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Anyaoku, Anambra elders intervene in Obiano, monarchs’ rift

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Prominent elders in Anambra State led by Emeka Anyaoku have reportedly stepped in to address the bitter rift between Governor Willie Obiano and the 12 traditional rulers suspended by the state government for traveling to Abuja last month.

The monarchs allegedly backed by oil magnate Prince Arthur Eze hit the national capital, allegedly aiming to submit a petition against the governor to President Muhammadu Buhari over the alleged mismanagement of council funds allocated since Obiano came to power. However, they could not meet with the President.

The state government said to be unhappy about the monarchs’ romance with Eze, who has been critical of the Obiano administration in recent days, suspended the royal fathers for one year each for making the trip without permission.

Sources said the elders decided to intervene by moving to reconcile the monarchs with the governor to a major avoid political crisis in the state.

The Speaker of the House of Assembly, Uche Okafor; Majority Leader, Nnamdi Okafor, member representing Njikoka II and House Committee Chairman on Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Peter Ibida; and the Clerk of the House, Pius Udo, met with 10 of the 12 suspended monarchs in Awka last week in a bid to resolve the rift.

Igwe Emeka Ilouno (Ifitedunu),
Igwe Alex Edoziuno (Mkpunando, Igwe Chukwuma Bob Vincent Orji (Ezinifite), Igwe Godwin Mbakwe (Abacha) and Igwe Chijioke Nwankwo (Nawfia) were present at the meeting.

Others were Igwe Anthony Onyekweere (Owelle), Igwe A.N. Onwuneme (Ikenga), Igwe Simon Chidubem (Umumbo), Igwe S.O. Uche (Ezira) and Igwe Udoji (Eziaguluotu).

But Igwe Nkeli Kelly (Igbariam) and Igwe Mark Okonkwo (Alor) were absent from the meeting. Sources told The Guardian that the monarchs were warned against revealing the deliberations at the meeting to journalists.

But the traditional ruler of Abacha said the issue should not be politicised. He said: “We expect that, having been to the state House of Assembly for the commencement of reconciliation process, the essence of our visit and dialogue with the legislators was to show goodwill and better understanding between us Concerned Anambra State Traditional Rulers and the legislature as well as and express the fact that we are uncomfortable with the controversy the media have tried to provoke for reasons best known to them.

“We pledged our unalloyed loyalty, both today and forever, to our selves, to the three arms of government and our friend, Prince Arthur Eze.” Meanwhile, a group, Greater Anambra Progressives (GAP), has moved to resolve the face-off between Obiano and Eze.

The Coordinator of the group, Chukwuemeka Orjiakor, told journalists yesterday that their aim was to prevent the crisis from escalating.


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