The internal bickering rocking the rank and file of traditional rulers in Imo state may consume the Chairman of the Council of Traditional Rulers serving the interest of the Governor, Eze Samuel Agunwa Ohiri.
About 40 monarchs were recently suspended leading to another round of legal battle between some aggrieved Ezes who were summoned to the panel and the state government.
Indications that Ohiri who is wielding the big stick is on his way out emerged when the Governor, Rochas Okorocha publicly exonerated himself from the brouhaha alleging that he has no knowledge of the development.
A statement from Ohiri has suspended Eze Emmanuel Njemanze, Eze Desmond Oguguo and two others, while another forty were meant to face a fact finding panel for certain alleged misdemeanour bordering on gracing the visit of former President Goodluck Jonathan to Owerri before the 2015 presidential elections.
While Njemanze and other affected Ezes challenged their suspension, 40 others who were said to be online to receive same sentiments rushed to court to secure an order of the court restraining the Governor or his proxies from sanctioning any Eze.
Okorocha who had earlier denied knowledge of the suspension at a meeting with the monarchs at the state parliament of Ndi Eze in New Owerri on Wednesday further washed his hands off sending danger signals that Ohiri is under fire.
While exenorating himself, Okorocha noted that he never removed anybody from seat to warrant the concerned Ezes dragging him to court. “It is erroneous. What happened is that the Council of Ndi Eze suspended the Ezes in question from sitting during Council meeting as members and not as Ezes of their respective communities. I urge the Ezes concerned to immediately withdraw the suit,” the Governor said.
Trumpeta learnt that the negative impacts and tales arising from the renewed face-off with the Ezes after lingering crushes with out of favour Eze Cletus Ilomuanya, the erstwhile Chairman, forced Okorocha to seek audience with Imo monarchs.
Okorocha who regretted the action of the Ezes by claiming that they were out to malign him is said to be working out modalities to relieve Ohiri his position as his Chairman of Ndi Eze Imo.
Authoritative sources revealed that the Governor was seriously taken aback by the suspension of the Ezes and court action of 40 others facing panel, hence the decision to tactfully remove Ohiri as Chairman. It was learnt that having running battles with monarchs in charge of established dynasties in the state is the least in the Governor’s agenda. Therefore, Okorocha is said to be taking precautionary measures to carefully remove Ohiri for another monarch to save his face.
Further revelations indicated that only the removal of Ohiri as the boss of Ndi Eze will save Okorocha continuous altercation with sectaria of the traditional rulers in the state.
The Governor would have sacked Ohiri like the LGA Council of Ndi Eze whom their tenures have expired out for the search for a capable successor among the pack.
“The Governor would have removed Ohiri also for the loss of confidence but he is yet to pick a good hand for replacement. You know there is no love lost between some Ezes and Okorocha because of Ohiri. Removal of Ohiri is the answer for peace in the Traditional Rulers’ Council. The Governor is working towards that,” a prominent royal father holding a position in the Eze’s Council confided in Trumpeta after the meeting.
Apart from the plan to shove aside Ohiri, part of the face mending device Okorocha employed is by requesting that all monies owed the traditional rulers in the state be paid within a week.