Lawrence Nwimo, Awka
Some traditional rulers in Anambra State are at risk of suspension for ignoring due process in the conferment of chieftaincy titles on individuals without getting clearance from the State’s Ministry of Local Government, Community and Chieftaincy Affairs.
The State Commissioner for Local Government, Community and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Tonycollins Nwabunwanne, said this in an interview on Saturday.
Though the Commissioner did not mention specifically the offending monarchs, it was apparent that he was referring to two recent incidents where
the monarch of Aguluezechukwu in the Aguata Local Government Area of the state conferred Aha eji aga-ogu Chieftaincy title on Senator Ifeanyi Ubah, representing Anambra South Senatorial District.
Another recent incident was the conferment of Chieftaincy titles on 40 persons in Nawfia, in the Njikoka Local Government Area of the state by Chief Daniel Obelle during what he called Igu Aro festival of Nawfia.
The Commissioner had around September said that Nawfia had no traditional ruler following the suspension of Igwe Chijioke Nwankwo by the former governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano.
Obiano had within the pendency of Nwankwo’s suspension for traveling with Chief Arthur Eze to Abuja to see former President Muhammadu Buhari, crowned Obelle as Nawfia’s monarch which Igwe Nwankwo challenged in court and is still pending.
Speaking on Saturday, Nwabunwanne condemned the unauthorised conferment of chieftaincy title on people by some traditional rulers in the state.
The Commissioner, who recognised traditional rulers as royal fathers and custodians of culture and traditions of the land, also hinted that Governor Chukwuma Soludo’s administration respects and hold traditional rulers in esteem and acknowledges their good works and efforts in facilitating achievement of his vision for the State, especially at the grassroots.
According to the Commissioner, who also commended the pivotal roles of traditional rulers in the State in facilitating community development; it is known to every traditional ruler in Anambra State and is also contained in the Code of Conduct for Anambra State Traditional Rulers in Anambra State, that any monarch who wants to confer chieftaincy title on any individual must first notify the state government through the Ministry of Local Government, Community and Chieftaincy Affairs, explaining what the person has done for the community to deserve such honour and chieftaincy title.
The Commissioner, while explaining that the clearance process will help to ensure that chieftaincy titles are conferred on deserving individuals and also motivate others to do good works, also hinted that the process will equally help to prevent duplication of chieftaincy titles (giving the same chieftaincy titles to two or more different people), as well as guard against potential abuse of the traditional stool, among other things it will help stem.
He further noted that the traditional ruler of the hometown of the person to be conferred with the chieftaincy title (if he is from another town other than that of the monarch giving him the chieftaincy title) must also be contacted to attest for the character and integrity of the person before he would be conferred with the chieftaincy title, to ensure chieftaincy titles are not given to people who have questionable characters and integrity problem.