Traditional rulers in Imo State can be said to be on the watch out radar of Imo State governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha as the race for the state governorship hots up, reports Trumpeta.
Following the desire of the state governor to ensure that his preferred choice and son in law, Chief Uche Nwosu becomes his successor, Okorocha has developed interest on which of the governorship candidates, the monarchs in the state are backing.
Trumpeta findings revealed that considering the role of Ezes in the society and their prime position as the custodian of the people’s culture and tradition, the governor is banking on their support to deliver Nwosu of the Action Alliance, AA.
But further revelations have it that majority of traditional rulers in the state irrespective of zones are not disposed to having the son in-law of Okorocha as his successor. With about five mouths to quit office as the number one citizen, the monarchs have started seeking separate ways and aligning themselves to different governorship candidates other than the governor’s choice.
This is believed to have pitched Okorocha against majority of the Ezes across the zone with those of Owerri Senatorial District trying to breakout from government stronghold and control by forming the Owerri Traditional Rulers Association, (OWTRA), which came into public existence last weekend.
It was learnt that first to get the warning short of the state governor was the Orlu Zone of Council of Traditional Rulers. Trumpeta was reliably informed that in the early days of 2019, the monarchs from the zone had planned to host and engage an interactive session with the Senator representing the area in the senate and APC Governorship candidate, Senator Hope Uzodinma.
On getting wind of the development, Okorocha was alleged to have subverted the move by hurriedly inviting the monarchs to a meeting thereby putting on hold their planned arranged with Uzodinma.
To sway the minds of Ndi Eze Orlu from Uzodinma, Okorocha was said to have succeeded at ensuring the monarchs from his zone puts off the meeting with the APC candidate. Trumpeta was also told that the governor’s preferred choice, Nwosu also had chance to meet with the monarchs.
In a similar vein, Ezes from Owerri zone were reported to have missed the wrath of the governor by whiskers for trying to form a union to cater for their welfare. It was learnt that the initial venue for the public presentation of OWTRA at the Star Arrival Hotel premises Owerri was shifted to another venue when reports filtered in that a suspicious Government House, Owerri, had laid ambush for any monarch found at the hotel for the exercise. One of the monarchs who confided in the newspaper revealed that a warning signal was sent that any Eze from Owerri zone found at the place for meeting would be arrested, thereby, forcing them to beat retreat.
Sources further disclosed that the governor who is seeking for a means to not only check mate but also tame monarchs opposed to the candidature of Nwosu, is out to monitor activities of Ndieze within and outside their autonomous communities to determine their living.
Despite the challenges, OWTRA organized the public presentation New Year party at the palace of one of the Ezes in Owerri West LGA, where the chairman, HRM, Eze Chidume Okoro disclosed that the association was formed to cater for the primary needs of the traditional institution in the zone.
According to Eze Okoro, their welfare which includes health, social security, networking among Royal Families as well as training and capacity building in critical areas such as ethics, traditional jurisprudence and peace building form party of the creation.
While reeling out other areas that necessitated the establishment of the Owerri Traditional Rulers Association registered under RC 1193936, Eze Okoro, immediate past Deputy Chairman of Imo State Council of Ndi Eze and Zonal chairman of Owerri zone requested for the support and assistance of notable people of the zone to realize the noble objectives.