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The Forum of Labour Party State House of Assembly Candidates, Anambra State chapter, expressed disapproval towards Anambra State Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, for the suspension of monarchs.
The Forum of Labour Party State House of Assembly Candidates, Anambra State chapter, condemned the state government for the destruction of properties and goods owned by traders, stating that such actions cause trauma to the people of Anambra.
This assertion was conveyed in a statement signed by the Coordinator, Mr. OCN Okafor, and subsequently provided to journalists on Sunday.
The statement read, ‘On January 8, 2024, the state government, through the office of the Ministry of Local Government, Chieftaincy and Community Affairs via a widely circulated letter in the media, suspended the Traditional Ruler of Neni community, H.R.H Igwe Damian O. Ezeani, for conferring a Chieftaincy title on a serving Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
‘Also, on January 16, 2024, there were viral videos on social media of public destruction and burning of goods and wares of some street hawkers in Awka by men armed with cutlasses and axes, working in the office of Awka Capital Territory Authority.’
‘We condemn these two actions of the state government on her citizens, as they are barbaric, inhuman and wicked, and we warn the state governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, not to throw our dear state into anarchy with his tyrannic tendencies.’
The group, however, said it is not encouraging lawlessness.
It said, ‘As much as we are not encouraging the disobedience to existing laws in the state, from our investigations, there was no existing law/code of conduct prohibiting Anambra State traditional rulers from conferring chieftaincy titles on non-indigenes of their community.’
‘This was affirmed and validated by the widely circulated letter by the Chairman of Anambra State Traditional Rulers Council, H.R.M Igwe Dr Nnaemeka Achebe, a first-class traditional ruler of repute.’
‘Furthermore, after a careful study of the Anambra State Land Use Law, there was no clear contravention by the street traders that warranted the trauma, intimidation, humiliation and threat with cutlasses and axes before destroying and burning their goods and wares.’
‘However, assuming without conceding that they contravened any law or agreeing with the state government’s claim that they were constituting a nuisance, they could have been removed peacefully, even though no neighbourhood market was constructed by the state government for proximity for the residents of the area.’
Consequently, the group urged the state government to compensate those whose goods were destroyed within 21 days, warning that a failure to comply would prompt its members and residents in the affected local governments to seek redress in court.
‘Finally, we commend the chairman of Anambra State Traditional Rulers Council, Igwe Dr. Nnaemeka Achebe and the House of Representative member representing Awka North and South Federal Constituency, Prof. Lilian Orogbu, for publicly speaking against these intimidations and barbaric acts by the Anambra State Government,’ the statement added.
Efforts to reach Christian Aburime, the Press Secretary to the state governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, were unsuccessful as calls to his telephone line went unanswered, and text messages sent remain unresponded to at the time of filing this report.