Neni, situated in Anaocha Local Government Area of the state, witnessed Igwe Ezeani's suspension due to conferring a chieftaincy title on Senator Ifeanyi Ubah, the representative of Anambra South Senatorial District, who recently joined the All Progressives Congress and is reportedly gearing up for the gubernatorial race in the 2025 election.
The suspension of the monarch came in the form of a letter titled 'Notice of suspension of your recognition as the traditional ruler of Neni,' signed by the Commissioner for Local Government, Chieftaincy, and Community Affairs, Mr. Tonycollins Nwabunwanne.
The letter, dated January 8, 2024, bears reference number MLGCCA/HC/2022/T/025/001/103.
Copies of this communication were also sent to the Commissioner of Police in Anambra and the Director, Department of State Services, Anambra State, and were made available to journalists on Monday.
It read, “The Code of Conduct for traditional rulers in Anambra (issued by the traditional rulers) provides that no traditional ruler can confer Chieftaincy title on anyone from outside his domain (his community) without obtaining the permission of the traditional ruler of the recipient’s community.
“Furthermore, in the interest of security, order and good governance of the state, the state government has equally in addition to the Code of Conduct issued a directive through this Ministry to the effect that no such chieftaincy title should be conferred by a traditional ruler on a recipient outside his town/community without obtaining clearance from the Ministry.
“Among other reasons, this regulation is to curtail observed abuses including a growing trend whereby a minority of traditional rulers have demonstrated a penchant for trading Chieftaincy titles for money thereby bringing the traditional institution to ridicule and disrepute.
“A vast majority of traditional rulers conduct their exalted office with dignity and integrity and stick to the Code of Conduct and directives of the Ministry.
“However, a tiny few still act recklessly and in total disregard for the Code of Conduct of their office and directives of the supervising Ministry.
“For example, a few days ago, a former traditional ruler deposed by a Court of law went ahead to confer phantom Chieftaincy titles on 40 individuals in one day (some with questionable characters).”