of the Otochal Awka Day yesterday put to lie the alarm raised by the Anambra State government over threat to peace in relation to the ceremony.
The state government had, in a statement by the Secretary to the State Government, said there was a threat to peace following alleged parallel Ofala scheduled by Igwe Ndigwe and Igwe Nwosu, who is also laying claim to the Awka throne.
The state government said it recognised only Igwe Nwosu.
However, in a counter-statement, Otochal Awka said that Igwe Nwosu was impeached and dethroned, while the kingmakers chose and crowned Igwe Ndigwe as new traditional ruler of Awka.
The Otochal Awka, who is the oldest man in the town, said that Igwe Ndigwe was not celebrating Ofala, as there is no such ceremony in Awka kingdom.
He said that the traditional ruler was rather celebrating Otochal Awka Day, as mark of honour for the oldest man in Awka, which was what held successfully yesterday according to tradition.