The recently elected Obong of Calabar, Etubom Anthony Ani, has committed his full support to the administration of Governor Bassey Otu, aiming to bolster its success. Ani’s election followed a Supreme Court ruling that overturned the selection of the previous Obong, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi-Otu V. After his election, Ani received homage from the Ikoneto royal house at his Calabar residence this past Thursday.
The Obong of Calabar’s throne has been at the center of continuous legal battles until the Supreme Court decided, in January 2023, to annul the reign of Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi-Otu V and ordered a new election, in which the deposed Obong could participate.
The Supreme Court stated that the former Obong’s selection process was not in line with natural justice principles, hence the need for a new election following the 2002 Palace Constitution.
Unexpectedly, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi-Otu V was re-elected by 13 members of the Etubom assemblies shortly after the Supreme Court ruling. However, this re-election was challenged because the participating Etuboms were alleged not to belong to the Etubom conclave mentioned in the 2002 Constitution, which the court referenced.
Obeying the court’s orders, the remaining members of the Etubom council, as recognized in the 2002 Constitution, conducted a fresh election. Etubom Anthony Ani was subsequently elected as the new Obong of Calabar.
During his meeting with the Ikoneto royal house representatives, Ani, a former finance minister, promised a renaissance of the Efik kingdom’s cultural and traditional heritage.
“We are set to construct new palaces for our deities starting this year, aiming to revive the traditional glory of the Efik kingdom,” Ani stated.
He also mentioned collaboration plans with the government to create an environment conducive to industry growth and job creation.
Drawing from his vast experience, the Obong-elect pledged to promote economic growth and prosperity in the state. He recalled his previous contributions to peace and stability within the Efik nation and expressed regret that his Ikoneto lineage still experienced marginalization and resistance in their ascent to the Efik throne.
SOURCE: The Guardian
IMAGE: Heritage Times