We have read reports in the newspapers on Wednesday June 24, 2015 on the purported court order granted to about forty traditional rulers in the state restraining the state Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha from suspending them as traditional rulers.
The reports in question had also stated that the traditional rulers had gone to court to challenge the “alleged excesses” of the Governor. And in all the reports the traditional rulers did not tell Nigerians what is the crux of the matter or the bone of contention.
Having carefully dodged the issue of telling Nigerians and Imo people in particular what the problem is all about and the main reason for which they went to court because the “alleged excesses” of the Governor would not have made them to go to court, we therefore conclude that they were been hunted by their unfortunate actions and inactions during the 2015 elections. Infact, they are being battled by their consciences.
The truth is that the Governor, Owelle Okorocha or his government has neither suspended any of the forty traditional rulers nor queried any of them for any reason to warrant their going to court.
So, the reported court order restraining the governor from suspending the traditional rulers is questionable or even suspicious. We therefore challenge the traditional rulers to publish the referenced court order for Nigerians to read because we strongly believe that an order cannot be given in the vacuum. It must be anchored on something.
The traditional rulers in question are only been hunted by their miscalculation during the 2015 elections. And they have begun to run when no one is pursuing them. The Traditional Rulers allowed themselves to be deceived by the PDP and they went beyond their bound, and the fear of that costly mistake is now their palaver.
The debate remains that as we had PDP widows, so we had PDP traditional rulers. Even PDP Ugoezes and so on. Yet, the governor has never said or done anything to that effect to warrant any body going to court and for the court to give any restraining order.
What happened, which the traditional rulers didn’t want to tell the world is that the state Council of traditional rulers, led by HRM Eze Samuel Ohiri had suspended four traditional rulers from the Council and set up a panel to look into the conduct of fifty others over their gross involvement in politics and disobedience to a directive given by the Council during the election time.
The Ezes’ Council is established by law. And the law establishing it credited some functions to the leadership of the Council independent of the state government or the governor. But the law did not give the leadership of the Council the right to sack anybody as an Eze but can suspend any Eze from the Council and that was what happened. The four Ezes were suspended from the Council.
The law under reference also gives the governor the authority to sack or dethrone or suspend any traditional ruler from his stool but he has never taken any of the actions against any of the traditional rulers who went to court. Let them prove us wrong with facts. The story is that, the government sacked the former Council chairman, Dr. Cletus Ilomuanya and also dethroned him as Eze. The Appeal Court gave him judgement on the chairmanship of the Council and the government went on appeal to the Supreme Court, which they do not like to talk about.
And the same Dr. Ilomuanya organized the Traditional Rulers in question to be involved in the political rally organized for the PDP Presidential candidate then, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan even against the directive of the leadership of the Council and the government that the traditional rulers should not honour the invitation of Dr. Ilomuanya because he had been removed as chairman. They also broke into the Council’s secretariat. The affront was irritating.
Even when the state government had written to the then President, Dr. Jonathan through his chief of staff that if he needed to meet with the traditional rulers, that could be done for him, than doing that through someone the government had removed as chairman, the letter was acknowledged but was not acted upon.
Against the backdrop of all these, the Council suspended four of the traditional rules and set up a panel to look into the activities of about fifty others. And the panel is still sitting. And the government had been reported widely in the media to have disassociated itself from the actions of the Council. So, how and where did the governor come into the matter to warrant being taken to court and getting an order? That is left for the Traditional Rulers to establish. Let them publish all they have, now that we have challenged them including the court order they claimed.