Prof. Chukwuma Charles Soludo, Governor of Anambra State, has prohibited Chief Austin Ndigwe, the factional king of Awka Kingdom, from presenting himself as a monarch.
Soludo, according to a press statement issued by the state Commissioner for Information, Mr Paul Nwosu, is the duly recognized monarch of Awka Kingdom.
On Saturday morning, a detachment of police and military sealed the palace of Ndigwe, who was scheduled to celebrate the community’s new yam festival.
Security personnel chased guests away and fired teargas canisters into the crowd, causing guests to flee for safety and injuring some.
As a result, the Commissioner’s statement confirmed that the security operatives were acting on the orders of the state governor.
“It has come to the attention of the Anambra State government that one Augustine Ndigwe, Alias Uzu Awka, is parading himself as the authentic traditional ruler of Awka,” the statement said.
“Not only that, but he is preparing to perform one of the major harvest season traditional rites known as the New Yam festival, endangering the town’s peace and tranquillity.” This will not be tolerated by the state government.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the state government wishes to state unequivocally 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ruler is His Royal Highness, Obi Gibson Nwosu, Eze Uzu II, whose recognition by the state government has not been withdrawn, and who is the only one empowered by section 15 of Anambra’s traditional rulers law” to preside over such festival or carry out the function of a traditional ruler in Awka.
“Any other person doing so is committing a criminal offense under section 20 of Anambra State’s traditional rulers law of 2007.”
Nwosu stated in the release that the said Ndigwe is not the traditional ruler of Awka Kingdom and should refrain from portraying himself as such or attempting to usurp the rights of a duly recognized traditional ruler in the future.
“Any such unlawful act in any part of the state would not be tolerated by the state government, and the state would not hesitate to sanction the impostor in accordance with Anambra State’s relevant laws.”