*Power-play takes its toll as Owerri now has four new royal fathers
Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State has created four more autonomous communities out of the one Owerri autonomous community which was the kingdom of HRH Eze Emmanuel Njemanze.
The four new autonomous communities and their royal fathers are:
(1)Umuihugba/Umudu whose royal father is HRH Linus Ihebom;
(2)Umuoyima whose EZE is Theophilus Uba;
(3)Umuororonjo whose EZE is Prince Roland Ibegbulam;
(4)Umuonyeche whose EZE is Uche Austine.
Other new autonomous communities created include :
(5)Umuezemazu Autonomous Community whose royal father is Aloysius Igbojuonu;
(6)Umuago Autonomous Community whose EZE is Ogbonna Obioha;
(7)Umuakoli whose EZE is Martin Aladi
The seven new traditional rulers were scheduled to be given their staffs-of-Office today by Governor Okorocha.
As a result of the balkanization of Owerri autonomous community through the creation of four new communities and four new royal fathers, efforts made to ascertain the autonomous community which is now ruled by HRH EZE Emmanuel Njemanze proved futile.
Some elders of Owerri who were asked this question became evasive. In a chat with some elders of Owerri, this is what transpired: “Now that the kingdom of HRH EZE Emmanuel Njemanze has been balkanized, which autonomous community is he now the royal father? The elder/spokesman of the group simply said: “We don’t know; go and find out from him.”
“Is he now the traditional ruler of Amawom?”
They said: “Please find out from either the government House or you may go to new Owerri where he resides to have an interview with him. We don’t know the answers to your questions.”
Furthermore, they said “Please take note that the traditional ruler lives in New Owerri and that New Owerri will have its own traditional ruler soon”.
The pertinent question is: Which autonomous community is HRH Eze Emmanuel Njemanze now ruling? Is he the traditional ruler of AMAWOM community or what?
It is pertinent to recall that some traditional rulers in Imo State dragged Governor Okorocha to court on the grounds of a problem which arose when some of them attended a political event which was organized for the immediate past President, Goodluck Jonathan.
In my viewpoint on the fracas at the time, I appealed to the traditional rulers to resolve the matter out of court because Governor Okorocha could deploy option B to overwhelm them, especially those who dragged him to court. I am told that some of those traditional rulers are still on suspension.
In a chat with one of the long-time traditional rulers in regard to the balkanization of autonomous communities as well as the seven new kings who were given their staffs-of –office today, the royal father condemned the proliferation of autonomous communities as this makes their counterparts in other parts of Nigeria to classify them as glorified village heads.
Hear him: “Proliferation of autonomous communities is not good at all. Imo state has 637 autonomous communities now. Why are we still creating more communities? When we attend meetings in Abuja with our counterparts from other states, they rate us as glorified village heads.”
John Mgbe, email@example.com