Lawrence Nwimo, Awka
Anambra State Government has suspended the traditional ruler of Neni in Anaocha Local Government Area, HRH Igwe Onwuamaeze Ezeani (Igwe Ugonabo, Neni), for conferring chieftaincy title on Senator representing Anambra South, Senator Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah.
Senator Ubah of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was conferred with the chieftaincy title of Odenjinji Neni on the 29th of December 2023 by Igwe Ezeani as part of his 20th Ofalla Festival.
A letter dated 8th January 2024, signed by the Commissioner for Local Government, Chieftaincy and Community Affairs, Hon. Tonycollins Nwabunwane, stated that Igwe Ezeani violated the Anambra State Code of Conduct for Traditional Rulers, which prohibits a traditional ruler from conferring a chieftaincy title on someone from outside his community without obtaining permission from the traditional ruler of the recipient’s community.
The State Government had also mandated that no traditional ruler should confer a chieftaincy title on an individual outside his town/community without prior clearance from the Ministry.
In the letter copied to Commissioner of Police Anambra State and the Director, Department of State Services, Anambra State, the state government referred to the chieftaincy title conferred on Senator Ubah as a phantom chieftaincy title.
It emphasised that whether or not Igwe Ezeani’s action was for pecuniary reasons as being insinuated in many quarters is irrelevant that what is important is that his action is an affront to order and good governance.