Anambra State Government has suspended the traditional ruler of Neni Community, His Royal Highness, Damian Ezeani, Igwe Ugonabo, for conferring chieftaincy title on Ifeanyi Ubah, the Senator representing Anambra South District.
The State Commissioner for Local Government, Chieftaincy and Community Affairs, Tony-Collins Nwabunwanne, disclosed this in a letter addressed to the traditional ruler.
The commissioner of police in Anambra State and the director of State Security Service in the state were copied in the letter dated 8 January.
The traditional ruler conferred the chieftaincy title of “Odenjinji Neni” on the Senator on Monday, Jan. 8, hours before the letter announcing his suspension surfaced.
Mr Nwabunwanne said in the letter to the monarch that the Code of Conduct for Traditional Rulers in Anambra State provides that no traditional ruler can confer chieftaincy title on anyone from outside his community without obtaining the permission of the traditional ruler of the recipient’s community.
The commissioner said the state government, in the interest of security, order and good governance of the state, has in addition to the code of conduct equally issued a directive to the effect that no such chieftaincy title should be conferred by a traditional ruler on anybody without obtaining clearance from his ministry.
He explained that, among other reasons, the regulation was intended to curtail observed abuses, including a growing trend of trading chieftaincy titles for money and bringing traditional institutions to ridicule and disrepute.
“We have received confirmed reports that you, as the traditional ruler of Nneni, conferred such a phantom chieftaincy today (Monday) on one Senator Ifeanyi Ubah in violation of the Code of Conduct and without clearance the ministry,” Mr Nwabunwanne told the traditional ruler.
“In the light of the above, and for order and good governance, I am directed to inform you that Mr Governor has in exercise of his powers under Section 2 (c) of the Anambra State Traditional Rulers (Amendment) Law, 2020, suspended your recognition as traditional ruler of Neni until further notice,” the commissioner announced.
He asked the traditional ruler to show cause why his certificate of recognition should not be withdrawn in line with the Traditional Rulers Law.
“In the meantime, you are advised in your own interest, to stop parading yourself forthwith, as the traditional ruler of Neni Community,” he added.