The dispute surrounding Senator Ifeanyi Ubah’s chieftaincy title after he was elected to represent the senatorial zone of Anambra South has angered Onitsha’s Obi, Igwe Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe.

Acting on the directive of Governor Chukwuma Soludo, Hon. Tony Collins Nwabunwanne, the Anambra State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, suspended Igwe Damian Ezeani, the traditional ruler of Neni Community, last week for bestowing a title on Ubah.

In the letter, Nwabunwanne described Ubah as unknown and said that certain traditional rulers were giving titles to dishonest people.

Two more kings apologised for this and gave Ubah titles as a result.

In a letter to the commissioner, Achebe, who was reportedly angered at how the state government had suspended Ezeani, charged that the Soludo government has no respect for monarchs.

Achebe, in the letter, which was also forwarded to ZINGTIE stated: “Your reference to a second-term Right Honorable Distinguished Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as “one Senator Ifeanyi Ubah” is most disrespectful, offensive, and unbecoming of one holding a political office as Commissioner.

“It is noteworthy that a person can only qualify to contest elections after scaling through the highest level of security checks at the federal level. Furthermore, Distinguished Senator Ubah holds a chieftaincy title of his hometown, Nnewi, conferred on him by his monarch and Grand Patron of the Anambra State Traditional Institution, His Majesty, lgwe Kenneth O. Orizu.

“He is also a well-known business investor in Anambra State and a generous philanthropist. Thus, assuming that lgwe Neni did not strictly comply with Code of Conduct, would the foregoing factors not be sufficiently extenuating to warrant a far less sanction on him as was meted to some other “tiny fen” that also failed to comply?

“The severity of suspension and threat of withdrawal of Certificate of Recognition suggests that there may be other issues with either lgwe Neni or Distinguished Senator Ubah which are being stealthily ventilated in this circumstance.”

He blamed the commissioner for mishandling the matter involving the conferment of chieftaincy title on Ubah, just as he accused the Soludo government of having poor regard for traditional rulers in the state.

“I would like to state very clearly that your handling of this matter of conferment of honorary chieftaincy titles is the apogee of the progressive dehumanization and dismantling of the traditional institution of Anambra State by the present administration.

“The institution comprises some of the finest sons of Anambra State who achieved sterling academic heights and professional/vocational attainments. At the behest of their communities, they took up the role of traditional rulers as shining examples for selflessly giving back to their communities in particular, and society at large.

“They are the custodians of the culture and traditions of their people and lead on peace building, security, development issues, etc. Their livelihood does not depend on selling chieftaincy titles or the N175,000 monthly stipend from the State Government, but on their own hard-earned modest personal resources.

“By their office, age, attainment and standing in society, they deserve far better respect and dignity, than being publicly bullied and unfairly shamed at every opportunity by people in the State Government,” he stated.

Achebe added that the traditional institution was mindful of “the awesomeness of executive power and authority in our democratic dispensation”, but prayed that such power and authority should be exercised with due sensitivity and humaneness over those governed.

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