Ngige, INEC REC lead protest against Anambra monarch


Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige and the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Imo State, Prof Emeka Ezeonu, on Saturday led protest against the alleged imposition of the traditional ruler of Alor, Igwe MacAnthony Okonkwo.

The Monarch of Alor, is one of the traditional rulers recently suspended by Governor Willie Obiano for traveling to Abuja to visit President Muhammadu Buhari without permission from the State government.

The people of Alor, Idemili South Local government area of Anambra State, numbering over 500 took to the streets with placards with different inscriptions against imposition of monarch and Caretaker Committee in the Community by the State government. Some of the placards read, “Alor rejects imposition of caretaker, please, Governor Obiano look into this matter. This imposition has been on for eight years, we dissociate our community from the monarch who traveled to Abuja without permission from our government,” among others.

However, the former Governor of the State, Sen. Chris Ngige, who hailed from the community, called Obiano to not only suspend the 12 traditional rulers, but to banish them from their different communities for desecrating the Cculture and traditions of their lands.

Also, he said the banishment should be extended to the person who led them to Abuja on that trip. Ngige said the traditional ruler was imposed by former Governor Peter Obi to punish his community and local government for voting against the allied forces in 2011 senatorial election, when he contested on the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) which they tagged Yoruba Party.

The President General PG of Alor, Chief Uzoma Igbonwa, while addressing the crowd, said the people of the community would continue to support Governor Obiano’s administration, adding that Alor would never be part of working against the State government. According to him, “we plead with the State government to dissolve and disband the said caretaker Committee of Alor People’s Convention for working against the interest of Alor people and government of the State because their continued existence is an impediment to the peace and progress of Alor community.”

The Imo State REC, Prof. Emeka Ezeonu, while addressing the crowd, said the community would not rest until the State government does the needful by banishing the purported monarch of Alor and dissolving the said Caretaker Committee in the community. But the traditional ruler, Igwe MacAnthony Okonkwo, debunked the claim that he was imposed on the people by Obi as alleged, adding that he was still the Alor monarch. After he was suspended by Obiano for one year, he came out openly to apologize to the state governor and the Traditional Rulers’ Council for violating certain rules guiding the operation of monarchs in the state.