New Battle Line Drawn In Anambra As 11 Suspended Traditional Rulers Remain Defiant Even As One Apologises And Begs For Peace
Even as the Awareness just reported yesterday that HRH Igwe MacAnthony Okonkwo, the traditional ruler of the Alor community had begged the Anambra Governor Willie Obiano for forgiveness (Click here for that report) and apologised for not taking permission for the ill-fated trip to Abuja that caused the suspension of 12 traditional rulers by the Governor in the state, the other 11 have taken another route.
They are defiant and said that they did not commit anything wrong as to warrant their suspension by the state government.They initially made their position known on Thursday at a joint press conference presided by Chief Chioke Nwankwo, the Igwe of Nawfia, in Abuja.
As of this morning it has remained unchanged despite Igwe MacAnthony Okonkwo's apology and call for peace and they are insisting to be reinstated not as an act of mercy but because its the proper thing to do.
Chief Nwankwo then had explained:
“The visit was to thank Buhari for the appointment of notable Igbo sons and daughters into important positions since he became President.
“Is this an offence? The Second Niger bridge had been presented as an impossible task by previous administrations, but it is now becoming a reality under his watch as it is nearing completion. We appreciated him for this.
“We know that the project is very dear to our hearts because it is key to boosting business activities between the people of the South East and the entire country
Related: Anambra Oldest Monarch Loses Wife
. Where did we go wrong here?
“The Enugu-Onitsha expressway that the Buhari administration is rehabilitating is another magnificent reason why we went to thank the President.
“The Enugu-Port Harcourt expressway rehabilitation that the government has also embarked on, is another reason why we took the step. These projects have been pipe dreams and had been elusive during past administrations.
“They have given the entire South Eastern people concerns. As Royal Fathers who are custodians of all our heritage, we felt that it was incumbent on us to express our appreciation to the president and to urge him to do more for the zone.
“Where have we committed a crime in these laudable efforts? On what ground are the Governor and the state government angry with us?
“Freedom of speech, freedom of movements are all enshrined in our constitution and grand norms. Any attempt against these amounts to muzzling the traditional institutions and we cannot accept that.
"No one can take that from us”.
After being made aware Okonkwo's apology Nwankwo said their position was the same and that Nigeria was a free country where everybody had a right to make his own decisions. BTW the very right that the Anambra State government was trying to shackle.
He again insisted that all the suspended traditional rulers had done was exercise their fundamental human rights, emphasising that the state government’s claim that the rulers did not obtain permission from the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs before the visit as absurd and trying to intimidate the institution.
He further questioned if there was anywhere in the laws, State or Federal, where freedom of movement by anyone is restricted within or outside the country?”
Expect more developments as they will surely unfold.