By Tony Okafor, Awka
The Anambra State Government has warned Chief Augustine Ndigwe to stop parading as the traditional ruler of Awka.
The warning was contained in a statement signed by the Commissioner for Information, Sir Paul Nwosu.
In the statement, the government reminded Ndigwe that by virtue of section 20 of the Traditional Rulers Law of Anambra State 2007, it is a criminal offence for any person not recognized as a traditional ruler to claim so.
Nwosu stressed that the only recognized Traditional Ruler of Awka is His Royal Highness, Igwe Obi Gibson Nwosu, Eze Uzu II of Awka.
The statement read in part,”It has come to the attention of Anambra State Government that one Augustin Chukwuezugo Ndigwe alias Uzu Awka is still parading himself as the authentic traditional ruler of Awka. Not only that, he is also taking steps to perform one of the major harvest season’s traditional rites known as New Yam Festival or “Iwa ji” of the Awka people, thereby threatening the peace and tranquility of the town. The State Government will not tolerate this.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the State Government wishes to state emphatically that the only recognized Traditional Ruler of Awka is His Royal Highness, Igwe Obi Gibson Nwosu, Eze Uzu II of Awka whose recognition by the State Government has not been withdrawn and he is the only one empowered by section 15 of the Traditional Rulers Law of Anambra State 2007 to preside over such festivals or carry out any of the functions of a traditional ruler in Awka.
“It is a criminal offence for any other person to do so by virtue of section 20 of the Traditional Rulers Law of Anambra State 2007
“The said Augustin Ndigwe is not the recognized Traditional ruler of Awka and should henceforth desist from parading and portraying himself as the Traditional Ruler of Awka or attempting to usurp the rights of the legitimate and duly recognized Traditional Ruler, His Royal Highness, Igwe Obi Gibson Nwosu.
“Any such unlawful act in any part of Anambra State would not be condoned by the Anambra State Government and the State will not hesistate to sanction the impostor according to the relevant laws of Anambra State.”
Recall that early in Governor Soludo’s Administration in 2022, he instructed
a detachment of police and military to seal the palace of Ndigwe who was billed to celebrate the community’s new yam festival as monarch of the town.
The security operatives chased away guests and also shot canisters of teargas into the crowd, causing the guests to scamper for safety.