One of the 12 suspended monarchs in Anambra State and the traditional ruler of Alor community in the Idemili South local government area, Igwe MacAnthony Okonkwo, has apologised to the state governor, Willie Obiano for embarking on a trip to Abuja without the government’s approval.
He admitted that his action violated the Traditional Rulers’ Council rules guiding the operation of monarchs in the state.
Okonkwo was among the 12 traditional rulers suspended for 12 months by the state government for reportedly travelling to Abuja with oil magnate, Prince Arthur Eze, to see President Muhammadu Buhari, without permission.
Commissioner for Local Government, Chieftaincy and Community Affairs, Greg Obi, had said the monarchs were suspended because they travelled outside the state without approval by the government.
However, at a press briefing in his palace on Saturday, Okonkwo admitted his wrongdoing and tendered an “unreserved apology” to the state government, the Traditional Rulers’ Council, members of his cabinet, and his subjects.
He said: “It was a serious slip on my part not to have informed the government about the trip to Abuja before embarking on it. I, therefore, tender an unreserved apology.”
The monarch dispelled the rumour that he was induced with money and gifts before agreeing to accompany the oil magnate to see President Muhammadu Buhari.
“How can they say I was bribed to join the Abuja trip? What kind of bribe is that? That is total fallacy?
“We didn’t go to Abuja to speak ill about our governor to the president. Ndi Igwen (monarchs) does not have the constitutional right to remove a governor or do anything to him. We are not lawmakers who have such constitutional rights,” he said.
Okonkwo appealed to the state government and his colleagues to forgive him and called on the Anambra State Traditional Rulers’ Council to wade into the feud between Obiano and Prince Arthur Eze, with a view to brokering peace between them.