TWELVE monarchs were suspended yesterday by Anambra State government for misconduct. This follows the resolution of Anambra State Traditional Rulers to that effect which the state governor assented to.
Announcing the development, Anambra State’s Commissioner for Local Government, Chieftaincy and Community Affairs, Greg Obi, stated that the monarchs’ suspension was based on a resolution passed on Tuesday, August 12 by the Anambra State Traditional Rulers’ Council recommending appropriate sanctions for their members who recently embarked on a contrived political journey outside the state without consultation or approval from the government as required by law.
In a public announcement signed by Chief Obi he explained that government suspended the affected monarchs in acceptance of the recommendation of the council of monarchs which called on Gov. Willie Obiano to exercise the powers conferred on his office under relevant laws.
“By the powers conferred on His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Anambra State under Section 10(b) of Anambra State Traditional Rulers Law, 1987, His Excellency has directed the suspension of the igweship certificates of the affected monarchs for aperiod of one (1) year effective from Tuesday, August 11, 2020.”
The release further states that “this sanction may be lifted at the end of the one (1) year or renewed or upgraded in the intervening period depending on government’s review the monarchs’ conducts.”
It equally added that “during the sanction period, the affected monarchs are required to stop parading themselves out as traditional rulers and also desist from discharging any traditional rulers’ function in their communities or elsewhere in the State and beyond.”
The release further ordered that “membership of Anambra State Traditional Rulers’ Council by the affected monarchs has been revoked and furthermore appointment of any of them in other government committees is hereby revoked.”
Those who are suspended include Igwe Alex Edozieuno of Mkpunando town, Igwe Nkelly Nelly of Igbariam and Igwe Udoji of Eziagulu-Out town as well as Igwe Anthony Onyekwere, all in Anambra East and West Local Government Areas (LGA) respectively.
Others are Igwe Mark Anthony Okonkwo of Alor town and Igwe G.B.C Mbaekwe of Abacha, both in Idemmili North LGA.
The list also includes Igwe Chijioke Nwankwo of Nawfia, Igwe Chukwuma Bob Vincent Orji of Ezinifite, Igwe A. N Onwuneme of Ikenga, Igwe Simon Ikechukwu of Ezira, Igwe S. O. Uche of Umumbo and Igwe Emeka Ilouno of Ifitedunu.
It will be recalled that Anambra State Traditional Rulers’ Council has recommended appropriate sanctions for the 13 traditional rulers that undertook a trip to Abuja without permission from state Government and the state traditional council in line with standing rules.
Rising from a meeting in Onitsha on Tuesday, the royal fathers expressed disgust that their colleagues breached the standard protocol.
Anambra State Traditional Rulers’ Council recommended appropriate sanctions for the erring monarchs that undertook a trip to Abuja without permission from state government and the state’s traditional council in line with standing rules.
The Council made the recommendation to the State Government, after their brief meeting at the Governor’s Lodge, Onitsha.
The traditional rulers undertook an ill-fated trip to see President Muhammadu Buhari in company of a controversial Anambra-born business mogul, who reportedly sponsored them for his bid.
The conducts of the erring monarchs which are now contents of a viral video, trending in social media, were deemed demeaning and at variance with their status and the customary reverence of Igbo traditional institutions. Hence, the council frowned at the desecration of royal throne.
Addressing journalists after the traditional Rulers’ Council meeting, the traditional ruler of Onitsha and Chairman of the State Traditional Rulers’ Council, Igwe Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe also described the act as unlawful and abuse of privileges.
Igwe Achebe noted that there were established protocols that any traditional ruler going outside the state must follow in notifying the government before embarking on such journeys.
Igwe Achebe noted that the said law, which was binding on the traditional rulers across the nation, had been in existence since 2005.
He also noted that “the issue of travelling outside the state on an appointment with President Buhari on behalf of Ndi Eze Anambra on matters concerning the state without the knowledge of the state government, was not right and we were not aware of it.
“This decision is the collective stance of the State Traditional Rulers’ Council. If they think there were issues, we should have tried to resolve it internally.”
Present during the meeting was the 2nd Deputy Chairman of the Council, Igwe Sunday Okafor.
Others are Chairman of Anambra South Traditional Council, Igwe Col. JOC Onebune, his North counterpart, Igwe Victor Awogu and the Chairman of Anambra Central Traditional Council, Igwe Christopher Okpala.