South-east monarchs elect new leader amid court injunction

Eze Ilomuanya and former President Jonathan
Eze Ilomuanya hosting former President Jonathan in his palace

South East Traditional Rulers’ Council, last week, in Umuahia, elected a new Chairman amidst a court injunction from the immediate past leader, His Royal Highness Eze Cletus Iromuanya of Imo State, restraining them from doing so, reports Daily Times.

Iromuanya had ruled the Council for over a decade, even as he had been having running battles with his state Governor, Rochas Okorocha, over his Chairmanship of Imo State Council of Traditional Rulers.

Iromuanya had in a newspaper publication published his injunction over the conduct of election by the South-east traditional rulers, claiming that he was still the chairman of the body, praying the court to nullify the election and to make their deliberation null and void.

However, the South-east traditional rulers, having dissolved their executive, on Monday, adopted Eze Eberechi Dick, on Friday, as their new chairman, who, before then, was the Chairman, Abia State Council of Traditional Rulers.

Speaking after his adoption, Dick explained that what the Council did on Friday was to ratify the election and described the job of leading the South-east royal fathers as daunting.

He promised to use his position to make NdiIgbo speak with one voice, pointing out that the era of crisis in the council was over.

He said that at the end of his tenure in the next three years, the position would move to Anambra State as stipulated in their constitution

When they visited Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, the royal fathers explained that in first week of August this year when the executve of the council of traditional rulers was dissolved, it was agreed to have a new executive.

Efforts, they said were made to fix the date for October 23 this year. “Up till then, the chairmanship was held by Imo State and by the principle of rotation we have adopted, the chairmanship is coming to Abia State”, the leader of the royal fathers on the occasion, Eze Samuel Ohiri said.

Ohiri, who is the current Chairman, Imo State Council of Traditional Rulers and who replaced Iromuanya in both capacities explained that since the council was instituted, efforts had been made to hand over leadership to Abia, but that it did not work, stating that “that was why the seven states in the council agreed that after Imo State, it was the time for Abia State. Imo would happily hand over leadership to Abia.”

Responding on the occasion of the visit, Ikpeazu urged the South-east Traditional Rulers Council to remain united so as to assist the governors of the zone in meeting the aspirations of their people.

Ikpazu said the governors of the zone were united in their quest to get what is due to Igbo people despite their political leanings, maintaining that Igbo people were confronted with a lot of problems, including insecurity.

He emphasised a need for the Council to be one united body in order to project the identity of NdiIgbo, assuring that the South-east Governors would not disappoint the royal fathers and the people of the zone. He promised to liaise with his colleagues to push for constitutional role for traditional rulers in the days ahead.

Ikpeazu said the South-east governors needed the support of royal fathers to enable them speak with one voice, pointing out that his administration did not toy with the welfare of traditional rulers in the state.

Earlier in his speech, the leader of the delegation and chairman, Enugu State traditional Rulers Council, Igwe Lawrence Agubuzu said they were in the state for their annual meeting during which they will elect new executives of the council and congratulated the governor for his emergence and for doing well in office.

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