By Vivian Onyebukwa
Ahead of the reconstitution of the Imo State Council of Traditional Rulers,majority of traditional rulers in the State have expressed their preference for the return of the Obi of Obinugwu, HRM, Eze Cletus Ilomuanya, CON, as Chairman of the Council, in other to satisfy the ends of justice.
The monarchs hinged their preference for Eze Ilomuanya on his proven track record of service, charismatic dispositions, wealth of experience, sterling leadership qualities and sagacity. They appealed to Governor Hope Uzodinma to avoid choosing a liability to his administration,but to settle for an asset who will galvanize and restore the battered image of the traditional institution in the State. They implored him to rather opt for a Chairman, who will complement his administration’s efforts at positively turning around the sociocultural, economic and political fortunes of the state.
Speaking under the aegis of “Concerned Traditional Rulers of Imo State”, the traditional ruler of Okwudor in Njaba LGA, HRH Eze (Barr) Anayochukwu Durueburuo, argued that appointing Eze Ilomuanya as Chairman of the Council, will elicit immense joy and gratitude among Imo monarchs. He said that by so doing, the governor would have rekindled the hope of the already demoralized monarchs and also reinvigorated the almost desecrated traditional institution in Imo State.
Eze Durueburuo stated that such an action would further attract national commendation for the Governor both from the Presidency and Nigerians. “Appointing Eze Ilomuanya back will elicit commendations for our governor as a respecter of judicial pronouncements and the rule of law. Remember that Eze Ilomuanya has several court judgments directing his reinstatement as Chairman, an action which the Presidency, through the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, agrees with “, he said.
The monarch averred that Eze Ilomuanya is a national figure with wide contacts, and is sure to contribute meaningfully to the development of the State. ” He is tested, trusted and reliable, knowledgeable and outspoken. In fact,he doesn’t need introduction in any part of Nigeria, and indeed, the globe. He is altogether a round peg in a round hole, considering the reengineering that is required to place back our royalties on track. We wish our amiable governor would not make the mistake of appointing a follow – follow Chairman without any initiative” Eze Durueburuo pleaded.
Corroborating, HRH Eze Declan Izim of Umunkwo in Isiala Mbano LGA,stressed that, “even though Okigwe Zone is seriously clamoring for the Chairman of the Council to come from the Zone going by a workable, and acceptable zonal arrangement, but given the fact that Eze Ilomuanya’s tenure was unlawfully truncated as per the plethora of judgments of the Superior Courts of the land which also ordered that he be reinstated, and sentiments aside, the Governor can, in obedience to these numerous Orders of Courts against the unlawful truncation of Eze Ilomuanya’s tenure by former Governor Okorocha, recall him (Eze Ilomuanya) to serve out his tenure. He opined that with the deplorable state of affairs in Imo traditional institution now, it requires a tested and capable hand to bring the institution back to life.
In a similar vein, HRH, Eze Donatus Eze of Owualla Avuvu in Ikeduru LGA, asserted that “appointing Eze Ilomuanya back as Chairman, will be a highly welcomed and cherished New Year gift for Imo monarchs from our governor”. He said that traditional rulers in Imo State,during Eze Ilomuanya’s first tenure, were accorded due respect and pride of place in Nigeria. “Eze Ilomuanya transformed the institution in Imo and South East. We were respected at national meetings by monarchs from other geopolitical zones. Imo monarchs were the envy of others”,he said.
According to him, it takes only a charismatic leader like Eze Ilomuanya to achieve such feats. “He is very creative and understands the terrain very well. His ingenuity is excellent, and that is the kind of Chairman Imo monarchs desire at this critical stage when the traditional institution has been messed up by the previous administration of Owelle Rochas Okorocha”.
The monarch further said that “our traditional institution is in coma right now. We thank the governor for cleansing the Augean stable in the institution. We urge him to please conclude this noble process by bringing back a man over 95% of traditional rulers in the State can vouch for his leadership qualities,and team spirit and that person is Eze Ilomuanya”.
Eze Donatus Eze, however, said that Governor Uzodinma is not a stranger in Imo, expressing optimism that he will not disappoint Imo monarchs and the people of the State. “Our governor is a son of the soil. When he was a Distinguished Senator, he was in the vanguard of the clamour for Eze Ilomuanya’s reinstatement in obedience to the decisions of the Courts. He remains Distinguished.”
The traditional ruler condemned severely, former Governor Okorocha’s aggression against Eze Ilomuanya and his flagrant disobedience to court judgments reinstating him. “We thank God that today, Senator Hope Uzodinma is our God given Governor. I therefore, don’t think we need to over flog this issue.Mind you, Nigerians are watching”,Eze Donatus Eze posited.