Tag Archives: Eze Aro

Tributes as indigenes, others bid Eze Aro farewell

It was a moment of solemnity amidst deluge of outpouring, day indigenes, friends and well-wishers of Arochukwu and the entire kingdom bid farewell to late Eze Ogbonnaya Okoro popularly known as Eze Aro.At the final burial rites on Monday, April 5, 2021, both the young and old were at their best in display as the remains of Eze Aro were eventually interred.One by one, the indigenes of Arochukwu in Arochukwu local government area of Abia state took turns to eulogise the lives and times of the departed first class Traditional Ruler.The Chairman, Aro National Rites of Passage Committee, Prof. Okoro Ijeoma, described the deceased king as highly talented, educated, relaxed and very respectful.He said the late traditional ruler sacrificed a lot for the peace of his community.Prof. Okoro used the occasion to draw the attention of the federal government on the deplorable state of Arochukwu/Ohafia highway.He said the completion of the road would be the best way to immortalise the highly respected late Monarch.”We have had a road which is in despair and it was one of those agonies that faced him when he was alive and we want a lasting legacy for the road to be fixed to honour him, because that is how we can grow economically and socially,” he said.Also speaking, a two-time governorship candidate of All Progressives Grand Alliance now one of the top APC leaders in Abia state Dr Alex Otti who chaired the burial event commended the chairman of the National Committee on the burial rites of passage and committees for working so hard to organise a befitting burial for the Aro monarch. He also thanked Aro sons and daughters both at home and in the diaspora for their huge financial contributions to the burial and encouraged them to maintain the spirit of unity engendered by the event.”He remarked that the entire Aro people are consoled by the legacies the late Eze Aro left behind. Dr. Otti then prayed to God to show him mercy and grant his soul eternal rest, while calling on the immediate family of the deceased and the entire Aro kingdom to bear the loss with fortitudeConvener of the New Nigeria Group, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, said the late Eze Aro loved his community and Nigeria at large.He said, “Late Mazi Ogbonnaya Okoro, preached peace and collective responsibility towards the development of his community while on the throne. Each time we visited him, he will tell us that the crown he was wearing was also on our heads, therefore we must work hard to protect it.”He wanted all of us to be involved in seeking the peace, progress and development of the Arochukwu Kingdom.“He never demanded anything from anyone, he was content with what he had. He was an extraordinary king, one would have expected him to be more demanding but he wasn’t.Born on Monday, March 6, 1932, Mazi Ogbonnaya Okoro, he ascended the famous Eze Aro throne in 1995 and his reign witnessed tremendous transformation of the kingdom and growth in inter-communal relations.Among other positions, Eze Ogbonnaya Okoro, was a first-class traditional ruler and occupied one of the ancient traditional stools in Nigeria and was the custodian of the Aro heritage worldwide.He passed on after a protracted illness.

Immortalise  Eze Aro with quality road, Arochukwu indigenes appeal to FG

By Steve Oko

The people of Arochukwu ancient kingdom in Abia State have passionately appealed to the Federal Government to expedite action towards the completion of the Arochukwu/Ohafia Federal highway to immortalise their deceased monarch, Eze Ogbonnaya Okoro (Eze Aro).

Chairman Aro National Rites of Passage Committee, Prof. Okoro Ijeoma, who made the appeal during an event marking the royal rites of passage of the late monarch, decried the deplorable condition of the colonial road.

Following the sorry-state of the road, a trip from Umuahia the state capital which ordinarily should take one hour now takes about three hours.

Arochukwu has produced many emminent personalities including the Ikokwus, the Ohuabunwas, and many others but the only federal road linking the ancient town with other communities in Igbo land has been delapidated for decades.

Professor Ijeoma begged the federal government to give the town which he described as the cradle of Igbo civilisation, a sense of belonging by rebuilding their only access road.

He described the late monarch

as “a highly talented, educated, very respectful king who sacrificed a lot for the peace of his community.”

His words: “We have had a road which is in despair and it was one of those agonies that faced him when he was alive and we want as a lasting legacy for the road to be fixed to honour him, because that is how we can grow economically and socially.”

In his tribute, convener of the New Nigeria Group, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, described the late Eze Aro as a patriotic monarch who emptied himself for his subjects.

“Late Mazi Ogbonnaya Okoro, preached peace and collective responsibility towards the development of his community while on the throne.

