Some residents and stakeholders of Alor community in Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra State have protested against the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, for asking Governor Willie Obiano to sack their monarch, Igwe MacAnthony Okonkwo.
Ngige, a native of the community, was quoted in some media reports recently as asking Governor Obiano to withdraw the Certificate of Recognition which he gave to the monarch as the traditional ruler was imposed on the community.
But at a solidarity rally held in the community, the residents of the area who trouped out en masse, appealed to the governor to disregard Ngige as the embattled monarch enjoys their support and loyalty.
Igwe Okonkwo was among the 13 traditional rulers suspended by the governor for travelling to Abuja with Prince Arthur Eze, an international oil magnate, to see President Muhammadu Buhari. Eze and Obiano have been at war over some political and administrative issues.
The protesters who included the members of Igwe-in-Council, Ndi Ichie, women and youth groups carried placards with various inscriptions such as: ‘Ngige, why do you hate Igwe Alor? Be warned!’, ‘Onwa, Alor is not your father’s property’, ‘Ngige leave Alor alone’, among others.
Addressing the protesters, the president-general of Alor People’s Convention, Mr Chris Okudo, made it clear that Igwe Okonkwo enjoys the support of the people, and therefore called on the governor to disregard any call for his dethronement.
“Though, we are against the actions of our traditional ruler for not officially informing and securing the approval of the governor before travelling out of the state for a function which may either be in favour or against the office of the governor, but irrespective of that, we sincerely and humbly tender an unreserved and unalloyed apology to that effect.
“We also plead with our amiable governor in his own wisdom as a mentor to our king to grant clemency not just to our traditional ruler alone but to others who also made the mistake of not informing him before travelling out of the state for a function”, he said.