Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has inaugurated the State Administrative Panel of Inquiry to review the classification of Traditional Chieftaincy in the state.
The governor charged the panel to review and make recommendations on the grading/classification of existing and new traditional stools in the state in relation to the system of Chieftaincy existing within various clans and localities.
Inaugurating the Administrative Panel of Inquiry on Monday at the Government House, Port Harcourt , Governor Wike urged the panel to be courageous in the discharge of their function, because the repositioning of the Chieftaincy Classification is necessary for the stability of the state.
He regretted that the traditional institution of the state was compromised by illegal politicisation.
The governor asked the panel to withstand the pressure that is associated with their assignment.
Governor Wike further charged the Panel to ascertain and identify the traditional stools operative in each area of the state, ascertain and identify the area or communities over which each Chieftaincy exercises authority, ascertain and identify the method of selection of incumbents to each Chieftaincy in its area of operation and any Chieftaincy stools that were wrongly excluded from recognition, classification and grading.
The terms of reference for the Panel Include: “Review applications for traditional Chieftaincy stools from material available in various memoranda including Government and Intelligence reports mentioned in such memoranda.
“Make appropriate recommendations on Chieftaincy stools that were wrongly recognised, classified or graded including but not limited to withdrawal of recognition, reclassification and/or declassification of such Chieftaincy stools”.
The governor added that the Panel should make appropriate recommendations on how vacant Chieftaincy stools may be filled.
He announced that the Panel has 45 days to submit its report. He directed the panel to hold her public hearings at the Dr Obi Wali Cultural Centre to accommodate all interest groups.
Responding, Chairman of the Administrative Panel of Inquiry, Sir Sam Egbe assured the governor that the panel will carry out its duties without fear or favour.
He said that the panel will use the assignment as its contribution to the development of the state.
The following are members of the panel:
1. Mr Sam Egbe —-Chairman
2. Sir Samuel Ibemeru -Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Chieftaincy and Community Affairs –Secretary
3. Dr Samuel Wenedo -Member
4.Dr Benibo George –Member
5. Dr Godspower Jackson Irikana -Member
6. Henry Amadi Esq –Principal State Counsel, Ministry of Justice and counsel to the Panel of Inquiry.