The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has slammed the timing of Governor Charles Chukwuma Soludo’s revelation on the Anambra State Traditional Rulers Council’s alleged illegality.
The critique by HURIWA follows a press statement signed by Christian Aburime, Press Secretary to the Governor, detailing a meeting between the governor and traditional rulers, where concerns over the suspension of a traditional ruler were addressed.
HURIWA, in its comprehensive analysis, questioned why the governor only recognized the alleged illegality of the Traditional Rulers Council when it became a point of contention following criticism from Chairman Igwe Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe. “Achebe openly rebuked the governor for what he termed a “brazen disregard of Igbo traditions and culture” in the suspension of a traditional ruler for alleged political motives.
HURIWA in a statement by its national coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko revealed that “This critique aims to delve into the timing and authenticity of Governor Soludo’s revelation about the alleged illegality of the Anambra State Traditional Rulers Council, particularly in light of recent controversies surrounding the suspension of traditional rulers.
“The press statement outlined the meeting, convened as part of a consultative series with stakeholders to review progress and discuss the Solution Agenda for 2024. However, it was marked by the Chairman of the Traditional Rulers Council, Igwe Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe, expressing unyielding support for Governor Soludo while also raising concerns about the suspension of certain traditional rulers, thereby generating significant controversy.”.
HURIWA deemed the suspension and subsequent queries a product of a “witch-hunt,” characterized by pettiness and a lack of respect for due process. The rights group urged Governor Soludo to transparently explain the reasons behind the suspension and queries, ensuring they are not politically motivated.
“The press statement also indicated that the Traditional Rulers Council is to be reconstituted through an amendment of relevant sections of the Anambra State Traditional Rulers Law. We call for an inclusive and transparent process in amending the law, with active participation from traditional rulers”.
Furthermore, HURIWA emphasized the need for the governor to address the welfare concerns of traditional rulers comprehensively, going beyond mere announcements during meetings. The association stressed the importance of preserving and respecting the rich cultural heritage and traditions of the Igbo people, ensuring that political actions do not undermine the integrity of traditional institutions.
HURIWA’s criticism concluded with a call for a thorough and impartial investigation into the circumstances surrounding the suspension of the traditional ruler while questioning the governor’s motives and the timing of his revelation about the alleged illegality of the Traditional Rulers Council.