FORMER Imo State governor Senator Rochas Okorocha and the ex-chairman of the South East Council of Traditional Rulers Eze Cletus Ilomuanya were involved in a bitter altercation at Owerri Airport over the weekend.
In what has been a very turbulent few weeks in Imo State, Senator Okorocha who was governor between 2011 and 2019, was arrested last month after he forced his way into the Royal Spring Palm Estate, Owerri. Incumbent Governor Hope Uzodinma had seized the estate which belongs to Senator Okorocha’s wife Nkechi, claiming it was state property appropriated by the former governor.
Senator Okorocha, who has since been elected as the lawmaker representing Imo West Senatorial District, vowed to stop what he sees as the seizure of his personal property and yesterday forced open the estate to reclaim it. However, following his forceful entry into the property, he was arrested and taken to the police station in Owerri but has since accused Governor Uzodinma of unleashing hundreds of thugs against him.
Boasting that he has the strongest political structure in the state, Senator Okorocha has vowed to fight on to the very bitter end. Late last month, however, he suffered a major setback after a high court in Owerri ordered an interim forfeiture of several properties he allegedly acquired illegally while in office.
In a fresh spat, Senator Okorocha and Eze Ilomuanya engaged each other in a serious altercation while leaving Owerri for Abuja to the surprise of other passengers on board the Air Peace flight. Apparently, the traditional ruler upon sighting Senator Okorocha accused him of being the cause of his present day predicament as he is no longer occupying the office.
However, Senator Okorocha told him that he had no regrets removing him as the chairman of the Imo State Council of Traditional Rulers. To drive his point home, the former governor equally said he would repeat his actions if he was still in office.
A former commissioner in Senator Okorocha’s administration who was on the flight, said that Eze Ilomuanya started accusing the former governor of being the cause of all the things he is suffering today. Senator Okorocha then told him bluntly that he would repeat his actions 10 times if he were still the governor.
He added: “Eze Cletus Ilomuanya aboard Air Peace flight to Abuja this morning accosted Senator Rochas Okorocha sitting next to him, exploded with so much rage and royal anger. What started as a mellow drama, all of a sudden snowballed into a full-fledged confrontation inside the aircraft, as the charismatic popular royal father descended on Okorocha with his walking stick.
“If not for the timely intervention of the flight captain, who rushed out when Ilomuanya was hitting Okorocha with his royal walking stick to leave his sight, the story would have been something else.”
However, Senator Okorocha warned politicians, who he said, were looking for favour from the state government, to stop dropping his name. Senator Okorocha deposed Eze Ilomuanya as the monarch of Obinukwu autonomous community and replaced him as the t
raditional ruler of the community.