Igwe Nwankwo scores Soludo high on road infrastructure, calls for uniformity of monarchs’ pay


By Tony Okafor, Awka

Igwe Chijioke Nwankwo of Nawfia, in the Njikoka Local Government Area of Anambra State, has scored the Anambra State Governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo, high on road infrastructure.

Scoring Soludo 80% in his two years in office as governor, Nwankwo said, “The governor is doing very well, particularly in road construction.

“I can testify to all the ones I have seen , starting from Onitsha to Ekwulobia. He has done very well. I think the governor lacks lieutenants that are able to project what he is doing.

“There is the need to let the people know what the governor is doing. The governor cannot develop all the state in one day. Twelve governors to come may not make Anambra Dubai. Every governor will just take one step to develop the state at a time.

“What any governor can do, particularly Soludo, being an ambitious governor, is to create and give a direction, so that other governors will follow – just like Ngige did by showing Anambra people that the state has money. Subsequently, all other governors are doing the same thing. That’s why Anambra in most cases is better than other states.I will score Soludo 80%.”

On areas he would want the governor to improve on, Igwe Nwankwo said,”The area I will advise him to improve on, it may not be a serious area, is traffic.

“There are so many accidents. The Keke operators need to go for training even if it’s for two days. Most people driving Keke don’t know the rules. They should start having licence. They turn at the middle of the road; they don’t look when the turn- the consequence is an accident.

“Most of time, people get seriously injured. Go to Onitsha, you see a lot of people in the hospital because of Keke accidents. They need to know where to drive on the road and where not to drive.

“To me, that’s a very major issue . The only way a civilized society is a better society is if you can listen to minor things, then you can listen to big ones. Road traffic, he( Soludo) must go into it- particularly these Keke people- they are constituting public nuisance.

Nwankwo who is currently contesting his removal in office in court by the state government under the immediate past governor of the state, Chief Willie Obiano, called for uniformity of wages of traditional rulers nation-wide.

Stating the need to enshrine the roles of traditional rulers in the Nigerian Constitution, Igwe Nwankwo said “It’s well over due for traditional ruler to be assigned some roles in the constitution.

“They have always played some roles from the inception of Nigeria as an independent country. They used to have house of Lords. Everything today goes to the grassroots. The grassroots, when you mentioned it, you are talking about traditional rulers. If there is armed robbery, banditry, kidnapping in any community, the first person they go to is the traditional ruler of that community,
but the traditional rulers don’t have any national established law to guide them.

“Today, a traditional ruler in Delta is being looked for for the soldiers killed there, although, he has submitted himself. Traditional rulers must have a specific role assign to them by the constitution for being chief security in their respective towns,with established functions pertaining to security.

“For example, Igwe and community vigilantes should be supplement to the police. They should arrest offenders in their communities and hand themm over to the police immediately. Such roles should be very specific. And the must have uniformity in salary.

Continuing, Igwe Nwankwo said,”Abacha made the salary of traditional rulers in the whole of Nigeria to be 5% of local government allocation. Today, that 5% is no longer obtainable in most states. The governors have changed it.

“There has been an argument whether the 5% will work in a place like Imo State that has over 600 traditional rulers; a place like Abia State, where they have over 800 traditional rulers whereas if you go to our counterparts in the North, they have an emir that is in charge of the whole state.

“That argument is baseless. It’s exactly the same thing they have in the North that we have here . If the Emir of Sokoto gets a budget, he can divide the money( budget) to the last- the sarki, the whatever. The same thing in Yoruba- they have bales and others others. So the money( 5% of LGA allocation) can be divided; if they don’t get enough then they stop making autonomous communities.

Speaking on the historic autonomy of the traditional institution, Igwe Nwankwo said,” The traditional institution has been there from time immemorial. Even before the coming of the imperialists, even before slavery, the traditional institution had been in place and worked very well.

“A community through their constitution, whether by appointment, or by voice vote or inheritance, will bring out a traditional ruler. Pursuant to any legal challenge, when the government recognizes the traditional ruler, government is done with that process.

“Government’s recognition for traditional rulers after they were crowned by their communities is for checks and balances, so that somebody will not wake up tomorrow after amassing a lot of money, and decides to challenge the institution.

“Once the government had given the certificate, it cannot remove a traditional ruler until the traditional ruler contravenes the constitution of the town or community. This is specific in 2007 Anambra State Traditional Rulers’ Law – Section 12, where it states that every traditional ruler must sign the code of conduct and constitution of his town. You cannot sign something and run away from it. It’s what you signed that they will use to try you. So, government has no much input in the removal of a traditional ruler. But what I’m telling you, they have changed it.

By Ifeizu Joe

Ifeizu is a seasoned journalist and Managing Editor of TheRazor. He has wide knowledge of Anambra State and has reported the state objectively for over a decade.

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