- Obong of Calabar, the Oba of Benin, Obi of Onitsha and the Ooni of Ife, amongst a few, are first class monarchs of Nigeria
The Etubom Traditional Council at the Palace of the Obong of Calabar has taken a significant step towards resolving the prolonged feud over the Efik throne. A recently inaugurated, 7-member independent truth and reconciliation committee, led by retired Chief Judge Justice Michael Edem, has been tasked with addressing the contentious issues surrounding the Obong of Calabar succession over the past 15 years.
The committee is mandated to thoroughly examine the causes of the dispute, particularly in light of the Supreme Court’s January 13, 2023, judgment, which called for a re-selection of a new Obong.
Among its responsibilities, the committee is entrusted with the mission of establishing the truth and facilitating reconciliation among the rival factions involved in the succession dispute. Emphasizing the importance of maintaining integrity aligned with the Efik people’s culture and tradition, the committee, as outlined in a press statement by HRH Ekpo Archibong, Secretary of the Etubom Traditional Council, may conduct a judicial review of the Supreme Court’s judgment or adjudicate on the matter.
The committee’s composition includes notable figures such as former Deputy Governor Efiok Cobham, retired AiG Ene Okon, Reverend Ubong E. Eyo PhD of the Presbyterian Church, Barrister Rosemary Archibong, and High Chief Prof Eyo Etim Nyong. This initiative follows a directive from Governor Bassey Otu on November 7, 2023, instructing an end to the legal battles and strife surrounding the Obong of Calabar.
The state government, having affirmed Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu as the legitimate Obong, has called for a cessation of hostilities and the establishment of an independent reconciliation committee for the resolution of the longstanding dispute.
Over the past 15 years, the Efik Throne has been embroiled in bitter conflicts, leading to multiple court judgments and culminating in the Supreme Court’s directive on January 13, 2023, for a comprehensive re-selection process for the Obong of Calabar.