House Of Assembly Receives Bill To Amend Autonomous Community Law

The Imo State has become a thing of laughter to neighbouring states as it has seen its traditional institutions dwindle and become a thing of ridicule as several mushroom autonomous communities are granted government waiver of autonomy without the necessary checks to ensure their sustainability.

Since 2006 there has been an influx of new autonomous communities and Eze’s, with over hundred new autonomous communities created, as a result of the amendment of the Imo State of Nigeria Traditional Rulers and Autonomous communities’ law in 2006 that sought and achieved the removal of the stipulated necessary conditions a community must meet to achieve autonomy.

The previous law known as the Imo State Law No. 3 of 1999 under its section 25(1) provided that for a community to qualify for autonomy it must have a population of 5000 people of notable adult and women, school(s) recognized by government and or a common worship centre or market.

With increase in population and complexities in our communal settings and various other reasons there was the need for a new law but this law known as the Imo State Law No. 6 of 2006 surprisingly repealed other laws in the state pertaining to Traditional Rulers and Autonomous Communities, in addition it provided that communities seeking autonomy shall have a common tradition, common identity and be homogenous.

On the 5th of August, the Deputy Speaker, Rt. Hon. Ugonna Ozuruigbo, presented to the assembly a bill to amend Law No. 6 of 2006 seeking to reintroduce stringent conditions and criterions before a community can be granted autonomy.

Continuing he said that he wasn’t against the creation of autonomous communities as it is a natural course.

Furthermore, the youthful lawmaker noted that if the unnecessary award of autonomy to communities is not checked the traditional institutions shall soon be a thing of ridicule as the political games and intrigues the institution has witnessed is very visible and nothing to write home about.

The House adjourned till 25th of August, 2015 when further reading of the bill shall take place. (The Nigerian voice)
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