Outrage has trailed the one-year suspension slammed on Peter Uyanwa, traditional ruler of Ukwulu in Dunukofia Local Government Area, by Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano.
Arthur Eze and some Anambra monarchs, yesterday, described Uyanwa’s suspension by Governor Obiano as an attempt to intimidate the traditional institution from performing its assigned functions.
Eze, who spoke at the palace of the monarch on a solidarity visit with about 50 traditional rulers from Anambra, warned the governor to desist from the road he is travelling and address the alleged diversion of local government funds and entitlements due to the traditional rulers, the judiciary, former local government chairmen and councillors in the state.
He said if the governor failed to retrace his steps, President Muhammadu Buhari might likely order for the seizure of local government allocations due to Anambra if Mr. President actually discovers that such funds do not get to the right people and channel in the state.
Uyanwa described his purported suspension as a joke, noting that Governor Obiano may not be aware of such development.
He said apart from his personal friendship with the governor, he has been law-abiding in his conducts, noting that he obeyed and recanted his earlier statement kicking against zoning as the chairman of Anambra central traditional rulers’ council.
He said he was being crucified for lending support to President Buhari’s development projects for the Igbo which Eze had also applauded and noted that there was nothing wrong in associating with the Prince of Ukpo Kingdom who had been so good to all.
Traditional ruler of Abacha community, Godwin Mbakwe, said the government should not trample on the rights of the traditional rulers just like other citizens.
He said commissioners serving in government had no power to dictate to the traditional rulers and warned that subordinates of the governor might lead the government to take wrong decisions that might lead to regret.
An Igbo youth group, Anambra Ekunie, also took a swipe at the governor, claiming that the suspension was because of the monarch’s refusal to adopt the governorship zoning policy of the All progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), allegedly being forced on traditional rulers.
Speaking in Enugu after an emergency meeting, President of the group, Ifeanyi Anachusi, said the governor has sadly started chasing shadows instead of focusing on how to rescue his administration which, according to him, was the worst since the return of democracy in 1999.
Anachusi also said the action of the state government confirmed earlier alarm raised by the group on the plot by the APGA-led government to silence monarchs in order to push through its agenda of zoning the 2021 governorship to Anambra South.
He said the action of the state government was undemocratic, draconian and unconstitutional, wondering if Obiano wanted to live out the remaining days of his governorship as a dictator.
“The last time we addressed developments in Anambra State, we hinted of plots by Governor Obiano and his APGA government to clamp down on traditional rulers who refused to support zoning of the 2021 governorship to Anambra South. Today, we have been vindicated,” he said.