Following the death of His Royal Majesty Eze Ogbonnaya Okoro CFR, The Eze Aro of Aro Ancient Kingdom, the National Rites of passage committee has released the schedule for the final rites of the revered monarch.
Speaking during a virtual press conference organized by the committee for journalists across the nation, the chairman of the committee Mazi Prof James Okoro Ijoma said that though the Aro kingdom is saddened by the unfortunate demise of their king after an eventful and fulfilling reign that spanned for 25 years(1995-2020), the event affords the people yet another opportunity to showcase and also deepen the rich traditional culture of the Aro Kingdom through the reenactment of the transition process.
Also speaking during the press briefing, a member of the committee Mrs Mary Ikoku opined that the overall mood of the people across the 19 villages that make up the Aro kingdom is that of sorrow and sadness given the fact that the Eze Aro is their sole monarch and as such, a unifying force and the custodian of their culture and traditions and as expected a lot of activities has been stalled since he passed on.
According to the national Rites of passage committee secretary Mazi Anicho Okoro, the festivities which will be in strict compliance to Covid-19 protocols will be an Igbo traditional week long event (4 Market Days) and will commence on Orie, Friday the 2nd of April 2021 with performances by the Ekpe Society.
Afor, Saturday the 3rd of April 2021, will witness performance from different cultural troupes as well as the continuation of final rites by the Ekpe society.
Nkwo, Sunday the 4th of April 2021, the prestigious Iyamba group will perform as well as other cultural dance groups.
The Funeral rites will climax on Eke, Monday the 5th of April 2021 with the Performance of the Ekpe Itoolu (9 Masquerades) who will all come to pay their last respects, with the Mboko Performing last, to herald the lowering of the Eze Aro with an accompanying 21 gun salutes.
According to Prof Ijoma the committee has made an arrangement for 10 hand washing points, sanitizers and over 1000 face masks all in a bid to be doubly sure that Covid-19 protocols is not breached.
The committee further beckons on all and sundry to join the Aro Nation as they bid farewell to their illustrious King!