Raymond Ozoji, Awka
Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State has slammed a one-year suspension on 12 traditional rulers who travelled to Abuja last week to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari.
A letter announcing the suspension of the traditional rulers was signed by the state commissioner for local government, chieftaincy and community affairs, Greg Obi. The letter said the action was taken because the monarchs travelled outside the state without government’s approval.
The letter suspending Anambra traditional rulers
The affected traditional rulers are: Igwe Alex Edozieuno (Mkpunando), Igwe Mark Anthony Okonkwo (Alor), Igwe Chukwuma Bob Vincent Orji (Ezinifite), Igwe G.B.C. Mbakwe (Abacha), Igwe Chijioke Nwankwo (Nawfia) and Igwe Nkeli Nelly (Igbariam).
Others are Igwe Anthony Onyekwere (Owelle), Igwe A.N. Onwuneme (Ikenga), Igwe Simon Ikechukwu Chidubem (Umumbo), Igwe S.O. Uche (Ezira), Igwe Emeka Ilouno (Ifitedunu) and Igwe Udoji (Eziagulu-Otu).
The statement said Governor Obiano, in suspending the traditional rulers, was exercising the power conferred on him by Section 10(b) of the Anambra State Traditional Rulers Law 1981. The state government said the certificates of recognition of the traditional rulers have been withdrawn for a period of one year.
It said the suspension could be lifted, renewed or upgraded depending on government’s review of the conduct of the affected traditional rulers.
The statement added: “During the sanction period, you are required to stop holding yourselves out as traditional rulers and to cease from discharging traditional rulers functions in your communities or elsewhere in the state and beyond.
“By this sanction, membership of Anambra State Traditional Rulers Council is revoked and furthermore any appointment in other government committees is hereby rescinded.”
Thirteen traditional rulers from Anambra State were reported to have sought audience with President Buhari in Abuja. Their trip was said to have been facilitated by business mogul, Prince Arthur Eze, who has been having a running battle with Governor Obiano.
Recently, Obiano suspended Ukwulu monarch, Igwe Peter Uyanwa, for one year.