– Says: tenure to elapse 2023
The erstwhile Chairman of Imo State Council of Traditional Rulers (Ndieze Imo) who was elected during the administration of Owelle Rochas Okorocha now senator of Orlu zone, HRM Eze Agwunwa Samuel Ohiri, has condemned the statement issued by the Imo State government, announcing the dissolution of the Council of Ndieze in Imo State. Eze Ohiri maintained that he did not believe the Governor gave such approval or release, announcing the dissolution of the council of which he was the Chairman.
HRM Eze Agunwa argued that Governor Hope Uzodinma while addressing traditional rulers in the state at their Mbari secretariat maiden meeting never mentioned anything related to the dissolution of the council thus, stressing that the media report could be traced to mischief makers, who have one interest or the other as regards to his position as the Chairman of Ndieze Imo.
While addressing newsmen in a press conference at his palace, Obi Orodo in Mbaitoli LGA, on Tuesday July 28, 2020, Eze Ohiri said, he was surprised to read that Governor Uzodinma had dissolved his office shortly after he left the traditional rulers meeting hopeful.
He quoted the Governor as saying “I did not come here to dissolve the council, rather to address some pressing issues like Covid-19 and its solution as well as to synergize on how to achieve a robust community policing”. He further insisted that at no point during the meeting did the Governor mention that he has dissolved the council of traditional rulers.
Eze Ohiri further reiterated that immediately he got the purported press release from the state government, he called the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Hon Declan Emelumba to confirm if he is aware of the information and he confirmed it by saying yes that after the Governor’s address to Ndieze, some journalists met him outside and he told them, “is there any need for constituting a new council, when one is already in place?”. The Commissioner now said from the Governor’s response, he inferred that he means dissolution.
The Obi of Orodo then questioned why the government press release should be based on “inference”, when the Governor has not spoken, adding that Imo State Traditional Rulers Council rejects the press release until the Governor gives them further directives on the way forward.
He however hinted that the Imo State Traditional Rulers Council law No 15 of 2016, which brought him into office provided for a five (5) year tenure which will elapse in 2023, beginning from June 2018, when he was elected into office. He argued that though the law has been amended to a two (2) year tenure, but not implemented in retrospect. But the Governor can now appoint a Chairman. The law he insisted cannot be implemented immediately, but after the expiration of his subsisting tenure in 2023.