The Cross River State government has expressed displeasure over the intractable dispute over the royalty of Efik nation and the contest for the seat of Obong of Calabar since 2008.
Governor Bassey Otu noted that the Obong of Calabar stool is approximately six centuries old, imbued with the Efik spirit, and is revered among the few first-class kings in Nigeria; hence the need to protect the throne from judicial, social and political contempt.
In a press release signed and delivered by his Chief Press Secretary, Emmanuel Ogbeche, on Tuesday, the Governor declared that His Eminence Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi V remains the duly selected and elected Obong of Calabar and Patriarch of the Efik Kingdom.
He stated that after conducting judicial review by the Supreme Court and Supreme Court, as well as the Constitution of Obong’s Palace and the cooperation with the royal fathers, he made the following decision:
“That the issue of WAIVER for qualification of a candidate to contest the Obong Stool is untenable;
“That the stipulations of the Constitution of the Obong’s Palace in respect of the procedure for the enthronement of any Etubom as the Obong of Calabar remain sacrosanct;
“That in all the subsequent judgements of the appellate courts, the letter and spirit of the State High Court judgment of September 25th, 2022 has not been set aside nor its binding effect on all parties diminished;
“That all parties must ensure the implementation of the judgment cited in (iii) above to the later;
“That His Eminence, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi V remains the validly selected and elected Obong of Calabar and the Patriarch of the Efik Kingdom;
“That this official pronouncement by the State Government has granted explicit recognition to His Eminence, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi V as the Obong of Calabar; and brings to final closure the speculation, acrimony and disaffection that may have risen in the course of the tussle for this revered royal stool of the Efik Kingdom;
“That His Eminence, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi V should as a matter of urgency and priority set up a reconciliation team, whose primary duty is to bring the hitherto two contending parties on the tussle to a single harmonious, peaceful and progressive rulership of the Efik Kingdom.”