Speaking also, former Speaker ECOWAS Parliament, Senator Mao Ohuabunwa, described the late Eze Aro as man of great wisdom who left indelible imprint on the sands of time.

Similarly, a security expert, Chief Chikwe Udensi, described the late monarch as “an epitome of Arochukwu culture and tradition.”

He said his demise was a big blow to his subjects, adding that his people had only taken solace in the fact that he lived a life of service to his people.

Born in 1932, the late monarch trained in the United Kingdom as a Medical Laboratory Scientist.

He returned to Nigeria and worked at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where he was involved in the production of Nigeria’s first cholera vaccine in 1971 together with the renowned Professor of Virology and former President of the Nigerian Academy of Science, Prof. Augustine Njoku-Obi.

He was the pioneer head of the Department of Laboratory Technology at the University of Nigeria Teaching hospital, Enugu.

“He retired as the Chief Medical Laboratory Scientist at the UNN in 1988 to ascend the throne.

Eze Ogbonnaya Okoro ascended the famous Eze Aro throne in 1995 and reigned for 25 years before his demise last year.

He was a first-class traditional ruler and occupied one of the ancient traditional stools in Nigeria and was the custodian of the Aro heritage worldwide.

HAPPENING NOW: Eze Aro, the king of Arochukwu kingdom returns to his ancestors +PHOTOS

The king of Arochukwu ancient kingdom in Abia State, Mazi Vincent Ogbonnaya Okoro (Eze Aro) will join his ancestors fully today, April 5, 2021.

The climax of programmes marking the #EzeAroRoyalExit is also currently taking place at Eze Aro Palace, and Arochukwu Civic Centre, both in Oror, Arochukwu.

Sons and daughters of the kingdom, at home and abroad are fully on ground to accord the Eze full honour as he journeys to the land of our ancestors.

Jungle Journalist Media Ltd is fully on ground and brings you photos from the royal burial ceremony.


Eze Aro-History of a Great African King, Mazi Vincent Ogbonnaya Okoro

This is a biography of His Majesty, Mazi Vincent Ogbonnaya Okoro, CFR, Eze Aro, 1995 – 2020.

Mazi Vincent Ogbonnaya Okoro was born on Monday, March 6, 1932 into the family of Mazi Okoro Asi Eko of Arochukwu ruling house. At an early age of 6 years, he was enrolled at the Jubilee School, founded, by an educationist and nationalist, Mazi T. K. Utchay and later transferred to Aggrey Primary School, both schools in Arochukwu.

He was set to move again. His maternal uncle, F. C. Okoronkwo, a young graduate of Fourah Bay College, Sierra Leone was appointed to nurture a new institution, Olu-Iwa College, Ijebu Ode. He sent for young Vin, as he was fondly called, and his younger brother, Nelson, for them to join him and continue their education. After his primary school education, he proceeded to Ibadan Boys’ High School for his secondary education. Young Vin excelled, not only in academic work but also in sports. He was a member of Ibadan Boys’ First Eleven and very popular among the secondary schools around because of his exploits in soccer. He mixed up very well at school and this partly accounted for his impeccable knowledge of the Yoruba language, and customs. He often looked back to those early days in Yorubaland with nostalgia. After his secondary education, he started his early working career at the Faculty of Agriculture, University College, Ibadan as a laboratory technician. Perhaps, his experience there informed his future vocation.

Like many young ambitious men of his generation, he took private tuition to qualify for admission into British tertiary institutions. In 1960, he left for the United Kingdom for the opportunities available for the fulfilment of his vast potentials. Luckily, there was a number of Aro people who had encouraged him to join them, and they made him feel at home in an entirely new environment. While in the UK, he faced his studies with great determination and focus. In the end, he gave a good account of himself. Among the awards, certificates and fellowships he earned or conferred on him included:

1. Advanced Certificate in Microbiological Techniques of City and Guilds, London.

2. Advanced Certificate in Laboratory Administration of City and Guilds, London.

3. Fellow, Institute of Science Technology London (FIST).

4. Associate Diploma, Institute of Medical Laboratory Technology, London.

5. Associate, Institute of Medical Laboratory, Sciences of Nigeria.

6. Member, Royal Society of Health of England.

7. Member, Birth Society for General Microbiology.

8. Commander of the Federal Republic (CFR) in November 2000.

9. Certificate of U. S. Congressional recognition.

10. West African Merit Award.

11. Millennium Award of Excellence.

12. Certificate of Recognition by the Mayor of District of Columbia, U. S.

13. Certificate of Recognition by the U.S. Director of African Affairs.

14. Certificate of Recognition by the Governor of the State of Maryland, U.S.

15. Certificate of Recognition by the County Executive of Prince George’s County, U.S.

He also had a number of scientific papers published in learned journals. The late Eze Aro was also a man of letters, quite often discussing history and literature.

