BY NSAN NDOMA-NEJI,Calabar
Etubom Traditional Rulers’ Council in Cross River State have faulted Gov. Bassey Otu’s Proclamation of Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu the V as Obong of Càlabar, insisting that the former finance Minister, Chief Anthony Ani remains the Obong of Càlabar and no one else.
A group which claimed to be the legitimate group in the selection of the treaty king of Efik kingdom through it’s Chairman, Etubom Traditional Rulers’Council, HRH, Etubom Essien Ekpeyong Effiok made the group”s position known during an interactive session with Journalists in Càlabar yesterday.
The state Governor. Senator Bassey Edet Otu, had in November 7, made his position known regarding the true ownership of the Efik traditional stool, saying that as the governor, His Eminence Etubom Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu V is the real person to occupy the Obong of Càlabar traditional stool.
Otu in a statement affirmed Eturbom Ekpo Okon Abasi V as authentic Obong of Càlabar, putting to rest the controversy surrending the Obong of Càlabar Stool.
But a faction of Efik Kingmakers of Obong of Càlabar, led by it Chairman HRM Eturbom Essien Ekpeyong Effiok, Secretary of Eturbom council HRH Etubom Micah Archibong V1 and two others faulted the governor’s position saying Eturbom Dr. Anthony Ani,(former Minister of Finance) during the Abacha’s reign is the authentic Obong of Càlabar.
The Kingmakers insisted that the decision of the Supreme Court where the court asked that the proclamation and selection of His Eminence Ekpo Okon Abasi V by the conclave on 13/3/2008 be set aside and a fresh selection process to take place.
Part of thier argument is that state governor cannot decide who becomes the Obong of Càlabar, except the Etubom Traditional Rulers council.
Ani’s faction maintained that no individual nor state governor have such right to set aside a judgement of the supreme court which advised or that a fresh selection process for the Obong Stool be conducted.
In his word, the Chairman said, If His Excellency wish to consider his position in this matter, we suggest that he sets up an independent and unbiased body to handle the situation.
“Or he summits the Supreme Court’s judgement to a court of competent Jurisdiction to interpret the judgement for immediate implementation as we know his Excellency lacks the power to set aside supreme court’s judgement”.
The traditional rulers averred that no state governor has power to set aside judgement of the supreme court that asked for a fresh selection process to be conducted to enable the Eturbom conclave pick who the Obong should be.
Prayers of the the Etubom Traditional who are said to be staunch supporters of Etubom Dr. Anthony Ani, reads, “That the selection and proclamation of Etubom Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu as Obong of Càlabar on 13/3/2008 be set aside.
” That the parties should return to drawing board, that the selection process be started a fresh, that the selection process should start on a clean slate,.
“That the 2022 constitution of Eturbom’s traditional rulers Council be used for the selection.” The monarchs maintained.