Leaders of Okigwe Zone of Imo State, operating under the aegis of Okigwe Leaders Assembly (OLA), has urged Governor Hope Uzodinma to respect existing rotational arrangement in the appointment of the chairman of the state’s traditional rulers council otherwise known as Eze Imo.
Rising from a meeting during the Yuletide, OLA in an appeal signed by Barr. Innocent Obiefule, Chairman; Henry Anthony Anyanwu, Secretary; Mrs. Jacinta Ukoha, Woman Leader and Chief Charles Edomobi, National Coordinator, wished the governor well and congratulated him on his upcoming first anniversary in office as well as commending him on his efforts his efforts in providing dividends of democracy since coming into office.
However, the leaders appealed to the governor to favourably consider Okigwe Zone in the appointment of the new Chairman of Imo State Council of Traditional Rulers, having dissolved the Eze Samuel Ohiri-led council a week ago.
“Your Excellency, if you may recall, the election and appointment of Chairman of Imo State Council of Traditional Rulers (Eze Imo) has always been based on zoning and rotation. In the most recent past, Orlu Zone with Eze Cletus Ilomuanya, Obi of Obinugwu, served nine years from the government of His Excellency Achike Udenwa and His Excellency Ikedi Ohakim. Eze Samuel Ohiri served nine years under the administration of His Excellency Rochas Okorocha, His Excellency Hon. Emeka Ihedioha and His Excellency Sen. Hope Uzodinma. It naturally follows that the next Chairman of Imo Council of Traditional Rulers should come from Okigwe Zone.
“However, in the past few days, there has been consistent rumours of attempts to appoint a traditional ruler from Orlu Zone, as the new Chairman of Imo Council of Traditional Rulers.
“This information, which we believe is a rumour, was given credence by an Owerri-based newspaper -“White Paper”- of 27th of December 2020, on the front-page news of same date, we quote “… Governor Uzodinma finally replaces Eze Ohiri with Eze E.C Okeke, as new Eze Imo, as he Dissolves Council of Traditional Rulers”.
“Our investigation has shown that Eze E.C. Okeke of Amaifeke Autonomous Community, Orlu, is being Sponsored by a cabal from Orlu Zone to replace Eze Samuel Ohiri, as the new Eze Imo.
This attempt is against equity, good conscience, fairness and natural justice,” the group said.
“Okigwe people are demanding that the next Chairman, Imo State Council of Traditional Rulers (Eze Imo) be chosen from the zone. We sincerely believe that our amiable governor shall not fall prey to this divisive attempt by this cabal to bring instability into this administration.”
Speaking further, OLA urged its sons around the corridors of power to endure that justice is done in the matter. “Finally, Okigwe people shall hold their prominent sons, who are close to His Excellency, the Governor of Imo State, like Professor Maurice Iwu, Rt. Hon. Paul Emeziem (Speaker, IMHA), Chief Tony Chukwu, Hon. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba (Min. of State, Education), Chief Cosmas Iwu (SGI), and others responsible if His Excellency does not adhere to the existing zoning and rotation arrangement,” it said.