…Gives staff of office to 19 monarchs
By Chinonso Alozie
Owerri—Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, yesterday, barred traditional rulers in the state from speaking English language at functions, saying any one caught would face the penalty.
According to a realease by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Sam Onwuemeodo, in Owerri, the governor also rested the trouble emanating from eze stool in the state, by giving staff of office to 19 traditional rulers.”
The governor also warned that any of the royal fathers who failed to restore peace in his domain, such traditional rulers’ staff of office would be withdrawn.
According to the statement, “Governor Rochas Okorocha has banned traditional rulers in the state from speaking English at functions and in conducting affairs at their palaces.
“And directed that they must talk in Igbo at functions and conduct activities in their palaces in Igbo, adding that they could employ the services of interpreters if the need arises.
“Okorocha gave the directive while handing over letters of recognition and staff of office to 19 newly recognised traditional rulers in the state, adding that Igbo language must not be allowed to die as being predicted in some quarters.
“As traditional rulers in the state, you must be agents of peace, progress, and prosperity in your respective domains instead of being tools of disunity and destabilisation.
“Any traditional ruler who could not show genuine leadership in his autonomous community stands the risk of having his certificate of recognition and staff of office withdrawn.
“History is made that light has come and darkness would not comprehend at all. The truth has surfaced and the right people have finally become the custodian of the traditional right of their people.
“You are not permitted to speak English at functions. This will help keep our culture and Igbo language alive.
“For many years now, most of you have been looking forward to a day like this. Some of you were victims of injustice and never believed that this could be possible and most of you have been waiting without knowing your fate.
“But today, it is a manifest of truth that your people have chosen you, and the government of Imo State has approved.
“I took the bold step of reconciling people, took the step to ensure that truth came to be and voided the rancour that has existed in our various communities over eze title.”
The names of the traditional rulers as mentioned by the release are: HRH D.E.C Onyebuagu (Ibiasuegbe Autonomous,Oru West); HRH Ifeanyi Kenneth Aguneto (Umueze/Abaza Ogwa, Mbaitolu); HRH Charles Anyakudo (Ekwe, Isu LGA); HRH Ugo Ndubueze Donatus (Umunokwu, Okwuato Aboh Mbaise); HRH Athanasius Ezekwe (Enyiogugu) and HRH James Nnamdi (Ngurunweke Aboh Mbaise).
Others are, HRH Francis Anukwu, (Avuvu Ancient Kingdom, Ikeduru); HRH J.C. Ebii (Umunama-ala Ezinihitte); HRH Jude Alozie, (Onicha Nworie Ezinihitte); HRH Val Nwoke (Ejemekwuru Oguta); HRH Boniface Uzoma (Abba Nwangele) and HRH Ukachukwu Nnanna (Dioka Nzerem Mbano).
The rest are HRH Pius Onyekwere (Nnarambia Ahiazu Mbara); HRH Lucky Ajoku (Ihiagwa, Owerri West); HRH Christopher Amadi (Okolochi, Owerri West); HRH James Ezerioha (Ihite Owerre, Orlu); HRH Basil Anyanwu (Umuhu, Ngor-Okpala); HRH Leonard Aguocha (Umuohiagu, Ngor-Okpala) and HRH Eze Frankline A. Dabirinze (Uzoagba).