Anambra State New Media @AnambraNewMedia
MEETING OF GOVERNOR CHARLES CHUKWUMA SOLUDO CFR WITH TRADITIONAL RULERS OF ANAMBRA STATE. HELD ON THE 23RD OF JANUARY, 2024.
The meeting of the Anambra State Traditional Rulers was convened by @CCSoludo to meet with the Traditional Rulers as part of a consultative meeting with stakeholders to review progress.
This is part of the lineup of events in the new year which began with a retreat of members of the State Executive Council, engagements with Ndi Anambra in Lagos and the US Consul-General.
About 94 Traditional Rulers were in attendance despite the short notice.
At the meeting, Igwe Achebe reaffirmed the unalloyed support of the Traditional Rulers for @CCSoludo, assuring the government that the Traditional Rulers stand ready to partner with the government in all its efforts to transform Anambra into a liveable and prosperous homeland.
He also expressed the wish that some of the issues pertaining to the suspension of some Traditional Rulers and the controversies of the last few days arising therefrom be put to a rest.
He requested that there were other issues that the Traditional Rulers wish to bring to the government, and further expressed a desire to have another forum after the meeting to discuss these issues, including the welfare of the Traditional Rulers.
He further requested for a meeting with government officials to discuss other issues of mutual interest.
In his address, the Commissioner for LG, Collins, assured Ndi Igwe that government holds them in high esteem, and look forward to continuing working with them closely.
He tried to clarify some of the issues leading up to the suspension of a Traditional Ruler and query of two others, assuring them that this was all in the spirit of ensuring law and order in the State.
He also highlighted the concerns of some Traditional Rulers over the composition of member of the traditional Rulers Council. He stated that such concerns and similar issues are being looked into by government.
On his part, @CCSoludo reiterated the purpose of the meeting which was to focus on the partnership of all stakeholders towards the execution of the Solution agenda for 2024.
He elaborately briefed Ndi Igwe of the major milestone of his administration in the past 22 months; and solicited their cooperation as stakeholders under the Public Private Community Partnership (PPCP), a strategy of his administration’s rapid development of Anambra State.
In the course of the discussion that followed, it was observed that the body operating as the Anambra State Traditional Rulers Council as constituted was unknown to the law, the body was improperly constituted in violation of the provision of section 2(F) of the Anambra State TraditionalRulers (Amendment) Law 2020. In specific terms, that section provides that the Council shall be composed of the following persons to be appointed by the Governor.
- a) A Chairman;
(b) Two Deputy Chairmen; and
(c) One member from each Local Government Area provided that members appointed from a senatorial zone shall not exceed eleven.
There are three senatorial zones and twenty one local governments in Anambra State.
The above provision of the law therefore mandates that the Council shall be constituted with not more than 36 members.
The state record shows that the body currently acting as the Traditional Rulers Council is composed of 52 persons in utter violation of the law, the implication of which is that the body is not the Traditional Rulers Council known to law. To that extent, that body as presently constituted cannot make any valid decisions or function legally and could not have done so in the light of the provisions of the law.
Furthermore, section 30 of the Traditional Rulers Law 2007 and 2020 as amended provides that each member shall be appointed to the council for a term of four (4)years only and shall be eligible for appointment for another term of four years and for no further term.
However, the State Government has observed that most members of the said body as presently constituted have held their positions beyond the eight year limit in violation of the law.
The cumulative effect of the above is that the present body cannot legally function as the Traditional Rulers Council as it is made up of persons who are legally disabled from being members of the Council.
Unfortunately, this body has been functioning as the Traditional Rulers Council of Anambra State for several years.
In order to purge the state of this illegality, the Governor made the following suggestions which were accepted by the traditional rulers:
- a) That all the Igwe in the State shall become members of the Council other than a select few, and therefore remove the term limit.
- b) But that for this to function there will be a need for amendment of the relevant sections of the Anambra State Traditional Rulers Law.
- c) Consequently, it was agreed that a committee made up of 5 Traditional Rulers, plus officers of government to urgently meet to consider the amendment of the relevant sections and any other section of the Traditional Rulers law deemed pertinent for a review.
As quickly as the law is amended there shall be a meeting of Traditional Rulers for the Governor to formally inaugurate the council so that it can function in strict compliance with the Law.
The Governor also magnanimously addressed some of their welfare issues, announcing that with the apologies of the affected Traditional Rulers, the State government accepts their apologies, and subsequently reinstates Igwe Neni and forgive the Igwe of Ojoto and Aguluezechukwu
Mr Governor further clarified the legal status of the Igwe Nawfia as adviced by his legal team.
Vote of thanks was given by the Obi of Onitsha and Igwe Ojoto, they requested for regular meetings with Mr Governor which HE graciously accepted to hold at least twice a year.