The traditional ruler of Obinugwu Autonomous Community, Ideato South local government area in Imo state, His Royal Highness, Eze Cletus Ilomuanya, , has constantly been making headlines in both local and national tabloids since the inception of Governor Rochas Okorocha administration.
Most of the newspaper publications about his person had revolved round his alleged past inappropriate actions and involvement in politics, even when he is a traditional ruler.
Eze Ilomuanya, was appointed chairman, Imo State traditional rulers council, during the administration of Chief Achike Udenwa. It was also during Udenwa’s tenure that he became chairman, South East council of traditional rulers.
Following his appointment to this lofty office, he had proceeded to wage a relentless battle against some Igbo businessmen residing outside the south east, who give themselves the ‘non-existing’ title of ‘Eze Igbo’, in their respective towns of residence. Ilomuanya’s position is that one could not be ‘Ezeigbo’ outside Igboland. He had even threatened to drag the ‘impostors’ to court.
But with the exit of former governor Ohakim, Ilomuanya’s empire has started to grind. Okorocha was said to have openly expressed his anger over the traditional ruler’s open support for his political opponent’s second term bid.
He was alleged to have even joined the former governor’s campaign train - a development which many believed facilitated his removal as chairman of the state chairman of the traditional rulers council when Okorocha became governor.
LEADERSHIP gathered that the monarch did not take the decision in good fate as he was said to have fought tirelessly to regain his position by engaging in a media war with his successor, Eze Samuel Ohiri and the state government.
But apparently without knowing, Ilomuanya appears to have chewed more than he could swallow. Indeed, he has incurred the wrath of another powerful arm of government – the state House of Assembly.
This followed a petition submitted by one Ikechukwu, a subject of the monarch, to the state House of Assembly. Ikechukwu said in his petition that Ilomuanya was not qualified to be a royal father, against the backdrop of his alleged past inappropriate acts.
Consequent upon this allegation, the state House of Assembly, invited the monarch to appear before it, to respond to the allegations levelled against him.
He didn’t come before the assemblymen, but rather send a lawyer, Declan Madu, to represent him. But the lawmakers were not satisfied with the answers provided by Madu, prompting them to pass a motion at an executive session, requesting Governor Okorocha to suspend him from office.
But earlier before this development, speculations were rife that governor Okorocha tele-guided the lawmakers to recommend the suspension of the foremost traditional ruler in the south-east.
However during an interactive session with journalists last week in Owerri, Okorocha disclosed the major reason why he put the embattled traditional ruler at arm’s length, even when he was yet to actualize the decision of the House.
He said that Eze Ilomuanya, was booed by the crowd, who also threw sachet water at him, when he took him to a public function in Owerri recently – a clear indication that there was no love lost between him and the people whose mandate he held as the foremost traditional ruler in the state.
He added that some of the sachet water meant for Ilomuanya fell on Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State, who was his special guest - a situation which he said was greatly embarrassing to the both Governor Obi and the government of Imo State.
As the people of the state anxiously await the response by the governor on the call by the state House of Assembly to stop Ilomuanya from parading himself as chairman, Imo state council of traditional rulers, LEADERSHIP also gathered that some powerful political office holders in Abuja, had stepped into the matter with a view to stop the state governor from implementing the decision of the law-makers.
Eze Ilomuanya’s fate would definitely be decided when the lawmakers resume from their Christmas and New Year holidays.