Having achieved so many laurels in his chosen field, he came back home just before the civil war and participated in the War Effort of his kinsmen and women. He joined Enugu General Hospital which later became Enugu Specialist Hospital. With the introduction of the Faculty of Medicine at The University of Nigeria, the Specialist Hospital became the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital. The future Eze Aro was made the pioneer Head of its Laboratory Dept. Eventually, he transferred his services to the Microbiology Dept. of the College of Medicine, working under the famous Professor of Microbiology, Prof Njoku Obi.

With the death of a previous Eze Aro in 1987, he was presented to the Aro Kingdom as their new Eze in 1988. After a period of interregnum, he was crowned as the new Eze Aro on May 31, 1995. Being a man of peace and humility, much of the period of his reign witnessed peace and harmony, progress and tremendous physical infrastructure. One of the first actions he took on ascension to the throne, was to create an Advisory Council under the chairmanship of Late Engr. Mathias Okoro. The members were drawn from leading citizens in the homeland and in diaspora and the Council met regularly to consider burning issues and offer necessary advice. He reconstituted Okpankpo Aro, the highest traditional governmental institution in Aro. On two occasions during his reign, Nzuko Aro advised His Majesty on the ways to strengthen the Okpankpo institution. Being the listening Eze that he was, he took immediate steps to implement the advice, consistent with the changing times. From time to time, he set up ad hoc committees to look into complaints that could hinder the smooth running of the kingdom. When Nzuko Aro inaugurated All Aro National Conference in 1996 to help cater for the interest of all Aro people wherever they may be, Eze Aro was a leading apostle. He attended the conference held in Aro in 1996, Aro Ndizuogu in 2000, Ajalli in 2005 and Owerri in 2011.

One of the achievements of his reign is the public marking of the Anglo-Aro War. In the first meeting of the Advisory Council in 1996, a leading member, Professor Chukwuemeka Ike, who later became His Majesty, Eze Ndikelionwu in Orumba North LGA suggested that the Kingdom ought to commemorate the centenary of The British invasion of Arochukwu in 1901 – 1902. On March 7, 1998, Eze Aro inaugurated the Planning and Implementation Commission which was later changed to Aro 2002 Commission to plan and organise the commemoration of the Anglo-Aro War. Engr Matt Okoro, Chairman of the Advisory Council was also made the Chairman of the Commission and Professor Chukwuemeka Ike was appointed Chairman, Planning and Implementation Committee, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, Chairman, Finance and Fund Raising Committee while Mazi Godwin Udoh served as the Secretary. Other leading Aro people, at home and diaspora, including Professors Okoro Ijoma, Oji Umozurike and O. C. Nwana as well as Dr Chukwuma Obioha and Mazi Kanu Ivi, among others, served in the commission. To carry the Aro people along, he undertook a tour of the Aro diaspora communities to sensitise them. He also undertook a tour of parts of the US, accompanied by some members of the commission, and was warmly hosted by the Aro sons and daughters there. Under his inspiration and encouragement, this great event took place between December 26, 2001 and January 6, 2002, with resounding success. An important book on Aro, one of the enduring landmarks, is the book, The Aro Kingdom and its Contributions to Civilization.

The Ohafia/Aro road was in a terrible state of disrepair during his period but he continued to press on the state and federal governments to fix the road. Some serious efforts were being made to rehabilitate the road before his demise. The Aro Civic Centre, an imposing edifice, was completed during his reign. He travelled to the important cities in Nigeria to encourage Aro sons and daughters to be involved in community development efforts.

