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‘Your letter lacks respect’ — Obi of Onitsha tackles Soludo’s commissioner over suspension of monarch

Nnaemeka Achebe, the Obi of Onitsha, has criticised the
Anambra government over the suspension of Damian Ezeani, traditional ruler of
Neni community.

 

On January 8, Chukwuma Soludo, Anambra governor, suspended
Ezeani for conferring a chieftaincy title on Ifeanyi Ubah, a senator
representing Anambra south district.

 

Tony-Collins Nwabunwanne, the commissioner for local
government and chieftaincy affairs, had said the code of conduct for
traditional rulers in the state mandates that no monarch can confer a
chieftaincy title on anyone from outside his community, without obtaining the
permission of the traditional ruler of the recipient’s community.

 

Ubah is from Otolo, a community in Nnewi north LGA of
Anambra.

 

OBI OF ONITSHA’S RESPONSE

 

In a letter dated January 12, Obi of Onitsha, who is the
chairman of Anambra State Traditional Rulers Council (ASTRC), berated
Nwabunwanne for accusing traditional rulers in the state of conferring
traditional titles on individuals for pecuniary gains.

 

The Obi averred that the letter stating the suspension of
Ezeani “lacked respect and sensitivity” in addressing traditional rulers in the
state.

 

“Without providing evidence for your sweeping statement
about trading chieftaincy titles for money, you also, wittingly or not, thereby
indicted the entire traditional institution of the state,” the Obi said.

 

“Your press release to a global audience put the institution
into disrepute when a direct circular letter to all traditional rulers as the
parties of interest would have sufficed.

 

“The tone and language of your letter were, by any measure,
a public riot act and pontification to the same majority of traditional rulers
that you extolled as acting with dignity and integrity.

 

“The letter lacked respect and sensitivity in addressing the
traditional rulers of Anambra State, who, by any standard, are held in very
high esteem in the comity of the traditional institutions of Nigeria and
beyond.”

 

 ‘DESCRIPTION OF SENATOR IFEANYI UBAH IS
OFFENSIVE’

 

The Anambra monarch also faulted Nwabunwanne for describing
Ubah as “one Senator Ifeanyi Ubah” in the suspension letter, adding that it is
“disrespectful and offensive”.

 

“Your reference to a second-term Right Honorable
Distinguished Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as “one Senator
Ifeanyi Ubah” is most disrespectful, offensive, and unbecoming of one holding a
political office as Commissioner,” the monarch said.

 

“It is noteworthy that a person can only qualify to contest
elections after scaling through the highest level of security checks at the
federal level.”

 

The Anambra monarch said the suspension of Ezeani and the
threat of withdrawal of the certificate of recognition “suggest that there may
be other issues with either Igwe Neni or distinguished senator Ubah, which are
being stealthily ventilated in the circumstance”.

 

The Obi of Onitsha averred that the manner in which the
state government is handling matters of conferment of honorary chieftaincy
titles is the “apogee of the progressive dehumanisation and dismantling of the
traditional institution” under Soludo’s administration.

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