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By Uche Kalu :

Few days now, the social media have been awash by the news of some traditional rulers from Anambra State being suspended 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 two Monarchs cut in the web of     abeyance were HRH Igwe Onwuamaeze Ezeani (Igwe Ugonabo, Neni) Neni in Anaocha Local Government Area of the state who conferred a chieftaincy title on the senator representing Anambra South, Chief Ifeanyi Ubah on December 29th, 2023 as part of his 20th Ofala Festival and Chief Daniel Obelle of Nawfia in  Njikoka Local Government Area who On January 4th, 2024, conferred Chieftaincy titles on no fewer than 40 persons in Nawfia during the Igu Aro festival of Nawfia Community.

The traditional institution is sacred and ordained by God ( Chi na emeze) as the custodians of culture and traditions of the land and needs to be carried out with utmost sense of wisdom and carefulness. In addition 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. The monarchs play pivotal roles in Anambra State in facilitating community development.

However, there is a Code of Conduct for Anambra State Traditional Rulers which states that any monarch who wants to confer chieftaincy title on any individual must first notify and get approval from 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. This law is not hidden to any of the traditional rulers.

The essence of getting the clearance wasn’t meant to witch-hunt anyone rather the process will help to ensure that chieftaincy titles are conferred on deserving individuals and also motivate others to do good works. It 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.

Further more, 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.

The question is, was this law made today?  Does  Governor Chukwuma Soludo initiate this law? Is he witch-hunting the traditional rulers? Is he against conferment of chieftaincy titles on deserving individuals? 

 The monarchs were not suspended because they confer chieftaincy titles rather It was a clear case of violation of laws. There are other traditional rulers who gave chieftaincy titles to individuals in the state and were not suspended.

The truth remains that laws are meant to be obeyed and not to be violated. Traditional rulers being the custodians of culture and traditions are expected to lead by example in their various communities by working in harmonious relationship with the state government which would in turn be reciprocated by their subjects.

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