Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha has banned traditional rulers in Imo State from speaking English or any other foreign language at public functions or in their palaces while conducting the affairs of their communities.
Okorocha said that the monarchs could employ the services of interpreters if the need arises should they find it difficult to speak Igbo fluently to the understanding of their subjects, adding that the Igbo language, as predicted by some, will not be allowed to go into extinction.
He gave the directive while handing over letters of recognition and staff of office to 19 newly recognized traditional rulers in the state. Meanwhile, some communities, including Ibiasegbe in Oru West Local Council, had community members protesting against the choice of their monarchs, stressing that they had not decided on their traditional ruler and calling on the governor to reverse it.
The governor warned them not to be tools of ‘disunity and destabilization,’ stressing that any monarch who failed to exhibit “leadership in his community stands the risk of having his Certificate of Recognition and Staff of Office withdrawn.”