Governor Charles Soludo of Anambra State has reinstated a traditional ruler who was suspended in the state for conferring a chieftaincy title on a Nigerian senator.
Damian Ezeani, the traditional ruler of the Neni community, had during Christmas conferred the Odenjiji chieftaincy title of Neni on Ifeanyi Ubah, who represents Anambra South District in the Senate.
PREMIUM TIMES reported that Governor Soludo, subsequently suspended the traditional ruler for conferring the chieftaincy title on the senator without the authorization of the state government and traditional ruler of the senator’s community, as required by law.
While Ezeani apologized for his action, the senator criticized the governor for suspending the monarch.
Soludo announced the reinstatement of the suspended monarch on Tuesday during a meeting with the state’s traditional rulers, according to a statement by the governor’s spokesperson, Christian Aburime.
A total of 94 traditional rulers of the state attended the meeting.
The governor also pardoned two other traditional rulers – Gerald Mbamalu of Ojoto community and Ebelendu of Aguluezechukwu – accused of conferring similar chieftaincy titles without following due process.
He said he had accepted the apology from traditional rulers who conferred chieftaincy titles without recourse to the state government.
Avalanche of attacks
The reinstatement of the suspended monarch came days after the Anambra State Council of Traditional Rulers attacked Governor Soludo for suspending the monarch.
The traditional rulers, in a letter signed by their president, Alfred Achebe, said the Soludo administration was being disrespectful, with the way it was “mistreating” and suspending some traditional rulers.
The monarchs accused the governor of “dehumanizing and disparaging” the traditional institutions of the state.
Another group, the Southeast Youth Leaders Coalition, had also attacked the governor over the “mistreatment” of traditional rulers.
Goodluck Ibem, President General of the group, in a statement in Awka, described Governor Soludo’s treatment of traditional institutions as “dictatorial and undemocratic.”