Okorocha Dissolves Autononous Communities, Evades Meeting With Aggrieved Traditional Rulers
From Austin Echefu
Traditional rulers, particularly the Ezes-Elect, were on Thursday stranded at a meeting summoned by Governor Rochas Okorocha at the Imo International Conference Centre (IICC), but abandoned them.
This was as the Governor had in another shocking move dissolved the new autonomous communities he created in the state with the Ezes-Elect not collecting their staff of office.
The Governor made the dissolution during a meeting he had with the Ezes-Elect of the new autonomous communities at the Imo International Conference Centre. The Ezes-Elect were said to have been gathered for the meeting for the purpose of issuing them their staff of office, but they met their shock when the meeting turned out to be their dissolution.
The Governor had warned that anyone found bearing the title of Eze-Elect would be arrested.
The creation of the new autonomous communities numbering about 100 had been a subject of crisis between the Governor and the lawmakers as the latter refused to enact the enabling law for the creation of the new autonomous communities.
The dissolution of the autonomous communities was said to have caused friction in the communities, leading to the meeting summoned by the Governor who did not show up at the meeting.
Some community leaders who spoke to this medium expressed worry over what they described as incessant abandonment of their presence at the venue by the Governor, saying that the Governor had postponed some meetings earlier scheduled without any notice to them.
But the Commissioner for Culture and Traditional Affairs in Imo State, Chief Louis Duru, explained that the Governor had an emergency meeting in Abuja and urged them to bear with him.
He said: “You can go home to your various communities, but the government shall notify you on the new date”.
The Commissioner, however, appealed to them to remain calm, law abiding and hopeful to benefit from the government’s new plans in the creation of more autonomous communities for the development of the rural areas in the state.
He expressed optimism that as soon as the Governor fixes a new date, those communities and their Ezes-Elect shall be given their staff of office.
“There are some communities who do not have the required criteria, such as 2,000 leviable adults, church, school, market, etc, to be announced as autonomous communities, adding that such communities should not be given any attention in their request for autonomy
Meanwhile, the Eze-Elect of Obosima Autonomous Community in Ohaji/Egbema LGA of Imo State, Chief Prince John Ngozi Onyeukwu, thanked the Governor for his plans in ensuring that qualified communities who have no traditional ruler are given the most qualified person to rule.
He appealed to the Governor to issue his community’s choice of leader the mantle of leadership. He described himself as the most popular ezeship candidate for the people of Obosima and that he remains the right choice for good leadership.