BY SEGUN ADEBAYO, ABUJA – Concerned over what they described as his highhandedness, some traditional rulers in Anambra State have moved against the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Achebe, who is the Chairman of the state’s traditional rulers’ council.
The monarchs, who are already facing suspension slammed on them by Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State on grounds of alleged misconduct, insisted that the tenure of Igwe Achebe expired as the chairman of the state’s traditional rulers’ council.
Governor Obiano on August 11, 2020 suspended 12 monarchs for an initial period of one year for traveling out of the state without his approval.
The suspended monarchs include HRM Alex Edozieuno of Mkpunando, Mark-Anthony Okonkwo of Alor; Chukuwma Orji of Ezinifite; G.B.C Mbakwe of Abacha; Chijioke Nwankwo of Nawfa and Nkeli Nelly of Igbarim.
Others include Anthony Onyekwere of Owelle; A. N. Onwuneme of Ikenga; Ikechukwu Chidubem of Umumbo; S. O. Uche of Ezira; Emeka Ilouno of Ifitedunu and Peter Ikegbunem Udoji of Eziagulu.
But at a press conference in Abuja, Igwe Chioke Nwanko of Nawfia, who was flanked by his colleagues, said; “It is also a fact that the tenure of the chairman of the Council, Igwe Achaebe had earlier expired upon which he tendered his resignation.
“Whether the state government accepted his resignation or not, he has no locus standi to suspend us especially since his tenure has long expired.
“Following this high handedness and dictatorship, we the concerned traditional rulers of Anambra hereby suspend the chairman of the Anambra state traditional rulers Council, HRH Igwe Alfred Achebe’’.
Commenting on their suspension, Igwe Nwanko described it as a nullity and a charade, insisting that they did not commit any offence to warrant suspension.
In his words; “We are the concerned traditional rulers from Anambra state who were purportedly suspended for one year by the state government following the recommendations of the state’s council of traditional rulers led by the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Achaebe.
“We state categorically that we have not committed any act to warrant being suspended. This is to say the least, an abuse of power and high handedness by the Igwe in connivance with the state government that has become increasingly desperate as the Governor Obiano’s administration winds to a close.
“What was wrong about our ‘commendation’ visit to President Muhammadu Buhari on the good things he has been doing for the South East Zone and the Igbos to be precise?’’
The monarchs alleged that Igwe Achebe was a migrant in their midst that was only allowed to superintend over the affairs of the council.