Saturday, March 25

Atiku Abubakar And Anambra’s Traditional Rulers

By Uche Nworah, Ph.D

PDP Presidential candidate, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku, was in Anambra state this week for the PDP presidential campaign which held at Dr. Alex Ekwueme Square, Awka.

The candidate also took time out and interacted with traditional rulers in the state. This interaction has sparked controversy online, with many questioning if it was proper for Atiku to meet with the traditional rulers in a hall, and not the candidate visit them in their palaces.

My knowledge about these things from my time in government is that candidates visit traditional rulers in their palaces. However, we have had the occasion where candidates meet with the traditional rulers at that conference room inside the government house, where the traditional rulers usually hold their meetings.

For example, Labour party Presidential candidate Peter Obi also met with the traditional rulers in the same venue at the start of his presidential journey.

Going back in time, Former President, Goodluck Jonathan while campaigning in 2015 in Onitsha first paid a courtesy call on the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe (Agbogidi), with other traditional rulers present. It was appropriate at the time because the rally was being held in Onitsha where the Agbogidi presides.

So in this case, if at all, Atiku Abubakar should have paid a courtesy visit on Eze Ụzụ Awka, Obi Dr. Gibson Nwosu, the traditional ruler of Awka, Awka being his domain, and not on Agbogidi, who though is Chairman of Anambra State Traditional Rulers Council, does not rule over all other communities in Anambra state (Primus Inter Pares – First Among Equals).

Anambra state has 189 communities. Except in towns where there are Igweship tussles, the others have traditional rulers, Onye Eze or Igwe.

Perhaps, the traditional rulers may have all agreed to a joint meeting to listen to the candidate, due to time and other considerations. In my view, that is still okay.

Neither the Agbogidi or Eze Ụzụ Awka, or even the other traditional rulers should be chastised for jointly meeting with the candidate at the traditional rulers conference hall inside the government house, Awka.

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