“Governor Rochas Okorocha, was yesterday stunned as royal fathers defiantly rejected the Toyota Sienna vehicles presented to them by the state government.
Most of the traditional rulers, who spoke angrily to Vanguard on the issue, said nobody consulted them before they went into the market to make the purchases.
One of the aggrieved royal fathers, who spoke on strict grounds of anonymity for fear of victimization, said:
“It was a gratuitous insult for the administration to, on its own, buy and force us to use Sienna vehicles.“it is most uncharitable for the administration to announce to the world that the governor is distributing vehicles free of charge to Imo royal fathers, when in actual fact Okorocha would be deducting N50,000 from our monthly stipends for the next three years.”
While insisting that each traditional ruler was expected to cough out a total sum of N1.8 million at the end of the three-year deductions, the monarch also opined that “the entire arrangement was deceitful and most embarrassing”.
Another monarch recalled with grief, how the governor ordered each traditional ruler to present two jars of palm wine for the Freedom Day celebration.
“The order was very humiliating. I am not too sure any traditional ruler from either the Yoruba or Hausa communities could be given such directives,” the royal father lamented.
Vanguard’s last check before going to press has revealed that most of the traditional rulers have withdrawn the documents they signed for the collection of the proposed vehicles. Spirited efforts made to get the Commissioner for Community Government Council and Chieftaincy Affairs, Chief Val Mbamala, for his comments failed as his mobile line could not be reached at press time.