By NBF News

Governor Owelle Rochas Okorocha of Imo State has charged traditional rulers in the state to steer clear of politics and warned that no monarch should belong to any political party.

Okorocha, who gave the warning yesterday in Owerri during the swearing-in of 14 newly appointed commissioners, 13 special advisers, chairman of the state Council of Traditional Rulers and his three deputies.

The newly sworn-in commissioners included the incumbent Deputy Governor, Sir Jude Agbaso who takes charge of Works Ministry, Mrs. Veronica Ijezie (Agriculture), Mrs. Anna Dozie (Women Affairs), Chief Ejike Uche (Housing & Transport), Chief Soronnadi Njoku (Athorney-General and Justice), Lady Chioma Ogoke (Commerce and Industry), Mr. John Chike Okafor (Finance) and Dr. Joe Obi-Njoku (Health), while Mr. Kenneth Emelu mans sports and youth ministry.

Others are Chief Jerry Okoli (Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs), Nze Benjamin Ogueri (Lands Survey and Urban Planning), Mr. Steve Ahaneku (Petroleum and National Resources), Mr. Nelson Ezerioha (Special Duties) and Mr. Alex Eguazu (Environment). Okorocha, during the occasion, announced three names of commissioner nominees and assigned portfolios to them subject to the confirmation of the state House of Assembly. The commissioner nominees include Chief Obinna Duruji (Information), Prof. Adaora Obasi (Education) and Dr. Ifeanyi Nwachukwu (Public Utilities and Rural Development).

The governor, therefore, charged the traditional rulers to reside in their domains and advised that a situation where a royal father could not stay in his place because of business engagements, such a traditional ruler should appoint a regent to oversee the affairs of the autonomous community.

He said, 'this government will not take it kindly with any traditional ruler who plays politics with his stool. No traditional ruler should belong to any political party and when it comes to the time of election in the next four years, I want all the traditional rulers to open their doors to any governorship candidate that comes their way.'

'Every traditional ruler will return back to his village and where you are busy because of business engagements, I will advise you to appoint a regent.'

He further charge the HRH, Eze Samuel Ohiri led-state Council of Traditional Rulers to ensure that Igbo language was spoken in all the state ministries, primary and secondary schools in the state. Okorocha, who also directed the police to arrest anybody that covered his car plate number or used tinted glass and bring such car to the Government House where it would be used by government.

He announced that no trailer vehicle would be allowed to enter into Owerri, the state capital during the day, saying such vehicle should operate from 10pm and should use the bye-pass. The governor stated that his administration would have zero tolerance for corruption, saying that any of the appointees found wanting would be shown the way out.