Anambra Chieftaincy Controversy Unfolds
Background: Traditional Rulers vs. Governor Soludo
In Awka, the dispute over the conferment of chieftaincy titles on Senator Ifeanyi Ubah by Anambra State traditional rulers has taken a heated turn. The Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe, who also doubles as the chairman of the Anambra State Council of Traditional Rulers, confronts Governor Chukwuma Soludo and accuses him of showing disrespect to the revered monarchs.
Soludo Suspends Igwe Ezeani
The controversy intensified when Igwe Damian Ezeani, the traditional ruler who honored Senator Ubah, faced suspension by the state government. He later issued an apology and withdrew the conferred title. Two other monarchs, Igwe Ebelendu and Igwe Mbamalu, also apologized to Governor Soludo for their role in the chieftaincy titles.
Soludo Responds to Reason
In response, Governor Soludo‘s Press Secretary, Christian Aburime, revealed that the chieftaincy titles bestowed on Senator Ubah violated the State Traditional Rulers’ code. Consequently, the titles were withdrawn and canceled by the three Igwes, who issued formal apologies to the state government.
Obi of Onitsha Questions Governor’s Approach
In a strongly-worded response to the Commissioner for Local Government, Igwe Achebe, Obi of Onitsha confronts Soludo and criticizes his handling of the situation. Achebe urged the governor to exercise powers with sensitivity and questioned the commissioner’s statement about some traditional rulers trading chieftaincy titles for money. He emphasized that a global announcement tarnished the reputation of Anambra monarchs and suggested a more discreet approach.
ASTRC’s Position: Lack of Written Directives and Code of Conduct Violation
Achebe contested the portrayal of the entire traditional institution in the governor’s press release, highlighting that the Anambra State Traditional Rulers Council (ASTRC) is yet to take a stance on the alleged violation of the Code of Conduct by Igwe Damian Ezeani. He pointed out the absence of written directives on the conferment of chieftaincy titles before the suspension of Igwe Neni.
Obi of Onitsha concluded by stating that the governor’s handling of the chieftaincy titles issue represents a progressive dehumanization and dismantling of the traditional institution in Anambra State. He raised questions about the severity of the sanctions imposed on the traditional rulers, suggesting underlying issues that may be discreetly addressed. The clash, it seems, is not just about chieftaincy titles but a broader conflict between tradition and governance in Anambra.