The Obi Gburugburu of Igboland and paramount ruler of the ancient kingdom of Ihim Autonomous Community in Isiala Mbano Local Government Areas of Imo State, His Royal Majesty, Eze (Dr.) Oliver Ohanweh, expressed concern about the diminishing role of traditional institutions in the South-East due to political interference.
He highlighted the historical significance of these institutions, emphasizing their governance role before the colonial era.
According to Eze Ohanweh, the lack of constitutional recognition for traditional institutions allows politicians to undermine their effectiveness. He noted that the proliferation of traditional rulers in the region is a creation of politicians seeking to exert control and create divisions. This, he argued, hampers the traditional rulers’ ability to fulfill their roles of providing light, prosperity, unity, and safety.
The monarch lamented that politicians, after seeking blessings from traditional rulers during elections, later marginalize and undermine them during their tenure. He criticized the creation of numerous autonomous communities by politicians, leading to a lack of distinction between politics and tradition.
Eze Ohanweh expressed frustration that governors, with limited terms in office, often assert dominance over traditional institutions, diminishing their authority. In addressing the challenges faced by traditional rulers, Eze Ohanweh underscored the importance of respect and recognition.
He observed that the erosion of these values contributes to insecurity, emphasizing the traditional rulers’ commitment to peace and safety. The monarch asserted that the traditional institution, rooted in spiritual leadership, does not resort to force but relies on wisdom and caution in maintaining order.