Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State has halted a purported election in Nawfia community, Njikoka Local Government Area of Anambra State, allegedly planned to elect a successor to Igwe Chijioke Nwankwo.
Nwankwo was among the traditional rulers sacked by Anambra government over their alleged trip to Abuja with billionaire businessman, Prince Arthur Eze.
In a two-page letter dated March 25, 2021; by the State’s Commissioner for Local Government, Chieftaincy and Town Union Affairs, Greg Obi, the government cited insecurity and alleged violation of the town’s constitution and laid down procedure for its reasons for cancelling the igweship election.
The letter titled: “Re-notification regarding fixture of March 26, 2021, for the holding of election by Nawfia Town indigenes to elect a new igwe of Nawfia (Eze Nawfia) at Nawfia Town Hall in line with the Constitution of Nawfia Town, 2013, and other extant applicable laws,” was addressed to the community’s President General, and aspirants to the throne.
It reads in part: “I refer to your letter dated 22 March, 2021, and received on 23 March, 2021, on the above subject matter, and hereby, convey to you the state government’s decision that the said election is cancelled. There is imminent security threat regarding the election, which could give rise to breakdown of law and order.
“The cancellation is necessitated by petitions before the state government alleging violation of the town’s constitution, and laid down procedure for igweship election. It, therefore, becomes necessary to address the crucial issues before allowing the election to proceed.”
Newsmen gathered that the letter was copied to the Special Adviser on Town Union Matters, as well as Special Adviser on Security Matters; Commissioner of Police, State Commander of DSS, Chief Security Officer of the Government House, among others.
Contacted, the embattled traditional ruler of Nawfia, Igwe Nwankwo, admitted that the community had been in crises since his suspension and subsequent withdrawal of his certificate of recognition by the state government. He added that the case was still pending in court, and that there would not be any kingship election in the community until the case was disposed of in favour of the state.
“I am challenging my suspension as the traditional ruler of Nawfia; and subsequent withdrawal of my certificate of recognition in suit No: A/273/2020. I am also contesting the violation of my fundamental right in suit No: A/263/2020.
“Again, in suit No: A/53/2021, I am also asking for the interpretation of 2007 Traditional Rulers’ Law, and if due process was followed in my removal by the state government.”