Anambra Monarchs Prevented from Seeing President Buhari

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Thirteen traditional rulers from Anambra State who arrived in Abuja on Wednesday to see President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday were disallowed from seeing him.

No official reason has been given for the action, but reliable sources in The Presidency attributed it to unfavourable security reports.

“One of the monarchs”, disclosed a source, “has since October 25, 2019, been taken to the court of Mr Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court in Abuja  by the President Buhari administration on charges of perjury, forgery and conspiracy.”

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The source, which gave the suit number as FHC/ABJ/CR/255/2019, also noted that the traditional ruler, currently on suspension from office by the Anambra State government, is also facing civil suits, in addition to security reports against him alleging land grabbing.

The source added: “It would have been a blow to President Buhari’s fight against corruption if the monarchs were allowed to see the Nigerian leader”.

It was gathered that the traditional rulers’ trip was facilitated by a controversial businessman from Anambra State, Prince Arthur Eze, who has in the last few weeks declared an open war against Governor Willie Obiano.

According to our source, Eze lobbied the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, to fix the meeting, and Mr Mustapha, in turn, contacted the State House Chief Protocol Officer, to arrange for it today.

The traditional rulers were going to allege that Governor Obiano has misappropriated local funds in the state by not conducting a local government election since he came into office.

Our correspondent gathered that the planned meeting did not go do down well with ministers from the South East, especially the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, who is a former Anambra State governor.

Dr Ngige was quoted as saying that “though I strongly support the All Progressives Congress (APC) to take over my state after the 2021 gubernatorial election, we must respect the sitting governor and I will not support my state and the Igbo people generally to be disgraced for no just cause”.

He also accused some of the monarchs of “totally lacking in personal credibility”, wondering why “only 13 out of the over 150 traditional rulers in the state could agree to go on this visit”.

Another minister from the South East said it is a breach of protocol for the monarchs to seek to see the president without presenting for clearance the speech which they planned to read to the president, adding “I can’t imagine Femi Otedola or Mike Adenuga or Aliko Dangote take traditional rulers from his state to Abuja to report their governor as if the governor is a delinquent schoolboy”.

The minister decried the presence of those he called as traditional ruler impostors in the Eze entourage.

“How can Chief Ndigwe, a barely literate person, pretend to be the traditional ruler of Awka when Igwe Gibson Nwosu, a former Nigerian Air Force pilot and a graduate of the University of Sokoto, is still alive and on the throne?” a queried a top appointee of the Buhari administration who pleaded not to be named.

Meanwhile, Eze was making frantic efforts today to get the president’s chief of staff, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, to broker the meeting.

The disappointed monarchs were still waiting at Sheraton Hotel and Suites for word from the Presidential Villa when this report was filed.

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