Abia Monarchs On War Path Over Chieftaincy Title To Buhari
The chieftaincy title conferred on the Presidential candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Gen. Muhammadu Buhari has become a source of conflict between the Abia state chairman of the traditional rulers' council, Eze Eberechi Dick and the traditional ruler of Eziama autonomous community, Aba North LGA, Eze Isaac Ikonne.
Recall that Eze Ikonne who was a former chairman of the state council of traditional rulers had on Friday before the APC Presidential rally in Aba conferred the title of Ogbuagu 1 of Aba on Buhari who came on a courtesy call at his palace at 100 Faulks, Aba.
Reacting to the development, Eze Dick who is the incumbent Abia State Traditional Rulers' Council berated Eze Isaac Ikonne, insisting that he has no powers to confer such title on the APC presidential candidate.
According to Eze Dick, “Aba is made up of two Local Government Areas; Aba North and Aba South and over 400 communities as a zone, while Osusu where Ikonne is resident has a traditional ruler and therefore, Ikonne is incompetent to give somebody title on behalf of Aba.”
The Chairman of the traditional rulers' council, who spoke while addressing a press conference in Umuahia, alleged that Eze Ikonne was influenced to confer the title on Buhari and vowed to investigate it and take appropriate actions if the monarch is found culpable.
According to him, the Abia State Council of Traditional Rulers are happy with Gov. Theodore Orji and President Goodluck Jonathan for their people-oriented governments and condemned Eze Ikonne over the unwarranted attack on the Abia State government and the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
But in a swift reaction, Eze Ikonne who is also the chairman of Ohaneze Ndigbo Council of Ndi Eze, insisted that he has the right to receive any politician who comes to his palace and warned Eze Dick to stop harassing traditional rulers who come to his palace on visits.
The Eziama Aba monarch alleged that Eze Dick sent an SMS to a traditional ruler from Ugwunagbo council area, warning him that he would be disrobed if he joined the former in his palace to receive Buhari.
“What is wrong if I invite fellow traditional rulers who are friendly with me to my palace to join me in receiving a visitor, whether he is a politician or not? Eze Eberechi Dick should know I became a traditional ruler for over 20 years before he was made one. I deserve some respect from him if not for any other thing; I had been Chairman of Abia State Traditional rulers Council, Chairman Ohaneze Ndigbo Council of Ndi Eze. In all these positions I have held, I never insulted anybody nor did I have problems with my fellow traditional rulers.
“I am appealing to Eze Eberechi Dick to stop harassing traditional rulers who come to me. He has warned some traditional rulers to stop coming to me, but I want to tell him that no traditional ruler is his village head. I am not a traditional ruler that someone should be insulted under whatever guise. If some governorship candidates should visit him and he invited his friends' traditional rulers, why should he warn those that come to me?
“He should know that he has no powers to sack any traditional ruler and I challenge to make any attempt to sack those that came to my palace, then I would know if he was the first chairman of Abia Traditional Rulers Council. I know that it was not Gov. Theodore Orji who asked him to be doing what he is doing, insulting traditional rulers in the state. Even the governor said that traditional rulers are free to receive political office seekers, but in doing that we should not be partisan.
“Eze Eberechi Dick is not the first traditional ruler to occupy that position; Eze John Akaliro had been there. Eze Ezo Ukandu, Eze Bernard Enweremmadu, late Eze Akanu Ibiam and myself have chaired the council of traditional rulers before him. None of all these respected traditional rulers prevented any of their colleagues from receiving politicians in their palaces and his (Dick's) own should not be different. He should not allow me to curse him because a traditional ruler should not have a preferred person among politician because all are his children.
“I don't know why he would be threatening traditional rulers with sack as if he is the governor, when he is only but a traditional ruler too. Even before a governor sacks a traditional ruler, that person must have committed a criminal offence or something that is serious and inimical to the community. Therefore Dick has no right whatsoever to stop any traditional ruler from receiving political office seekers in their palaces,” Eze Ikonne concluded.
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