BY ANAYO OKOLI, UMUAHIA
THERE are indications that traditional rulers in the South East may wade into the face –off between Abia State Government and the other South East states over disengagement of non_indigenes working in Abia State civil service.
This followed a call by Governor Theodore Orji on traditional rulers from the South_East to help him explain to their different state governments the reason he disengaged the non_indigenes working in the state civil service and sent them back to their different states of origin.
The indication emerged from the meeting of the South_East executive committee of the traditional rulers council, held weekend in Umuahia, the Abia State capital.
Addressing the royal fathers, Governor Orji, represented by his deputy, Chief Emeka Ananaba, said that he could not stand and watch those who elected him into office suffer, while he had the means to help them out of their problems.
He appealed to the royal fathers to help him explain to their different state governments why Abia State Government had to take the decision, saying that no responsible government would allow its people to suffer.
“I want you to deliberate on the reasons why our government had to send back non_indigenes working in our state civil service back to their states of origin. It is only when you see our reason and deliberate on it that you can explain to your different state governments to avoid conflict,” Orji said.
According to him, the state government had been carrying a heavy load because of the bloated work force of its civil service, adding that they had been managing it until the issue of minimum wage came up and made it unbearable for the state.
He commended the founding fathers of the traditional ruler’s council, and told them that as people with homogenous background, they had a lot in common to share.
“There is need for you people to meet more often to forge a way forward for the unity and development of the (South-East) zone,” Orji charged them.
The governor also challenged them to ensure peace in their various domains, saying “as the custodians of the custom and tradition, you should also ensure peace in your areas through monitoring those that come and go in your areas.
“It is a shame that crimes like armed robbery, kidnapping and other violent crimes are now the order of the day; we need to put a stop to such dastardly act in our society. You have to help government fight crimes from your different communities as you know your subjects better than any other in any given society.”
In a communiqué issued later, the traditional rulers council said that they had set up a committee headed by the Chairman, Abia Sate Traditional Rulers Council, Eze John Akaliro, to ensure peaceful co_existence and unity in the zone.