Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State has banned traditional rulers in the State from speaking in English at official functions and while conducting affairs at their palaces.
Okorocha gave the directive while handing over letters of recognition and staffs of office to 19 newly recognised traditional rulers in the State in Owerri on Tuesday, July 11, 2017.
In a bid to ensure that the Igbo language did not die as predicted in some quarters, the governor directed that every monarch must only speak in Igbo at functions and in their palaces, adding that interpreters could be employed if the need arises.
Okorocha urged traditional rulers in the state to be agents of peace, progress and prosperity in their respective domains rather than tools of disunity and destabilisation.
He also warned that any traditional ruler who could not show genuine leadership in his autonomous community would have his Certificate of Recognition and Staff of Office withdrawn.
Rochas Okorocha further encouraged the new traditional rulers to help the government develop the resources of the state and urged them to rule equitably.
“Every community requires an Eze to function effectively as the head of the Community Government Council. Today, that responsibility has fallen on you. I urge you not to fail as failure is not an option and I encourage you to help the government in developing the resources of our land.
“Remember that to whom much is given much is expected. This whole exercise you must understand is not an election or appointment to enable you distinguish between those who love you and those who hate you.
“Today, you are an Eze, and you must be the Eze for everyone both those against you and those who were for you. I advise you to take all of them along and embrace peace.
“Your first assignment should be to invite those who were against you to make peace in your land as no Eze can function effectively if there is no peace in your land,” Okorocha said.
Delivering a vote of thanks, Eze Lucky Ajoku of Ihiagwa Autonomous Community, promised that the traditional rulers will embrace peace.
He also pledged the support of the monarchs in helping the government attain the lofty ideals of the Community Government Councils in their various communities.
In a related development, Governor Rochas Okorocha has also urged the Executive Director of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), Mr. Eberechukwu Uneze, to use his newly conferred chieftaincy title for community service.
Okorocha stated this at Orogwe in Owerri West local government in the state, during a ceremony organized by Umunwoha people to honour Uneze, with a chieftaincy title, Ikemba 1 of Umunwoha, by His Royal Highness, Eze Smart Nze, of Amakohia Ubi community.
“This chieftaincy title given to you by your people is a deserving recognition which should encourage you to start giving them the attention in the areas of their needs. Especially when it comes to community development. I see you as a shining star and you must not disappoint your people. It is time for you to give back to the community what it has given to you. Show to them that love which you have always shared to them,” Okorocha said.
Okorocha said that APC was a veritable platform for Uneze to further expand development to his people, adding that the time has come for him to join the party.
“He is a very good son, I see him as a very promising young man and I want him to join the APC so that he can do a lot for his people,” the Governor said.