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The Governor of Anambra State, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo has suspended the traditional ruler of Neni, Igwe Damian Ezeani, in Anaocha Local Government, indefinitely.
The Eastern Updates gathered, the reason for this was that Igwe Ezeani conferred chieftaincy title on Senator Ifeanyi Ubah, who joined the All Progressives Congress (APC) to challenge his (Soludo’s) governorship in 2025.
The state government said through the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Collins Nwabunwanne, the monarch did not get permission for doing such.
One of the leaders in Neni, who spoke with The Eastern Updates on Wednesday under the condition of anonymity, pointed out that Prof. Soludo’s annoyance was that the monarch conferred on Ubah a chieftaincy title (Odenjinji- meaning like tornado) .
Senator Ubah and Senator Uche Ekwunife have not hidden their interest in contesting the governorship election in 2025 on a joint ticket.
The arrangement has unsettled the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) team in the state, including the governor.
However, a statement by the government signed by Nwabunwanne, said the order as well as directives by lawful authorities could not be tolerated “in the new Anambra of today.”
“We have received confirmed reports that you, as traditional ruler of Neni, conferred such a phantom chieftaincy title today on Senator Ifeanyi Ubah in violation of the Code of Conduct and without clearance from the ministry.
“Whether or not your action was for pecuniary reasons as being insinuated in many quarters, is irrelevant. What is important is that your action is an affront to order and good governance.
“In the light of the above, and for order and good governance, I am directed to inform you that Mr. Governor has in the exercise of his powers under Section 2 (C) of the Anambra State Traditional Rulers (Amendment) Law, 2020, suspended your recognition as Traditional Ruler of Neni until further notice.
“You are also by this letter, required to show cause why your Certificate of Recognition should not be withdrawn in line with the Traditional Rulers Law.
“In the meantime, you are advised in your own interest, to stop parading yourself forthwith, as the traditional ruler of Neni community.
“A vast majority of traditional rulers conduct their exalted office with dignity and integrity and stick to the Code of Conduct and directives of the ministry.
“However, a tiny few still act recklessly and in total disregard for the Code of Conduct of their office and directives of the supervising ministry,” the government said.
The embattled traditional ruler of Nawfia community in Njikoka Local Government of Anambra State, Igwe Daniel Obelle, has apologised to Governor Soludo for flouting the code of conduct guiding the conferment of chieftaincy titles.
The monarch, on January 4, despite having court issue, conferred chieftaincy titles on over 40 persons ”in recognition of their commitments towards human capital development.”
The traditional ruler tendered the apology in a statement he signed which was obtained by The Eastern Updates on Wednesday.
“My attention has been drawn to a statement by the Commissioner for Local Government & Chieftaincy Matters, Mr. Tony Collins Nwabunwanne, alluding to some Ndi Igwe in Anambra State that recently conferred chieftaincy awards on certain personalities without clearance from the state government.
“I wish to state that as a newcomer to the royal throne of Nawfia Community, I was not aware of the existence of the circular in question. Besides, I am not a member of the State Traditional Rulers Council where the said circular was issued.
“In the peculiar circumstances, I declare my unalloyed loyalty to Governor Soludo and my unreserved apology for the omission of not obtaining his approval before conferring the chieftaincy awards on deserving citizens, who were thoroughly screened before the awards were bestowed on them.”