By Joseph Obung
The South South Monarchs Forum has called on Efik leaders, who may have lost out or been misled during the tussle for the throne of the Obong of Calabar, to sheath their swords and join hands with His Eminence Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi-Otu V, to build a great Efik kingdom.
Recall that while Edidem Abasi-Otu V was duly re-elected and proclaimed as Obong of Calabar by the Etuboms’ Conclave in line with the Supreme Court judgement of January 2023, some Efik leaders decided to pitch tent with former Finance Minister, Etubom Tony Ani, who had been in various courts over the past 15 years trying to oust Edidem Abasi-Otu from the throne.
However, Governor Bassey Otu, last week, affirmed Edidem Abasi-Otu V as the Obong of Calabar thereby effectively bringing to an end the apparent succession battle.
Speaking in Calabar, Thursday, during a solidarity visit to the Obong of Calabar, Chairman of the Forum, His Majesty (Dr) Dandeson Douglas Jaja Jeki V, CFR, Jaja of Opobo, said their visit to the Monarch was to show solidarity and appreciation to God for bringing the distraction to an end.
“We are here under the umbrella of South South Monarchs Forum on a solidarity visit to one of our own, the Obong of Calabar, who has been affirmed as the duly selected Obong of Calabar. We commend the Governor, Senator Bassey Otu for upholding the truth in line with the tradition of the Efik people.
“On behalf of the South South Monarchs Forum, I appeal to those who may have lost out to sheath their swords in the interest of the Efik people. In life, we must know when to say ‘It is alright, let us all come together as one people to build our heritage’. I urge us all to again embrace peace which Efik people are known for,” he pleaded.
Corroborating, Chairman, Supreme Council of Akwa Ibom Traditional Rulers, Odidem Bassey Etim Edet, commended the Etuboms’ Traditional Council for remaining steadfast, shunning material inducements and religiously adhering to Efik tradition in choosing the Obong of Calabar, adding “if the processes were faulty, the story would have been different today.”
In his response, the Obong of Calabar lauded the Monarchs for their show of love, adding that the South South Monarchs had once again proven that they remained their brothers’ keepers.
“I commend you for this show of solidarity and I will not take this for granted. We will continue to do our very best to bring all our people together for the good of the Efik kingdom,” the Obong of Calabar stated.