Governor Bassey Otu of Cross River State has sternly warned against any further discord regarding the rightful occupant of the esteemed Obong of Calabar stool. The governor expressed deep concern on Tuesday over the prolonged dispute concerning the Kingship of the Efik Nation and the contention for the Obong of Calabar Stool since 2008.
Governor Otu emphasized the historical significance of the Obong of Calabar Stool, which dates back six centuries and holds immense reverence among the few First Class Kings in Nigeria. He underscored the urgent need to shield the throne from any form of judicial, social, or political controversy that could tarnish its sanctity.
In an official statement released by his chief press secretary, Emmanuel Ogbeche, the governor revealed that a comprehensive review had been conducted, encompassing State High Court and Supreme Court rulings, as well as the Constitution of the Obong’s Palace.
After engaging with royal leaders, Governor Otu outlined key resolutions. He declared the notion of WAIVER for a candidate’s qualification to contest the Obong Stool as untenable. Additionally, he affirmed the inviolability of the stipulations outlined in the constitution of the Obong’s Palace regarding the enthronement procedure for any Etubom as the Obong of Calabar.
The governor highlighted that the binding effect of the State High Court judgment of September 25th, 2022, remained intact, as subsequent appellate court rulings had neither set it aside nor diminished its significance.
In light of these resolutions, the governor officially recognized His Eminence, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi V, as the validly selected and elected Obong of Calabar and the Patriarch of the Efik Kingdom. This declaration marked the conclusive end to speculations, acrimony, and disaffection that had arisen during the tussle for this revered royal stool of the Efik Kingdom.
Governor Bassey Otu further urged the Obong to take swift action by establishing a reconciliation team. The primary objective of this team would be to foster a harmonious, peaceful, and progressive rulership for the Efik Kingdom by uniting the previously contentious parties.