Anambra traditional rulers, under the aegis of concerned traditional rulers, have described their suspension by Governor Willie Obiano as charade and abuse of power.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja, the traditional rulers, who were suspended for one year by the state government for traveling to Abuja to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari said they didn’t commit any act to warrant being suspended.
Speaking on behalf of the 12 suspended traditional rulers, HRH Igwe Chijioke Nwankwo, Igwe Nawfia, said: “We state categorically that we have not committed any act to warrant being suspended.
“This is to say the least an abuse of power and high handedness by the Igwe in connivance with the state government that has become increasingly desperate as the Governor Willie Obiano administration winds to a close.”
Igwe Nwankwo said there was nothing wrong in visiting President Muhammadu Buhari.
He queried: “What was wrong about our commendation visit to President Mohammadu Buhari on the good things he has been doing for the South East Zone and the Igbos to be precise?
“We also thanked him for the appointment of notable Igbo sons and daughters into important positions in government since he became President. Is this an offense?
“The Second Niger Bridge had been presented as an impossible task by previous administrations but it is now becoming a reality under his watch as it is almost nearing completion. And we also appreciated him for this.
“We know that the project is very dear to our hearts because it is a key component of boosting business activities between the people of the South East and the entire country. Where did we go wrong here?
“The Enugu- Onitsha expressway that the Buhari administration is rehabilitating is another magnificent reason we went to thank the president.”
He said because of what the President has done, they felt that it was incumbent on them to express their appreciation to him on behalf of the entire people of the area and to urge him to do more for the zone.
The traditional rulers said: “Where have we committed a crime in these laudable efforts? On what ground is the Igwe and the state government now witch hunting us?
“All what we have done were in exercise of our fundamental human rights and we emphasis that no one can take that from us.
“Freedom of speech, freedom of movements is all enshrined in our constitution and grand norm. Any attempt against these would amount to muzzling the traditional institutions and we cannot accept that.
“The state government premised its action on the pretext that the traditional rulers did not obtain permission from the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs. This lame reason shows how bereft of ideas and how draconian the state government has become. Is there anywhere in our laws where freedom of movements by anyone is restricted within or outside the country?”
In their recommendations, the traditional rulers rejected the Obi of Onitsha as Chairman of traditional rulers’ council, saying: “Following this high handedness and dictatorship, we the concerned traditional rulers of Anambra hereby suspend the Chairman of the Anambra state traditional rulers Council, HRH Igwe Alfred Achebe.”
It will be recalled that the Governor of Anambra State, Willie Obiano had on Tuesday announced the suspension of 12 traditional rulers in the state for an initial period of one year on the recommendation of the Anambra State Traditional Rulers’ Council for embarking on a visit outside the state without due authorization from the Anambra State Government in contravention of the Anambra State traditional rulers’ law.
Photo: Gov. Willie Obiano of Anambra State.
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