Maduako Igbokwe l Monday, December 19, 2022
AWKA, Nigeria – The Anambra State Traditional Rulers Council has stated that the recent courtesy visit of the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Atiku Abubakar to members of the council was in order and in line with established protocol.
The council in a statement signed by the Secretary General of the Traditional Council His Majesty, Igwe Pius Omachonu, Ata Oja N’Olumbanasa Igwe Omachonu stated that “the Traditional Council had since resolved that all visits to the body should be at the Traditional Council chambers at Government House at Awka, and preferably during its regular meetings.’’
According to him ,the PDP presidential candidate was not the first presidential candidate to visit the Traditional Council at its chambers at the Government House, Awka.
He also stated that the presidential candidate of the Labour Party LP, Mr. Peter Obi first declared his intention to run for the office of President on the platform of the PDP at the regular meeting of the Traditional Council at its chambers at Government House, Awka, in March 2022.
According to him,the Traditional Council would do so for other presidential candidates if they so request, without prejudice to the personal political inclination of individual traditional rulers.
Igwe Omachonu recalled that in 2018,both President Muhammadu Buhari, and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, met with the Anambra State traditional rulers at the palace of Obi of Onitsha, Obi Nnaemeka Achebe, chairman of the Traditional Council during their presidential campaigns’.
He noted that following the visits, misunderstandings involving the highest level of the State Government ensued as to whether both courtesy visits were personal to the Obi of Onitsha or to the traditional rulers of Anambra State.
” Concerning the matter of a courtesy call on the Obi of Onitsha in his palace by the PDP presidential candidate, the Secretary General of the Traditional Council pointed out that ‘’the logistics for the Chairman of the Traditional Council, Obi of Onitsha, to first receive the PDP campaign team at his palace at Onitsha and thereafter wade through the normal hours heavy traffic in the city to Awka to preside over the regular meeting of the Traditional Council, including the receiving the PDP team, would have been horrendous for all.” he said
The council secretary further stated that it prides themselves studiously on political neutrality, always praying for the electorate to choose the best candidates to lead the country, noting the principle has manifested in providing a level playing field to all candidates running for a particular office.
According to him, the Council admonishes them on the imperatives of free, fair and transparent elections, and praying that the electorates exercise their franchise in favour of their best candidates.
He reiterated that the Traditional Council holds its Chairman, Obi Nnaemeka Achebe, in highest esteem and very proud of his services to the country, adding that it sees his character and diverse leadership roles in the country as sterling and beyond reproach.
“We are proud of his disarming humility which a few may have interpreted as weakness, but the majority rather see as a reflection of his amazing but understated dignity. For instance, as a 21st century progressive monarch, he has no qualms standing up to address his fellow traditional rulers on serious issues, with or without visitors ,” he added.