Finally on 2nd January 2015, Aro Leaderships (in this case, Nzuko Aro National Patrons and Aro traditional Leaders) signed a very important document that has successfully put to rest certain conflicting issues that had hitherto almost torn Aro kingdom apart. Before then, for a very long time, there existed a sad environment of hate or unfriendly relationships among the Aro royalties which later led to Nde Eze Ogo Aro instituting a court case against Eze Ibom Isii, Eze Ezeagwu, & some others. The peace which was lacking finally prevailed as Nzuko Aro Patrons intervened in the rifts and got the case withdrawn from the court for out of court arbitration by some experienced Aro leaders through effective honest dialogue. That was indeed a good move at its best and the right thing to do by the patrons. The patrons commended both warring parties and their lawyers who through their consent and support made the efforts of the Patrons became a huge success.
This has confirmed my persistent views, that Aros, as much as it is possible, will love to resolve most of their internal traditional and or civil matters at any Ogbiti Aro rather than exposing themselves unnecessarily in any court of law. Aros when severely challenged by internal conflicts will try to apply wisdom and honest dialogue in settling any conflicting issues among themselves.
So I always like to say that “Ndi-Aro na’akpa isi’okwu, wo anagi ese’okwu”. That they believe in dialogue (jaw, jaw), not in war, war. Consequently, In misunderstandings, Aros may strongly argue among themselves and even challenge each other; but they are always wiling to settle down, discuss all the issues and finally agree to resolve them amicably. Obviously it is cheaper and better to settle certain cases out of court through effective arbitrations. Going to court may even breed more enmity and create more problems than it sets out to solve. Ordinarily, one may win a case in the court of law but he or she may not be able to win the peace that is most needed.
However, that is not to say that going to law courts to resolve certain critical cases especially those with criminal implications is not inevitable. All I am trying to say is that it is often cheaper and more peace effective to resolve through sincere dialogue certain civil and traditional matters at Ogbiti Aro by tested experienced Aro leaders than going to any formal law court to settle them.
One may want to know what really led Nde Eze Ogo Aro to institute that court case against Eze Ibom Isii (Mazi Kanu Nwa-Kanu) and Eze Ezeagwu (Mazi Okorafor Uroh) in the first place? In summary, Nde Eze Ogo strongly believed and they claimed among many other things: That the two Kindred Ezes were not respecting the higher authority of Eze Aro who is the Paramount ruler of Aro kingdom. That the two kindred Ezes were harassing and embarrassing them with armed policemen whenever they Nde Eze Ogo scheduled to hold their meetings at Oror. That they wanted the two kindred Ezes and their supporters to appreciate and recognize the fact that they Nde Eze Ogo have their fundamental human rights of freedom of speech, association and meetings to protect. That the two kindred Ezes and their supporters should also appreciate and recognize the independence of each Aro village in selecting its own village head without any interference by any kindred Eze or by any other external influence. And so they went to the court of law to sort out all these among other issues. They had also made huge financial claims as damages against the kindred Ezes for abuse of the fundamental human rights of Nde Eze Ogo among other claims.
There is this Igbo adage that says: “Eziokwu bu Ndu”. That literally means: truth is life; it is also sacred. Truth is really an essential ingredient in any peace making exercise and or in resolving intricate matters such as the above. Nzuko Aro Patrons, in intervening in the Aro royalties conflicts, went into the matter with the ‘truth is sacred’ principle in mind. Several meetings of the Nzuko Aro patrons with the royalties principally involved in the matter were held at Prof Okoro Ijoma’s residence in Arochukwu to deliberate over all the critical issues that led to the crises.
Nzuko Aro were represented by its President General, Mazi Nnamdi Udoh, Secretary General, Mazi Ernie Onwumere and the Legal Adviser, Barr Steeve Amaramiro. They recorded the proceedings of the meetings. The Patrons and all others who singed the attached document attended the meetings. During the deliberations, Nde Eze Ogo Aro, articulated their case, views and demands in writing while the kindred Ezes presented theirs orally. Eze Aro was duly represented. Various questions were asked. And various manner of answers were thrown in depending on the side one leaned. Heated arguments and debates followed. Divisions were very clear at the beginning. And that was not really strange as such actions are usually normal occurrences in community arbitration sessions such as the one we found ourselves in. But most importantly, reason and peace finally ensued at the end of it all. As Love for peace in the kingdom became the most central issue. Truth emerged and almost everybody was willing and determined to embrace it in order to embrace the much needed peace. Besides, Eze Ibom Isii (Mazi Kanu Nwa Kanu), Eze Agbagwu (Mazi Elder Onoh) and Eze Amukwa (Mazi Nwosu Bassey Nwosu) were all reconciled. The three are all principal parties of Ibom Isii kindred. At the end of it all, most of us were happy because truth had eventually prevailed over falsehood; light finally overtook darkness and peace among the royalties was relatively restored.
After all the deliberations, all the agreed key issues were properly articulated, documented and signed by all the principal concerned leaders and or their due representatives. But it took Eze Ibom Isii almost one month to sign his column after all the others have duly signed. Interestingly, that document has now become a very important working reference paper in Aro kingdom governance library. It shall from now on always serve as a key reference material to resolving independence of Eze ogo issues in Aro villages as well as giving directions in relationships amongst the Aro royalties and in resolving various other similar critical conflicting issues in Aro kingdom. Very soon that duly signed document will actually become a court consent judgement. And it is hereby published for all interested parties to see, possess and preserve for posterity. Please read on.