As the Chairman of Arochukwu Council of Traditional Rulers and permanent member of Abia State Council of Traditional Rulers, he brought to bear on them his vast experience and peaceful disposition. At a personal level, Eze Aro was warm, polite, generous, and humane and of simple tastes. He was married to a pretty and accomplished school teacher, and the marriage is blessed with children, all university graduates. His is a true example of royalty without airs and boring trappings; a fulfilled, greatly endowed and an achieved Eze. His people all over will dearly miss him.

Arochukwu kingdom announces eternal passage of Eze Aro, burial date

Immediate past Traditional Ruler of Aro Kingdom and custodian of its heritage, His Majesty, Mazi Ogbonnaya Okoro, also known as Eze Aro of Arochukwu, will be buried on Monday, April 5, 2021.

An official burial announcement by Prof Okoro Ijoma and Mazi Anicho Okoro, chairman and secretary of Aro National Rites of Passage Committee respectively, said that the burial will climax a week-long passage of rites for the late first class Monarch which kicks off on Friday, April 2.

The official funeral announcement made available to journalists on Friday read, “The Aro Kingdom, Abia State of Nigeria hereby announces the passage of the custodian of the Aro heritage and Eze Aro of Arochukwu, His Majesty, Mazi Ogbonnaya Okoro, CFR.

“Eze Ogbonnaya Okoro joined our ancestors and the Aro saints after a brief ‘ovia uwasi’.

“Before ascending the throne, Mazi Ogbonnaya Okoro, who trained in the United Kingdom as a Medical Laboratory Scientist, was pioneer head of Department of Laboratory Technology at the University of Nigeria Teaching hospital, Enugu.

“He retired as the Chief Medical Laboratory Scientist at the UNN in 1988 to ascend the throne.

“The Igbo week-long rites of passage of His Majesty, Mazi Ogbonnaya Okoro, CFR, will take place from Friday, 2nd to Monday, 5th April, 2021.
The climax of the funeral rites will hold on Monday, 5th April at the Arochukwu Civic and Cultural Center, Oror, Arochukwu by 10 am.

“Eze Ogbonnaya Okoro ascended the famous Eze Aro throne in 1995 and his reign witnessed tremendous transformation of the Kingdom and growth in inter-communal relations.

Among other positions, Eze Ogbonnaya Okoro was a first-class traditional ruler and occupied one of the ancient traditional stools in Nigeria and was the custodian of the Aro heritage worldwide.

Nzukọ Arochukwu prepares for Rights of Passage as Eze Aro ‘enters’ Ovia Uwasi’

Update on ‘Ovia Uwasi’ Eze Aro

Following the announcement of Eze Aro’s Ovia Uwasi, the Ezecutive Committee of Nzuko Arochukwu has held series of consultations with the family, Eze Ibom Isii, Eze Eze Agwu n’Okwara Agwu, national patrons and Nde Ogo.

The meetings reviewed the state of affairs in the kingdom and how to ensure proper rites of passage for our sage in the best Aro tradition.

The meetings were able to restore peace among the Arianzu, Eze Ibom Isii, Eze Ezeagwu n’Okwara Agwu and Nde Ezeogo. They committed to henceforth work together for the progress of the Kingdom.

Three months period of mourning has been declared with effect from 26th December, 2020.

To this end, the traditional activities of ARO DAY will not hold. In its place, there will be a road rally through the 19 villages in honor of the departed Eze. (Details will be announced soon).

Similarly, all villages are directed to cancel activities to mark the village day for 2020.

(Please, note that ceremonies by individuals and families such as weddings and burials are not affected).

Nzuko Arochukwu, therefore, sets up a national rites of passage committee (Aro National Burial Committee) to plan and execute the series of events and ceremonies that will be the pride of every Aro.

Please see the details below:

Following the transition of the custodian of Aro heritage, Eze Aro, Mazi Ogbonnaya Okoro, CFR, after wide consultations with the Aro traditional institution, and Nde Aro at home and in disapora, the Executive Committee of Nzuko Arochukwu, hereby sets up Aro National Burial Committee and Sub-Committees with the following members:

