By Buchi Iwuji, Owerri
The clamour for return of Obi of Obinugwu, Eze (Dr) Cletus Ikechukwu Ilomuanya, as chairman of the Imo State Council of Traditional Rulers, has heightened with some of the monarchs rooting for Ilomuanya’s return to chairmanship seat.
Former Imo governor, Rochas Okorocha, it would be recalled, terminated Ilonuaya’s tenure, prompting the embattled monarch to seek redress in court.
Governor Hope Uzodinma had, last December, dissolved the Imo State Council of Traditional Rulers in line with extant laws, thus ending the tenure of the erstwhile chairman of the Council, Eze Samuel Agunwa Ohiri of Obi Orodo in Mbaitoli local government area of the state.
Expressing their views in separate fora, traditional rulers across the three geopolitical zones of the state – Orlu, Okigwe and Owerri – made it clear that Eze Ilomuanya, legally and by competence, vision and merit, was best suited to revive the ailing Imo traditional institution.
They argued that his return would also serve the end of justice. The monarchs pleaded with Governor Uzodinma to accede to their preference because of Ilomuanya’s proven track record of service and competence.
The Obi of Okwudor in Njaba local government area and secretary of “Concerned Traditional Rulers of Imo State,” Eze (Barr) Anayochukwu Durueburuo, argued that returning Ilomuanya as chairman would elicit immense joy and gratitude among the monarchs. He said that so doing would rekindle the hope of the monarchs, whom he said were already demoralised, adding that the traditional institution in Imo state was almost desecrated.
Eze Declan Izim of Umunkwo in Isiala Mbano local government area, in his opinion, pointed out that, “even though Okigwe Zone is seriously clamouring for the chairman of the council to come from the (Okigwe) zone going by a workable, and acceptable zonal arrangement, 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 court, recall Ilomuanya to serve out his tenure.”
Expressing the position of Owerri geopolitical zone, Eze Donatus Eze of Owualla Avuvu in Ikeduru local government area, asserted that “appointing Eze Ilomuanya back as chairman, will be a highly welcome and cherished New Year gift for Imo monarchs from our governor.”
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”.