One of the 12 traditional rulers suspended by the Anambra State government on Wednesday for travelling outside the state without permission has described the government’s action as unfortunate.
The monarch who pleaded not to be identified for security reasons said the governor, Willie Obiano, was ill-advised on the matter.
He said the governor had no powers in any extant law to suspend them in office for just trying to meet President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said, “It’s unfortunate and laughable that our dear governor had to carry out this despotic action in a democratic dispensation.
“Why should a governor of a state punish his subjects, especially, traditional rulers, for trying to see their president?
“The government said we didn’t get clearance from it before travelling outside the state. Don’t we have our fundamental rights of movement and association any more? Are we in a state of emergency or war?
“We pray Obiano will not attract some kind of wrath upon himself because of his desperation to perpetuate the infamous government of the All Progressives Grand Alliance in the state.”
The Anambra State Government had on Wednesday suspended the 12 monarchs for allegedly travelling to Abuja without consultation or approval from the state government.
In a circular issued by the Commissioner for Local Government, Chieftaincy and Community Affairs, Mr Greg Obi, titled ‘Suspension of 12 Traditional Rulers in Anambra State’, and dated Tuesday August 11, 2020, Obiano said the suspension took effect from Tuesday, August 11, 2020.
He listed the affected traditional rulers as Alex Edozieuno of Mkpunando, Mark Anthony Okonkwo of Alor, Chukuwma Bob Vincent Orji of Ezinifite, G.B.C Mbakwe of Abacha, Chijioke Nwankwo of Nawfia, Nkeli Nelly of Igbariam, Anthony Onyekwere of Owelle, A. N Onwuneme of Ikenga, Simon Ikechukwu Chidubem of Umumbo, S. O Uche of Ezira, Dr Emeka Ilouno of Ifitedunu, Peter Ikegbunem Udoji of Eziagulu Otu.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, James Eze, read in part, “The governor warned the suspended traditional rulers not to parade themselves as traditional rulers and desist from discharging their functions as traditional rulers in their communities or anywhere within the state and beyond with immediate effect.
“He also revoked their membership of the Anambra State Traditional Rulers Council and cancelled any appointment they may be holding in government committees until the suspension is lifted.
“The suspension may be lifted at the end of one year, renewed or upgraded in the intervening period depending on government’s review of the conduct of the errant royal fathers.
“In leaving their respective domains without notifying either the state or their respective local governments, the traditional rulers had violated the code of conduct prescribed for their office.”