Anambra monarchs fault Soludo over suspension of colleague

Aliya Moses
6 Min Read

ENUGU- TRADITIONAL rulers in Anambra State have faulted the suspension of one of them, Igwe Damain Ezeani of Neni in Anaocha council area of the state.

They said that they were not consulted or informed of the code of conduct which Ezeani was said to have breached, leading to his controversial suspension.

Anambra State Government had last week, through the Commissioner for Local Government, Chieftaincy and Community Affairs, Hon. TonyCollins Nwabunwanne, suspended the traditional ruler of Neni, Damain Ezeani for conferring chieftaincy title on Senator Ifeanyi Ubah, who hails from neighbouring Nnewi Community.

The Government said the Neni monarch breached a code of conduct for conferring such titles, a claim the traditional rulers in the state have disagreed with.

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Reacting to the suspension, the monarchs under the umbrella of Anambra State Traditional Rulers Council, wrote to the Government through the Commissioner, expressing their annoyance over the way and manner Government handled the matter.

In a 14-paragraph letter written by their chairman, Igwe Nnaemeka A. Achebe, CFR, Obi of Onitsha, they said that the traditional institution in the state “feels strongly that the present administration is progressively dehumanizing and depreciating the institution against the trend in the rest of the country where the Federal and State Governments accord dignity and respect to the institution.

“The traditional institution is mindful of the awesomeness of the executive power and authority in our democratic dispensation but prays fervently that such power and authority, which derive from God through the governed, should be exercised with due sensitivity and humaness over the governed”.
On the claim that Igwe Damain Ezeani violated the code of conduct and that he did not get clearance from the ministry before he conferred the title on Senator Ifeanyi Ubah, the monarchs said that from available records “it is very manifestly that no written directives from your ministry on conferment of chieftaincy titles existed before January 8, 2024, when Igwe Neni was suspended”.

The letter also quarreled with the description of Ifeanyi Ubah as “one Senator Ifeanyi Ubah”.
“Your reference to a second-term Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as “one Senator Ifeanyi Ubah” is most disrespectful, offensive, and unbecoming of one holding a political office as Commissioner. It is noteworthy that a person can only qualify to contest elections after scaling through the highest level of security checks at the federal level.

“Furthermore, distinguished Senator Ifeanyi Ubah holds a chieftaincy title of his hometown, Nnewi, conferred on him by his monarch and grand patron of Anambra State traditional institution, His Majesty, Igwe Kenneth O. Orizu. He is also a well known business investor in Anambra state and a generous philanthropist.

“I would like to state clearly that your handling of this matter of conferment of honorary chieftaincy titles is the apogee of the progressive dehumanization and dismantling of the traditional institution of Anambra State by the present administration. The institution comprises of some of the finest sons of Anambra state who achieved sterling academic heights and professional/vocational attainments.

“At the behest of their communities, they took up the role of traditional rulers as shining examples for selflessly giving back to their communities in particular, and society at large. Their livelihood does not depend on selling chieftaincy titles or the N175,000 monthly stipend from the state Government, but on their own hard earned modest personal resources.

“By their office, age, attainment and standing in the society, they deserve far better respect and dignity, than being publicly bullied and unfairly shamed at every opportunity by people in the State Government. The Federal and other State Governments hold the traditional institution in high esteem. What then has gone wrong in Anambra state?”, the royal fathers wondered.

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The monarchs reminded Anambra State Government that instead of focusing attention of the issue of honorary chieftaincy title, its attention should rather be focused on key community challenges such as lack of basic amenities (electricity, potable water, healthcare, good access roads, etc), youth unemployment leading to other delinquencies, security and inability of the communities to fund their contingents of Anambra State Vigilante Group, massive urban renewal for our sprawling cities, respectable stipends from 5% of the statutory allocation to Local Government Councils as is applicable in other states if the Federation.

They said they have a subsisting code of conduct that guides them and if the Government has made a new one, they should be notified, insisting that the state government should accord them the respect they deserve.

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