Chairman, Imo State Council of Traditional Rulers (Eze Imo), HRM Eze Samuel Ohiri, has given a firm promise to make arrangement for traditional rulers of Imo State to attend en masse the forthcoming 2-day NICO National Conference on “Culture, Peace and National Security: The Role of Traditional Rulers”, which is slated to take place in Enugu, the capital city of Enugu State, on 1st and 2nd June, 2017.

Eze Ohiri, who is also the Obi of Obi-Orodo Community in Mbaitoli LGA, Imo State, stated this during a follow-up visit to his palace on Wednesday, 24th May, 2017, by NICO South-East Zonal Co-ordinator, Ms Justina Akhilome and her team, on the forthcoming programme.

The monarch commended the good works of NICO on culture and added that it did not surprise him because he knew what stuff the Executive Secretary, Assoc. Prof. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma (whom he described as a close friend), is made of; pointing out that if most Ministries of Culture and other bodies charged with the responsibility of conserving, promoting and marketing Nigeria’s rich cultures do as much as NICO is doing, the gains accruable from these endeavours would have been most rewarding.

He extolled NICO for the series of conferences, which recognised the roles traditional rulers, who are closest to the people, play and ought to play as real custodians of culture; and equally expressed his willingness to maintain a close working relationship with NICO South-East Zonal Office, Owerri, in matters related to culture.

Eze Ohiri further expressed his happiness with the choice of Enugu, the capital city of Enugu State, as the venue for the conference, and also acceded to the request of the Zonal Coordinator for him to assist the Zonal office solve its accommodation problem by advising the Coordinator to route her request to the Governor of Imo State (through the Monarch), so that he could personally take up the matter with His Excellency.

Finally, the monarch used the opportunity to conduct NICO South-East Zonal Coordinator and her team round the ultra-modern complex housing traditional and cultural facilities, including the newly-constructed official residence of Eze Imo, Traditional Rulers Parliamentary Chamber capable of accommodating 1,000 conferees, where he offered to host all the traditional rulers in the country should NICO choose Imo State, as host for another conference; a dome-shaped palace, where OhiriNICOEze Imo has received such important dignitaries as former President Olusegun Obasanjo and former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, now the Emir of Kano, Alhjai Dr. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, among many other dignitaries.

Speaking during the visit, the NICO South-East Zonal Coordinator, Ms Justina Akhilome, thanked the Eze Imo for his warm reception and his promise to honour NICO’s invitation to the conference with prominent Ezes from across Imo State.

Akhilome equally informed the Monarch about the accommodation problem the Zonal Office was facing and requested him to do something pending the time NICO would have the resources to develop the parcel of land already allocated to it by Imo State Government.

She commended the Governor of Imo State, Owelle Rochas Anayo Okorocha, for the unprecedented transformation of Owerri, the Imo State capital into a modern city and described the traditional complex as about the most modern in Nigeria, if not Africa.

Stanley Onuachu

Corporate Affairs Unit

NICO Owerri