- Ohiri about to lose Eze Imo stool?
The recent appointment of His Royal Majesty Eze (Dr.) E.C.Okeke (Ochiriozuo) Eze Udo 11 of Amaifeke Ancient Kingdom as the Head of Imo Traditional Institutions and State Community Policing as contained in an update by Hope New Electronics Media Center, has left Imolites in confusion.
The Eze who was inaugurated by Gov. Hope Uzodinma last Thursday at the Sam Mbakwe Executive Council Chamber, Government House Owerri, was the former Chairman Orlu Zone Council of Traditional rulers as well as the Deputy Chairman, Imo State Council of Traditional Rulers.
Earlier, speculations are rife that the government has planned to effect a change of guard in the state’s traditional institutions. What is not clear is the time and the reason for the change because the current occupant of the Eze Imo stool was yet to complete his tenure.
With the appointment of Eze Okeke, it is not clear if HRH Eze Agunwa Ohiri has been removed officially. The confusion is further heightened by the failure of the government to make a comment on his position, whether or not to hand over to the new helmsman.
Some Imolites hold the view that the new appointment is connected with the community policing in which the traditional rulers are expected to play prominent roles and not with Eze Imo. Another school of thought also query why Eze Ohiri will not be allowed to officiate in the community policing if he is still the Eze Imo
When some legislators were approached on the issue some opine that they are also enveloped in the same confusion with many arguing that there was no pronouncement of the governor to that effect. Consequently, they hold the view that Eze Ohiri is still the number one traditional ruler.
A media aide to one of the top contenders to the Eze Imo stool was pointed in dismissing the appointment as the removal of Eze Ohiri.
It would be recalled that after his first tenure, Ohiri was re-elected for another term of five years commencing from Jan 2018. The change of government from two different administration has led to speculation that he will pack back to his Orodo kingdom to give way to anybody the governor may find fit to work with.
The Eze Imo seat is a very important position in the state and has come under serious contention since the Okorocha administration that forcefully sent the former occupant Eze Ilomuanya parking.
Ilomuanya allegedly won many battles in the court in the fight to reclaim his office but Okorocha was insistent in not respecting the rulings. Recently there was an amendment to the law appointing the leadership of the traditional rulers leadership vesting the right of appointment to the governor. Political pundits point to the fact that the amendment is a clear indication that there is going to be a game of musical chairs soon in the revered institution.