In line with the Governor, Rochas Okorocha’s penchant for the participation of the citizenry in taking certain popular decisions in the state, the governor had met for several hours with the traditional rulers in the State, Government Liaison Officers (GLOs) and other stakeholders at the Imo State Investment Centre Owerri on Wednesday, June 22, 2016.
At the meeting, certain sensitive issues were discussed and decisions taken on them in the over-all interest of the state and her people. Every decision was taken after the issue in question had been exhaustively deliberated upon by those in attendance.
One of the decisions taken was that some traditional rulers in the state would be recognized as first class Ezes based on merit and the essence is to further shore up the respect and regard for the traditional rulers both in the state and beyond.
And for any Eze to be elevated to first class status, his community must have a population of not less than 10,000 people. Also, an Eze in a community where there is an industry or high level of development could equally be made first class.
Other conditions include high level of peace and security, a befitting palace, encouragement of culture and tradition of his people, good number of churches, markets and schools. The Ezes of Ancient Kingdoms could also be recognized as first class. At least, three of these conditions must be met by Ezes wishing to be made first class.
It was also decided that the traditional rulers in the state would elect the new chairman of their council through a delegate system. The traditional rulers in each of the local governments would elect three Ezes to represent them at the state level. And the Ezes from the LGAs would then elect one of them who would be the chairman of the State Council of traditional rulers.
The chairman to be elected must have been a first class Eze and no Eze can vote or be voted for, without his community having at least 2000 leviable adults. It was equally decided that the Community Watch personnel would remain, and henceforth, the Community Government Council (CGC) would recruit and pay them. And also pay traditional rulers. The payment of pensions would equally be paid through the CGC to help the government deal with the issue of ghost pensioners.
Traditional rulers would now be monitoring events in the schools in their communities, have periodic meetings with authorities of the schools, ensure security and protection of the facilities in the schools, with the governor regretting that some of the desks and chairs provided by the government for the pupils and students ended up in private homes.
It was also observed that for quite a long time now, there has never been any recruitment into the state Civil Service. For that reason, it was decided that recruitment into the State Civil Service will soon take place to inject fresh blood and new ideas into the system.
The governor also reiterated his desire to build a new Imo the indigenes of the state would be proud of. And further remarked that all his actions and inactions have always been tailored towards achieving this lofty goal of building Imo of our collective dream and aspiration. He called for understanding on the part of the people of the state both at home and in diaspora.
Chief Press Secretary to the governor