Neni Monarch Apologises To Soludo Over Conferment Of Chieftaincy Titles On Ifeanyi Ubah, Others

By Raymond Ozoji, Awka

The traditional ruler of Neni community in Anaocha Local Government Area of Anambra State, His Royal Highness Igwe Onwuamaeze Damian Ezeani, has unequivocally tendered an unreserved apology to Governor Charles Chukwuma Soludo for conferring chieftaincy titles on the Senator representing Anambra-South senatorial district, Sen. Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah, and some others during his second Ofala festival.

Igwe Ezeani, who convened an elaborate press conference in his palace to sincerely seek the forgiveness and pardon of the Anambra State Government, maintained that although ignorance of the law was not an excuse; he also pleaded for leniency, asking the state government to temper justice with mercy as such error would not repeat itself again.

The septuagenarian who attended St. John Primary School Neni, said he is a successful businessman and a Night of St. Mulumba of the Roman Catholic Church and not enticed by vanity and frivolity.

He said he was coronated on 10th May, 2003 as the traditional ruler of Neni and that ever since his reign has enthroned peace and tranquility in the community.

Igwe Ezeani explained that the reason for the press conference was to address his suspension notice. He said there was need to clarify issues surrounding his suspension.

Igwe Ezeani who is the current Chairman of the Anambra-Central Traditional Rulers’ Council, noted that the suspension letter held that the rules of giving chieftaincy titles were not adhered to. He said he has not seen such caveat, code of conduct or law prescribing the modus for conferring chieftaincy titles even as the Chairman of Anambra-Central Traditional Rulers’Council.

The monarch however stated that since the state government felt offended by the decision he took inadvertently, he therefore sincerely tendered unreserved apology to the Government of Anambra State and to the Governor Professor Charles Chukwuma Soludo.

He said the unreserved apology was being tendered on his behalf, on behalf of his Ndi-Ichie and Council and on behalf of the whole Neni community. That if any traditional ruler of Anambra-Central had also breached the law on conferment of chieftaincy titles, he also apologized on their behalf being their chairman.

He therefore appealed that wherever there is a law concerning traditional rulers, such law should be made available to them. Ezeani equally clarified that it was his second Ofala festival after 20 years of coronation which clearly showed that he was not a pompous person.

He said there was a Committee that selected, screened and interviewed nominees for the chieftaincy awards. That his was to get the Committee’s recommendations and then issue letters to the recipients.

Although Igwe Ezeani told journalists that Sen. Ifeanyi Ubah did not attend the Ofala festival, Ubah kept calling him on the phone saying that he doesn’t want to snob the chieftaincy title from Neni community. That at some point, he reluctantly decided to honour him with the chieftaincy title.

Igwe Ezeani said, “I am a humble person. I don’t play partisan politics. If I offend anyone, I will apologize being a Christian. We were the people brought up by the first generation of Catholics in this part of the country and we are very humble people.

“I am not a moneybag but I don’t have a price. There is nothing you can use to buy me and God helping me, I will be like that till I die. I am a person of integrity and by the grace of God, I will remain like that no matter what.

“Once more, I sincerely, honestly, humbly apologize to whoever this my chieftaincy offense hurts and I don’t want this my action to affect members of my community or my community negatively.

“Our people hold the government and the governor in the highest order. The governor holds this community in high regards. I sincerely hope that this issue will not affect the community negatively in any way.”

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