By Hon Tony Oneweek Muonagor SPAD.
Every citizen of Nigeria (including the royal fathers or Kings, clergymen, the Keke rider or hairdresser) is under the Constitution and laws of Nigeria and the extant laws of the individual states where he or she operates from.
The Law is boss of even the President and Governors. No one is above the law including the law makers. As far as the law is concerned, every citizen should be lawful and abide by it’s stipulations.
A King (Igwe or Eze) of a Community is a human being like you and I. He is under the Law and not above it. All they are given is HONOR and RESPECT as Community leaders. Tradition accords them the honor of being the first citizen of their Community and what measure of respect an Igwe gets will totally depend on how he carries himself inside and outside his Community.
An Igwe’s carriage makes him either “Igwe Lijulu afo” or “Igwe aguu”. Oh yes!!! It’s not called Royalty for nothing. The principal attribute of a good Igwe is contentment. Affluence is okay but how content are you with what you have? A Royal father is meant to be upright, powerful and glorious. That’s why he is the image of his people. What do we have today?
Being a King demands you must be a man of truth and impeccable character. Being a King does not authorize you to be reckless, devious or mischievous. It’s on record that some Igwes become authoritarian, dictatorial and vengeful. This makes it overwhelmingly inevitable that the Law must always play the controlling role. Imagine our Traditional institution without a Law controlling their activities.
In Anambra state, the Law can sanction a royal father who misbehaves or steps out of his bounds. The Anambra state Traditional rulers Council is set up by Law, has it’s leadership and membership. It’s a regulatory body for the activities of members of the Traditional institution.
Recall that Former CBN governor and Internationally acclaimed Sanusi Lamido was dethroned as Emir (and banished according to tradition) by the government of Kano state under Governor Ganduje for breach of the law.
The Igwes are not spirits but humans. They are not independent and are subjects to the laws of the land. They are paid monthly emoluments, given official cars and official passports by the Government of their states. It is safe to say they are perpetual beneficiaries of Government… every Government., not minding the governor or political party in power.
Sanity should dwell in our Traditional institution. Every Igwe should be an epitome of discipline and glory. They should be an embodiment of responsibility and not anti Government. I believe this is the main reason for which the Anambra state Traditional rulers council under the able leadership of no less a person than Igwe Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe (Agbogidi) considered the case (of the dissident twelve) before them and advised the Governor on the best way forward.
Obulu na agbaro uzo owele mgba, odi echi echi.