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In a press statement signed by his Media Adviser, Nwamma Ogidi, in Owerri on Tuesday, Major General Lincoln Ogunewe (rtd), the candidate of the Action Alliance (AA) in the upcoming November 2023 Imo governorship election, expressed his commitment to collaborate with traditional institutions to combat insecurity if he is elected.
According to him, traditional rulers possess remarkable fearlessness and impartiality in their advisory and other significant roles. He emphasised that their involvement, if properly integrated, would greatly contribute to the efforts against insecurity.
He criticized the ‘waning respect for traditional institutions,’ noting that the unfortunate situation has led to a deterioration in security, as the displacement of traditional rulers, who are the guardians of rural security.
‘Growing up, I saw that our traditional rulers were accorded deep respect as royal fathers and were neither abused nor harassed by anyone or any institution.’
Hence, they uphold their dignified and unbiased position as fatherly figures in an advisory capacity to all stakeholders. With courage and fairness, they provide advice and recommendations to individuals, communities, and governments as necessary, maintaining their reputation and honor.
‘Unfortunately, the respect accorded to Ndi Eze (traditional rulers) has waned over time because of the actions of ill-willed politicians in government so that they now live in palpable fear of harassment or removal once their advice contradicts government opinion. This is very disheartening.’
Ogunewe committed to assisting communities in upholding and preserving their traditional institutions, without impeding the election process of Ndi Eze (traditional rulers).
Furthermore, he stressed the need to prevent undue government interference and harassment. To achieve this, he proposed the enactment of legislation that would establish a structured procedure for the suspension or removal of a traditional ruler, ensuring that such decisions are not made unilaterally by an individual or dictated by government order.
According to him, implementing these measures would help restore confidence in traditional institutions and contribute significantly to the ongoing battle against insecurity, particularly at the grassroots level.
‘Our government will partner with Ndi Eze to restore community values and reduce crime in our society. We will address leadership failure head-on. I stand for a greater, better Imo, today and always,’ he added.
By supporting communities in upholding their traditional institutions, Ogunewe aims to foster a sense of unity and strengthen community values, which will contribute to reducing crime and enhancing overall security in Imo.