Henceforth, traditional rulers in Imo State have been forbidden to speak English or any other foreign language at public functions or in their palaces while conducting the affairs of their communities.
This was the directive of the governor, Rochas Okorocha, who said that the monarchs could employ the services of interpreters if the need arises should they find it difficult to speak Igbo fluently to the understanding of their subjects, adding that the Igbo language, as predicted by some, will not be allowed to go into extinction.
He gave the directive while handing over letters of recognition and staff of office to 19 newly recognized traditional rulers in the state. Meanwhile, some communities, including Ibiasegbe in Oru West Local Council, had community members protesting against the choice of their monarchs, stressing that they had not decided on their traditional ruler and calling on the governor to reverse it.
The monarchs are Franklin Dabirinze, Uzoagba, Ikeduru Local Council; James Nnamdi, Ngurunweke, Aboh Mbaise Local Council; Francis Anukwu, Avuvu Ancient Kingdom, Ikeduru Local Council; J.C. Ebii, Umunama-ala Ezinihitte Mbaise Local Council; Jude Alozie, Onicha Nworie Ezinihitte Mbaise Local Council; Ngozi Val Nwoke, Ejemekwuru, Oguta Local Council; Boniface Uzoma, Ekiti Afor Abba, Nwangele Local Council; and Ukachukwu Nnanna, Dioka Nzerem, Ehime Mbano Local Council.
Others are Pius Onyekwere, Nnarambia, Ahiazu Mbaise Local Council; Lucky Ajoku, Ihiagwa Owerri West Local Council; Christopher Amadi, Okolochi, Owerri West Local Council; James Ezerioha, Ihite Owerre, Orlu Local Council; Basil Anyanwu, Umuhu, Ngor-Okpala Local Council; and Leonard Aguocha, Umuohiagu, Ngor-Okpala Local Council.