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Imo monarch denies scuffle with Okorocha

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Immediate past Chairman of Imo State Council of Traditional Rulers, Eze Cletus Ilomuanya, has denied engaging in any quarrel with Senator Rochas Okorocha (APC, Imo West).

He expressed dismay at the rate quack media practitioners were exploiting the social media to cause crisis in the society.

The first class monarch spoke with select reporters in Abuja, against the background of viral reports in the social media purporting that he engaged in a physical brawl with Okorocha, who governed Imo for eight years, in a local flight to Abuja on Sunday.

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Ilomuanya explained that what transpired between him and the former governor was a fraternal joke, noting that it all started with Okorocha, who was seated on his (monarch’s) allotted seat, asking him to seat on his (Okorocha’s).

Urging caution among bloggers and social media activists, Ilomuanya noted: “This social media will ruin us, if we are not careful. The former governor and I only cracked jokes in the aircraft before take-off.

“Getting to Abuja, social media was awash with reports far different from the real story. He sat on my chair before I came into the aircraft, and asked me to take over his own seat, which I did and he jokingly said ‘Ihe a awughikwa oche eze Imo a na-azo azo (this is not the coveted Imo Traditional Rulers’ Council chairmanship). I responded ‘N ga aku gi mkpara o’ (I will strike you with staff o).”

Corroborating the monarch’s account of what transpired in the aircraft, the Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, said: “This story is nothing but a fabrication. I was in the flight and sat behind them. They exchanged somewhat hot words at the onset, but later were speaking cordially as the flight progressed. It didn’t degenerate. Even the flight stewards/stewardess didn’t come in, not to talk of the captain.”

At the height of political supremacy battles among factions of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Okorocha, with stiff challenge from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), during his tenure as governor, Okorocha had removed Ilomuanya as the traditional rulers’ council chairman.

The monarch is still making frantic efforts to see how the Governor Hope Uzodimma administration could return him to the seat in the ongoing process of restitution and reconciliation of the traditional institution in the state.

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