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Sanusi: Role of rulers is naturally straightforward —Igwe Nwankwo

By Toby Chuka


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The traditional ruler of Nawfia in Njikoka Local Government Area of Anambra State, His Royal Highness, Igwe Chijioke Nwankwo also known as Osuofia of Nawfia and Umunri has said that the role of traditional rulers as kings at community levels is naturally straightforward because they are the custodians of custom, culture and tradition of a given community adding that they are also in a better position to give useful advice to government at all levels

Igwe Nwankwo who bared his mind on the dethronement of former Emir of Kano Alhaji Sanusi Lamido Sanusi by Kano State Government said it is necessary for the State Government as well as the Federal Government to define the laws backing the roles of traditional rulers arguing that the way Sanusi was dethroned doesn’t show that the roles of traditional rulers are embedded in the constitution of Nigeria.

He added “It seems to me that the roles of traditional rulers is not embedded in the constitution of Nigeria, consequently traditional rulers are treated like stooges, therefore our roles have to be defined in the Nigeria constitution as well as in the State laws so as to give traditional rulers prominent and well recognized roles in the system we operate as a country or as a State”

According to him, it is not proper for government to hire and fire traditional rulers because traditional rulers are the product of the people who select or elect their choice candidate and then present to government for recognition with a certificate and staff of office after investigation on the candidate by Police, DSS and other security agencies. He cited himself as example saying that it was the good people of Nawfia that selected and crowned him as their ruler not the State Government

Hear him further, “Subject to the Anambra State Laws 2007 as gazetted by the State House of Assembly, the people of a given community have the mandate to select or elect their choice for Igweship stool, by so doing the selected or elected candidate becomes the Igwe elect. The Police, DSS have to screen the Igwe elect. After that the community will present him to the Local Government Authority who will forward his name to the State Government for recognition that is how it is done”

The Nawfia monarch who trained and sojourned in the United States said that according to the Anambra State Laws 2007, it requires 2/3 vote of the members of the State House of Assembly to remove a sitting traditional ruler from the throne. He pointed out that there is need for due process to be adapted in running the affairs of the country because according to him people cannot be punished without trials under due process.

He explained “In the United States, there is what they call 14th Amendment which is all about due process. You cannot punish someone for an alleged offense without trial of the person under a due process.

“You cannot arrest and detain somebody without trial, if you do that it becomes kidnapping because you have imprisoned the person. The only authority that can imprison anybody is the court. So let there be due process.

“The people who are free from trials are the President and the governors who are covered by immunity as stated in section 308 of the Nigeria constitution.”

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