BY CHINENYEH OZOR
Nsukka—Enugu State Commissioner for Chieftaincy Matters, Mr Emeka Abugu has said the state government does not impose traditional rulers on communities in the state.
Abugu said monarchs who were recognised by the government were usually the popular choice of the communities and not pretenders or jokers who lay claims to the royal thrones of such communities.
He spoke during the chieftaincy verification in Eziani Community, Nsukka Local Government Area, of Enugu State, adding that the Ministry of Chieftaincy Matters, only assisted in ensuring peaceful atmosphere in communities where there were wranglings over vacant chieftaincy stools instead of imposing any particular candidate on the people.
The commissioner’s explanation came against the backdrop of reports that about 90 percent of disputes in most communities in the state arose from imposition of party supporters as traditional rulers by government agents.
Abugu, however, explained that after verification, the ministry would critically scrutinize the process of choosing an aspirant presented by the community before endorsement for installation as royal fathers.
He praised the peaceful conduct of Eziani autonomous community during his visit for the verification and urged them to stand behind their popular choice.
Earlier in his speech, the Eziani town union President, Mr. Roy Ugwoke said each of the six village heads in the community attested to the credibility of the aspirant, who he said had contributed immensely to the development of Eziani.
Ugwoke also said those opposed to the choice of Tony Ezema were detractors hired from neighbouring communities to mar the state verification, stressing that they do not recognize them.
Ezema was elected and has later presented to Nsukka Local Government Council as traditional ruler of the community. In his acceptance speech, the traditional-ruler elect, Chief Ezema described himself as a peace loving indigene of his community who had carried out a lot of developmental projects for his community, explaining that he single handedly brought the autonomy for the community and constructed and maintained the community roads without any assistance from anybody or government.
He also said he had assisted over 500 students through scholarship in tertiary institutions apart from widows who had also received some forms of assistance, and assured the state government of a peaceful reign if given the certificate of recognition.