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Chief Sir, Nick Okorie is the newly conferred Traditional Prime Minister of Umuduru autonomous community in Isiala Mbano LGA of Imo. In this exclusive interview, the newly decorated TPM, Chief Okorie speaks on his conferment of chieftaincy title as Onwa and other issue therein;
Excerpts

Chief Sir, Nick Okorie is the newly conferred Traditional Prime Minister of Umuduru autonomous community in Isiala Mbano LGA of Imo. In this exclusive interview, the newly decorated TPM, Chief Okorie speaks on his conferment of chieftaincy title as Onwa and other issue therein;
Excerpts


May I meet you, Sir?
Thank you, my name is Chief Sir Nick Okorie. I am the Traditional Prime Minister of Umuduru Autonomous Community in Isiala Mbano, Imo State. I studied Accounting in Abia State University, Banking and Finance in Imo State University and on-going PhD programme at FUTO. I taught at Umuduru Secondary School, Nekede Secondary School and Emeabiam secondary school, Owerri.  I am a Professional Accountant having worked with Port Harcourt Electricity DistributionPHED formally Power Holding Company of NigeriaPHCN I retired early this year. I am married to Mrs. Ngozi Okorie with two children, a boy and a girl.
Everybody is filled with excitement, what is happening today?
Yes firstly, the community of Umuduru is celebrating our Traditional Ruler's forty years on the throne. HRH Eze Kingsley Duru has ruled this community in peace and we have no regrets in celebrating him. Secondly, I was decorated as the Traditional Prime Minister of Umuduru in Isiala Mbano, Imo State. So you can see that it is worth celebrating. Everybody is happy to be part of this great event. We sincerely thank God for this opportunity.
How do you access HRH Eze Kingsley Duru as he celebrates forty years on the throne?
HRH Eze Kingsley Duru was formally the Traditional Ruler of Osuachara which comprises of Umuduru, Nneato Nwafo, Luwe Nneiri and Isiebu until Nneato Nwafo and Luwe Nneiri gained autonomy and had their traditional rulers. The transition of one autonomous community to another is quiet a great development. Unlike any other traditional ruler who would have frown at it, but HRH Eze Kingsley Duru welcomed the idea and said that it was a means of taking development to the door step of every home in the area. We enjoy peace and sanity in this community, even there is a football tournament going on right now, Umuduru unity cup that is been sponsored by one of our vibrant sons. The football is played by all the villages of Osuachara and it has brought harmony amongst the people. Also, I can proudly say that we don't have cases of very corrupt people and we achieved that by making sure the successful men and women of this community get involved in human development, some are involved in scholarship, job creation, skill acquisitions and so on.  It may be of your interest to know that before the reign of HRH Eze Kingsley Duru, we don't have bore holes, now, bore holes are all over the place. Before now, our neighbouring communities use to under rate us but it is not so now, Umuduru is producing professionals, business tycoons, great politicians and so on.
The creation of these communities, was it a peaceful move or borne out of crises?
It was a very peaceful move, fully accepted and recognized by HRH Eze Kingsley Duru. He welcomes the new Ezes even till now. We still see ourselves as one though administratively we do our things differently. So we don't have problems at all.
As the new Traditional Prime Minister, what new innovation would you bring into the Traditional Institution of Umuduru?
Administratively, I will re-organize the whole lots of things especially in the cabinet. I realized that people feel discouraged to seek for justice or redress because of the amount of money or levy that is charged before anybody meets with the cabinet. But I will make sure the charges are being reduced and make people believe that they can actually seek for intervention from the cabinet and get justice. People should be able to have confidence in their Eze and there will be transparency in judgment. I will also create opportunities for people especially the youths to go out there and find their God's given potentials. Some people in my community are enjoying scholarship under my care and not only that, I have extended this benevolence to the youths in other communities. It is my passion to see my community grow so big and rich in that there will be no nuisance therein. I will also make sure that the culture of Umuduru is promoted. I will encourage agriculture because that has been our means of livelihood. Umuduru must be known worldwide for a particular agricultural produce like yam, maize, cocoyam, okro etc and the youths will be fully involved.
What are your roles as the Prime Minister of Umuduru Autonomous Community and how will it be of help to the development of your community?
Like I said earlier, the Traditional Prime Minister is the administrative arm of the Eze's cabinet. Most of the times, he presides over meetings within or outside the council. He organizes Eze's activities and manages the protocol duties for the Eze, especially in the area of operations. He markets the Eze to the outside world by making people believe in them and I will conclude by saying that as the Traditional Prime Minister of Umuduru Autonomous Community, I will discharge my duties as the Personal Assistant to HRH Eze Kingsley Duru.
Some people say that the present administration do not have respect for the traditional stool and that the Ezes are been used like toys, what can you say about it?
Everybody came from somewhere including the political heads and we were taught at childhood to respect the royal stool. In-fact, we were meant to see them as 'gods'. I think, our governor, His Excellency Rochas Okorocha cannot disregard the Ezes because they were the people that made him, he is our son. If people are saying that, the problem is from the Traditional Prime Ministers, they are not doing their duties. Let me tell you, earlier in the olden days, it is sacrilege for an Eze to be away from his throne for a long time. For instance if  the Governor invites the Ezes to the government house for a meeting, it is the duty of the traditional prime ministers to ensure that the traditional rulers are not kept too long and they can achieve that by working cordially with the Governor's  protocol officers. As a matter of fact, they are known as the fore-runners of the traditional rulers, just as in the bible with John the Baptist and Jesus. They must play their role accordingly so that there won't be any trace of neglect or let down.
What is your assessment of the present administration visa viz  the traditional institution?
The present administration is doing her best to see that traditional institution is not neglected. I must commend him for the vision and establishment of Community Government CouncilCGC in Imo state. The vision brought lot of changes in the traditional institution; the traditional ruler is the head while the president general and the secretary stay under him. It made their offices to be functional and it attracted a lot of respect. But in this second tenure, I don't know if CGC will exist. I must advice the government to follow up that system and put it into law.
From the look of things, is like some traditional rulers are playing politics and also attend some political meetings. Do you think HRM Eze Kingsley Duru is among this category?
Laughs no no no, Eze Kingsley Duru that I know very well is not into partisan politics. He is a man of pedigree He believes so much in the tradition and culture of the land. Even as a traditional ruler, he has never held any meeting on political grounds. In election periods, he will instruct us to vote according to our conscious. At his level, I don't think it is necessary for him to play politics and that is not the duty of a traditional ruler, the role he should play is to give advice to the electorate and the elected.
As the newly Traditional Prime Minister of Umuduru Autonomous Community, what is your advice to your people?
I want to thank the Almighty God for the opportunity he has given me to serve and also want to use this medium to say a big thank you to my people who have found me responsible and worthy to be their leader.  I want to note that we are not yet there, we will continue to grow by developing our human capital. I want to advice our parents to take it as a duty to train their children and teach them the culture and traditions of our land.  to our youths, instead of staying idle looking for white collar jobs and indulging in one crime or the other, you can be involve in some businesses that will be helpful or go into agriculture.  For some of us who are already digging gold, we should aspire to be at the apex. Let's encourage ourselves and stay in unity and of course that is the only sure way to progress. I see Umuduru Community flowing with milk and honey.

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