Obi of Onitsha Expresses Concern Over Soludo Decision to Suspend Mornach  for Conferring Chieftaincy title on Ifeanyi Uba 


By Kamsi Anayo

The Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Achebe, has expressed sadness over the way the Anambra state government led by Gov. Chukwuma Soludo has been said to be treating the traditional rulers in the state.

Achebe, who is apparently angered by the way the monarch of Neni, in Anaocha Local Government Area of the state, Igwe Damian Ezeani, was suspended by the state government recently for conferring chieftaincy title on Sen. Ifeanyi Ubah, in a letter authored by himself, said the government should respect the traditional institution.

Achebe, who doubled as Chairman of the Anambra State Traditional Rulers Council (ANSTC)🏥 in a 14 point letter statement bemoaned the dimension that was taken by the state government in the suspension of Igwe Ezeani.

“I am writing in response to your letter, Ref: MLGCCA/HC/2022/T/025/001/103of the above caption to me dated Jan. 8, 2024. This response also provides a fuller context of other events relating to the suspension of lgwe Ezeani.

“Your letter was hand-delivered to me at Onitsha at 6:55pm on Jan. 9, 2024. I was curious about the timing of the delivery considering that I had presided at the meeting of the Anambra State Traditional Rulers Council (ASTRC) at Awka earlier in the day, where such a letter would normally be presented to me by the ASTRC secretariat.

“The letter was a justification for the government’s suspension of lgwe Ezeani as traditional ruler of his domain.

“My suspicion that your letter was an after-thought was buttressed by the fact that your letter of suspension to lgwe Ezeani of the same date, Jan. 8, 2024, was already trending virally on social media for well over twentyfour hours prior to my receipt of your letter.

“I was embarrassingly inundated with phone calls and messages from traditional rulers and other persons seeking clarification from me as Chairman of ASTRC regarding a situation to which I was not privy. 

“Your letter to Igwe Ezeani was copied to the Commissioner of Police, and Director DSS, Anambra state, but not to the chairman of the ASTRC,” he said.

The revered traditional ruler said that the action of the state government has indeed shown, amongst many others acts, how traditional rulers of the state are being treated and the measure of the worth the traditional institution has with the present state government.

Achebe said that it was unfortunate that the state government could apply the Code of Conduct without the involvement or reference to ASTRC, a body that worked so hard to ensure that the law stands following the 2013 annual seminar of the state traditional rulers where it was presented and adopted.

He retraced how he had on Oct. 4, 2023 contacted the governor on the subsisting code of conduct which served previous administration and the need for its review to have adequate efficacy. 

He, however, stressed that since then he has not received any feedback from the Commissioner or the governor, and as such he assumed that the same order with the previous administrations would continue to prevail.

Achebe said it was out of place, for the commissioner to have discussed with him on Jan. 7, 2024 on the Code of Conduct for traditional rulers who conferred honorary chieftaincy titles in violation of the code.

According to him, the commissioner specifically mentioned Igwe Ojoto, who conferred an honorary chieftaincy title on Sen. Ifeanyi Ubah on Dec. 30, 2023 and the self acclaimed traditional ruler of Nawfia, who also conferred honorary chieftaincy titles on 40 persons on the Jan. 4, 2033.

Achebe said: “In the conversation, you categorically, did not mention, in any regard whatsoever, Igwe Ezeani of Neni who celebrated his ofala on Dec. 29, 2023.

“Nevertheless, it’s is very manifestly presented that no written directives from your ministry on conferment of Chieftaincy titles existed before Jan. 8, 2024 when Igwe Ezeani of Neni was suspended,” he said.

He further stressed that the referenced letter to a second term distinguished 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 a commissioner.

He said it was unfortunate that the commissioner used such words on the Senator as its noteworthy that a person can only qualify to contest elections after scaling through the highest level of security checks at the Federal level.

Achebe, however, noted that Sen. Ubah can’t be wished away as he hold a Chieftaincy title of his hometown, Nnewi, conferred on him by his monarch and Grand Patron of the Anambra state traditional Institution, Igwe K.O.N Orizu. 

“Besides, he is also a well known business investor in Anambra and a generous Philanthropist to say the least,” he affirmed.

He, therefore, maintained that the issue of code of conduct on Igwe Neni and the conferment of Chieftaincy title to Sen. Ubah suggests that there may be other issues with either the Igwe or Sen. Ubah, as is being stealthy ventilated in this present circumstance.

He however concluded that the way the state government has handled the matter of the honorary chieftaincy titles is the apogee of the continuous  dehumanization and dismantling of the traditional institution of Anambra by the present administration. 

He reminded the state government that the institution comprises the finest sons of Anambra state, who achieved sterling academic heights and professional/vocational attainments before been called to serve the people. 

Achebe reminded the state government that at the behest of their communities they took up the role of traditional rulers and as shining examples for selflessly giving back to their communities in particular, and the Society at large.

“As custodians of culture and tradition of their people, their livelihood does not depend on selling chieftaincy titles of 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 society, they deserve far better respect and dignity, than being publicly bullied and unfairly shamed at every opportunity by people in the state government. 

He stated further that the Federal and other state governments hold the traditional institutions in high esteem, and wondered what has gone wrong in Anambra state.


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