Anambra: Nawfia’ community commends Obi of Onitsha over defence of monarchs

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…condemns his position on Nawfia monarch

By Julie Sylvia, Onitsha

The people of Nawfia’ community, Njikoka Local Government Area, Anambra State, have commended the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe, over his defence of the traditional rulers and traditional institutions in the state

They made the commendation in reaction to the suspension of the traditional ruler of Neni, Igwe Damian Ezeani, by Governor Charles Chukwuma Soludo’, for allegedly granting chieftaincy titile to Sen. Ifeanyi Uba, which according to the State Government was against the laws guiding communities in the state.

Igwe Achebe had reportedly while condemning the action of the State government, referred the traditional ruler of Nawfia, Igwe Dan Obelle, as “Self Acclaimed” monarch, which did not go down well with the people of Nawfia.

Consequently, the people of Nawfia community, through their counsel, Nicholas Ikechukwu Okonkwo, petitioned Obi of Onitsha, who is the chairman of the state traditional rulers’ council, condemning his choice of words on their monarch, Igwe Obelle.

The petition, titled, RE: Notification of suspension of HRH Igwe Damian O. Ezeani, the traditional ruler of Neni, read in part thus: “The Agbogidi, may your days and reign be long. Our attention has been drawn to your viral letter to the Anambra State Hon. Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs on the above captioned subject matter, which incidentally touched on our community, Nawfia.

“As the Chairman of Traditional Rulers in Anambra State, your word carries weight and far reaching implications. We therefore commend the forceful manner with which you promptly rose in defence of traditional rulers and traditional institutions in Anambra State.

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“However, in the case of Nawfia, it was grievously demeaning and befuddling as you offensively employed disparaging phrases such as ‘self-acclaimed’ and unrecognised traditional ruler’ in your reference to the traditional ruler of Nawfia, HRH Igwe Amb.
Sir Ogochukwu Daniel Obelle, mni, PhD, Igwe Ezeudo Nawfia.

“Ndi Nawfia find the albove description of their Igwe as derogatory, grossly offensive
and a deliberate attempt to run Nawfia and her Igwe under the bus for reasons that are not in the interest of Ndi Nawfia. The said references have heightened tension and are fast threatening the peace and security of Nawfia.

“With due respect, Your Royal Highness, the Traditional Ruler of Nawfia, HRH Igwe Amb. Sir (Dr) Ogochukwu Daniel Obelle, mni, is not and cannot be a ‘self-acclaimed
and unrecognised traditional ruler
He serves at the behest of his people, duly elected in accordance with the Constitution of Nawfia and recognized with a Certificate of Recognition by the Anambra State Government, which certificate was physically presented to Your Royal Highness in Imeobi Palace at Onitsha on 13th day of March, 2022 and in several official
correspondences, subsequently.

“The position of His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Anambra State, Prof. Chukwuma Charles Soludo on who the Government accords Recognition as the Igwe of any Community in Anambra State is explicit and in the public domain.
It is therefore not within the purview of Your Royal Highness or any Government appointee for that matter to refuse to accord due recognition to an Igwe bearing
same Certificate of Recognition as yours.

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“We would have thought that the massive success of Igwe Ezeudo’s first Ofala/Igu Aro festival despite desperate attempts by sinister elements to frustrate same,
should have served not just as a pointer to his wide acceptability by his people but also as a testament to the huge impact he has made in the lives of Ndi Nawfia since
assuming the Traditional stool of Nawfia.

“Admittedly, as it is the case of most towns in Anambra State, Onitsha not excluded, Nawfia matter is subject of litigation by a former Regent who claimed and paraded himself as the Igwe of Nawfia but was never issued any Certificate of Recognition by
the Government of Anambra State, until he was suspended and subsequently removed by the Anambra State Government.

“He is challenging his removal by the Government in Court, which we
wholeheartedly welcome as the most civil approach to conflict resolution. Without joining Igwe Obelle as a party to his suit he obtained an interim order from
a High Court in Awka that affected the interest of a party that was not party or joined in his suit. The implication of such an order granted in error is elementary.
HRH Igwe Obelle promptly responded by filing an Appeal at the Court of Appeal, Awka Division, on the grounds that you cannot shave the hair of a man in his absence.

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“You will agree with us, though, elementary, that the mere existence of a pending law suit does not suffice as grounds for withdrawal of certificate of recognition,
particularly because the final determination can go either way.
It is only the final determination of the substantive suit and possible appeal at the Apex Court that can make a full and final pronouncement on the status of the Igwe of Nawfia. Until then, the Government has continued to maintain the status quo
ante, according full and due recognition to HRH Igwe Amb. Sir Ogochukwu Daniel Obelle as the Igwe and Traditional Ruler of Nawfia. Anyone with a contrary claim should furnish evidence to that effect.

“It is our submission that Your Royal Highness acted hastily in your presumptions, which is why we have again attached to this reaction copy of the Certificate of
Recognition of HRH Igwe Obelle as the Traditional Ruler of Nawfia , copy of his Appeal and Order of the Court of Appeal therefrom.
We therefore call on Your Royal Highness, in the interest of fairness and balance, to redress the wrong done to Ndi Nawfia and their Traditional Ruler by issuing a similar
viral letter correcting the wrong impression created about Nawfia and hertraditional ruler”.

Pic shows Igwe Dan Obelle of Nawfia

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