By Prince Orok
The Efik Kingdom, recognised by the Encyclopedia Britannica as one of the oldest African Civilisations with a well-structured traditional institution, has a history intertwined with European influences. Despite this, the Efiks maintain their cultural beliefs and royal heritage with unwavering commitment.
The throne of the Obong of Calabar holds a prestigious position, on par with other distinguished rulers in Nigeria. Currently, His Eminence, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu V, presides as the Obong of Calabar, embodying multiple roles including that of a Federal University Chancellor and a cultural patriarch.
The chronology of the Efik monarchs is categorised into three distinct periods: the Medieval Era (13th to 17th century), the Republican Era (18th to mid-19th century), and the Dichotomy Era (mid-19th century to the present).
This narrative focuses specifically on the Dichotomy Era, beginning with the 74th king.
1. Edidem Abasi Eyo Efiom Ededem Edak Edem Etim (Adam III), 1982-1987.
2. Edidem Otu Ukpong Okon Otu (Otu Ekpenyong Efa IX), 1987-1989.
3. Edidem Boco Ene Eyo Eneyo Ene Mkpang Akabom (Cobham V), 1989-1999.
4. Edidem Nta Ansa-Efiom Ekeng Ekeng Ewa Ekeng (Henshaw VI), 1999-2008.
5. Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu Ukpong Mbo Otu (Okon Abasi Otu V), 2008 to present.
In essence, the Efik Kingdom remains a bastion of freedom and hospitality, boasting a rich cultural legacy. Its people carry the nation’s cultural essence in their hearts and souls, not merely preserving history but keeping the flames of tradition alive.
From past eras to the present Dichotomy era, the Efik Eburutu Kingdom stands as a beacon of national pride. Its culture and traditions are cherished, its language evolves, and its people excel globally, ensuring the kingdom continues to thrive in the 21st century.