Eze Oliver Ohanwe of Ihim Community, Isiala-Mbano in Imo State has called on Governor Emeka Ihedioha to follow due process in appointing the Chairman of Imo State Council of Traditional Rulers.
Recalling the dissolution request made by some traditional rulers in Imo State to the governor that Ihedioha should dissolve the state Council of Traditional Rulers headed by Eze Samuel Ohiri and Eze Cletus Ilomuanya restored as Chairman, Ohanwe called the request a sham.
In a statement, the monarch disclosed that the old system of zoning should be revisited and appointment made by merit. He said, “You know I contested for that chairmanship during the last regime, when Governor Rochas Okoroacha said that it should be by election.
“Going by the usual zoning system, it is the turn of Okigwe Zone after the usual eight years tenure of both Eze Ilomuanya and Eze Ohiri, but when the former governor decided that it should be by election, Okigwe Zone asked me to stand in for the election. The outcome of the election was not palatable as Okorocha used his veto power to ask Eze Sam Ohiri to continue without considering a slot for Okigwe Zone.
“When the new administration decided to cancel the rules created by the former governor, we became hopeful. Be that as it may, the same Eze Ilomuanya who has ruled for eight years and was retained by the former governor is now saying that he has court judgment to take over the chairmanship again.
And Eze Sam Ohiri also said that he is compelled by law to continue for another eight years again, signifying that both persons will rule for 16 years each. My initial decision to contest the election then was because Rochas called for it. But now if it will be by appointment, it is up to new administration to decide who takes it.
“For the selected traditional rulers agitation that the governor should restore Eze Ilomuanya back to continue, it will not be fair for the integrity of traditional rulers in Imo State because we have conduct and rules. Eze Ilomuanya can be restored back as a king but not for the chairmanship. He should work out any entitlement due to him and let the government respond to that.
For Eze Anayo Durueburuo to comment on that, I think as a lawyer and as a traditional ruler, he knows the law and should understand what such action means to the integrity of Imo State traditional rulers. Ihedioha is a governor with a vision to rebuild Imo and I implore him to rebuild every institution including the Traditional Rulers Council for equity to reign in the state.