Anambra State Governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo, has banned the factional king of Awka Kingdom, Chief Austin Ndigwe from parading himself as monarch.
Soludo in a press release by the state Commissioner for Information, Mr Paul Nwosu, said the duly recognised monarch of Awka Kingdom is Obi Gibson Nwosu.
There was commotion in Awka on Saturday morning, when a detachment of police and military men sealed the palace of Ndigwe who was billed to celebrate the community’s new yam festival.
The security operatives chased away guests and also shot canisters of teargas into the crowd, causing the guests to scamper for safety, leaving some wounded.
The release by Nwosu according to many was a confirmation that the security operatives were acting on the orders of the state governor.
The release read in part: “It has come to the attention of Anambra State government that one Augustine Ndigwe, Alias Uzu Awka is parading himself as the authentic traditional ruler of Awka.
“Not only that, he is also taking steps to perform one of the major harvest seasons traditional rites known as New Yam festival, 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ruler is His Royal Highness, Obi Gibson Nwosu, Eze Uzu II, whose recognition by the state government has not been withdrawn, and is the only one empowered by section 15 of the traditional rulers law of Anambra State, to preside over such festival or carry out the function of a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.”
Nwosu in the release said the said Ndigwe is not the traditional ruler of Awka Kingdom and should henceforth, desist from portraying himself as the traditional ruler of Awka or attempting to usurp the rights of a duly recognised traditional ruler.
“Any such unlawful act in any part of the state would not be condoned by the state government, and the state would not hesitate to sanction the impostor according to the relevant laws of Anambra State.”