Mazi (Prof.) Okoro Ijoma, Chairman

Mazi EKO Ivi

Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa

Dr. O. J. Nnanna

Hon. Justice Anyalewechi Onwuchekwa

Mazi Dave Imoko

Mazi Arc. Chima Chijioke

Dr. Ochi Achinivu

Sen. Mao Ohuabunwa

Mazi Dr. Alex Otti

Mazi Nnamdi Udoh

Sir Chikwe Udensi

Mazi Emmauel Kanu

Mazi Jideofor Orji

Hon. Mike Ukoha

Mazi Lawson Obasi

Mazi Ike Okoronkwo

Mazi S.I.C. Okoli

Dr. Okoro Ukpabi

Barr. Chijioke Orji

Dr. Okey Onyeador

Mazi Frank Agodi

Dr. Emma Nwadeyi

Mazi George Ezuma

Mazi Chris Okoro

Mazi Goddy Ijeomah

Dr. Uche Orji

Mazi Bank Anthony Okorafor

Dr Okey Ijomanta

DIG Ivy Okoronkwo

Hon. Mrs. Nwada Igwe

Hon. Nnanna Ngwu

Lady Bright Elekwa

Barr. Mrs Carol Okorafor

Prof Nnenna Nkanno

Mazi Okereke Okpara

Barr. Joy Chiori

Mazi Anicho S. Okoro, member/secretary

*Terms of Reference *
1) To organise a befitting burial for our departed sage.
2) To mobilize resources for the funeral ceremonies.
3) To supervise and monitor the sub- committees for effective delivery.
4) To take other steps necessary to ensure that our revered monarch is laid to rest in the proper way.

*Sub committees *
A. Contact/ Protocol Members:

Mazi Dozie Udensi – Chairman

Mazi Ernie Onwumere, Secretary

Mazi Naira Okorafor

Prof. Alex Ugwumba

Hon. Mike Ukoha

Mazi Frank Agodi

Hon. Mrs Nwada Igwe

Mazi Chekwas Oti

Terms of Reference
To identify and contact all relevant governments, communities and dignitaries to participate in the ceremonies.
B. Publicity/ Publications Members:

Mazi Ugochukwu Okoroafor, Chairman

Dr Orji O. Orji – Member

Dr Azubuike Okoro

Mazi Okey Imuoh

Mazi Okoro Nwaka

Mazi Chijioke Ogbonnaya

Barr. Eustace Njaka, Secretary

Terms of Reference

To ensure adequate pre and post event publicity.

To produce a souvenir brochure for the event.

To identify and engage masters of ceremonies.

To take other steps necessary to ensure that the events are appropriately documented/archived for the present and future.

C. Venue Members:

Mazi Ike Onu – Chairman

Barr King Nwosu – Member

Mazi Chidi Uche Okoro, Secretary

Mazi Julius Imuoh

Dr Kenneth Ngwogu

Mazi Aniche Abah

Mazi Okoronkwo Asonta

Mazi Uche Oti

Terms of Reference

To identify and put in proper shape all the venues for the ceremonies.

To ensure adequate arrangements are made for guests.

D. Culture/Entertainment Members:

Mazi Ijoma Obasi Ijoma – Chairman

Prof. Nnenna Kanno

Mazi Donalson Nworgu- Member

Mazi Kanu Oji

Dr (Mrs) Helen Ukpabi

Mazi Chimere Ikenga

Princess Dr. Nnennaya Onoh

Mazi Ciiff Orji

Mrs Grace Okaro

Mazi Torty PG Agbagwu

Mrs Charity Oti, Secretary

Terms of reference

To arrange manage entertainment of guests at the events.

To identify and get relevant traditional dances, masquerades and performances to showcase at the ceremonies.

E. Finance Members:

Dr. Alex Otti – Chairman

Mazi George Ezuma

Mazi Ike Okoronkwo

Mazi Lawson Obasi

Mazi Chimezie Orji

Dr. Emma Nwadeyi

Dr. Uche Orji

Mazi Goddy Ijeomah

Mazi Ikechukwu Okafor

Sir Adindu G. Elekwa, Secretary

Terms of Reference

To source and manage funds raised for the event/ceremonies.

*F. Security Sub-Committee Members:

DIG Ivy Okoronkwo, Chairman

Sir Chikwe Udensi

Dr Kanu Ohuche

Mazi Nkem Okoro

ACP Mbadiwe

Mazi Jerry Onwumere

Mazi Nwosu Nwaka, Secretary

Terms of Reference:

To ensure adequate security for the events.

Nzuko Aro seeks the support of Umu Aro especially, during this period of mourning.

Mazi George Ezuma
President General

Mazi Anicho S. Okoro
Secretary General