BY RAYMOND OZOJI, Awka
Anambra-born Peace Ambassador of the United Nations and Prime Minister of the Anambra State Association of Town Unions (ASATU) Amb. Dr. Johnny Metchie, has called on state governments across Nigeria to ensure security and protection of traditional rulers and presidents-general in communities.
Metchie who made the call during an exclusive interview with our correspondent, stated that it has become very necessary that government extended protection to community leaders judging from the roles they played in fighting crimes and criminalities at the grassroots level.
Although he expressed concern at the incessant inhumane treatments meted out on some traditional rulers and presidents-general across the country with particular reference to Anambra State where he said some Presidents-General have been beaten like common criminals and suffering illegal detentions in police custody on the orders of some moneybags in the communities who instigated youths against traditional institutions and town unions.
Metchie who called for a legislation to secure and protect the lives of monarchs and town union leaders, observed that some Presidents-General are on self exile because they are running away from marauding elements in their communities threatening to take their lives if they ever set foot in their communities.
He said that the security and safety of kings and Presidents-General should no longer be treated with kid gloves because they were always the prime targets for disgruntled elements and their principals who constituted stumbling blocks to progress in communities.
According to him, the job of the Presidents-General of town unions are too risky and dangerous, adding that if they were not accused of embezzlements and misappropriations, their lives are being threatened and that most times, the unfortunate Presidents-General do not survive the threats.
He said a case in point was the gruesome murder of the President-General of Nimo community in Njikoka Local Government Area sometime ago and that till date, nothing has been said about the killers of the Nimo town union leader, adding that Nimo episode was one out of the many episodes of Presidents-General being murdered in cold blood.
He was however of the opinion that government should come to the aid of traditional rulers and presidents-general through watertight security arrangements to enable them win the war against criminal elements in the hinterlands.
The UN Peace Ambassador who is also the President-General of Umueri community in Anambra-East Local Government Area, lauded the efforts of Governor Charles Chukwuma Soludo in the security of lives and property of the citizens while appealing to the Police and other security agencies to work in concert with Presidents-General and other community leaders and also help to guarantee confidentiality of sources when intelligences are provided.