By Our Reporter
Governor Bassey Otu of Cross River State has warned all those flouting the State Government’s directive on the settled matter of the Obong of Calabar stool not to test the patience of his administration over their unguarded utterances and other actions that could threaten the existing peace.
Speaking at the 12th Utomo Obong Festival (homage to the Obong of Calabar) at Adiabo, Odukpani local government area on Saturday 23 December 2023, the Governor stressed that it is unbecoming of certain individuals to make insinuations, provocative statements on a matter that the State Government has taken a position on following a ruling by the Supreme Court.
“Enough is enough! We have no problem with anybody or group seeking judicial remedy to whatever perceived grievances there are. But this government will no longer tolerate insinuations, provocative statements capable of truncating the peace.
“Power comes from God, therefore, whoever God has given power to should be supported by all. The State Government has taken a position based on the law, and some people do not want to accept that. We will no longer tolerate any situation that threatens the peace of the state.
“The Obong stool as one of the few Treaty Kings East of the Niger is highly revered and should be supported by all,” the Governor stated.
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According to Governor Otu, the State Government would “partner with the Palace of Obong of Calabar in seeking classical and ancient sagacity in providing good governance for our people under a convivial atmosphere and consistent policy framework and implementation.
“The security, peace process, due diligence and decency demonstrated in the Efik kingdom architecture have informed our numerous achievements in the state in the past six months.”
He described His Eminence, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu V, the 78th Efik monarch, “as a man of peace, a champion of inclusiveness and an evolutionary cultural dynamo.
“His sterling reign has seen to the stable federation of the Twelve Efik principalities. The establishment of Obong of Calabar Executive Forum as the fulcrum of his engagements with his subjects in Efik Language Development, educational support programmes and dynamic preservation of the culture and traditions of the Efiks is highly commendable. This cultural fiesta is the icing on the cake as it provides the platform for tangible manifestation of the Efik ethos and cosmology.”
He further commended the Royal Father for his “calmness of mind and stability of disposition in the face of the challenges to the throne,” stressing, “As a Government, we salute the genuine approach to achieving peaceful reign over the Efiks and the inhabitants of Calabar.”
Governor Otu informed the gathering of Efik’s sons and daughters as well as well-wishers from far and wide of his administration’s resolve to build a befitting palace for the Obong.
The gathering had in attendance the 12 clans paying homage to the Obong as well as notable personalities like former Governor Donald Duke, Senator Florence Ita-Giwa, Prof. Eyo Etim Nyong, Senator Asuquo Ekpenyong, and Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Dr. Betta Edu.
Mrs Nella Andem-Ewa SAN was the chairman of the occasion, with High Chief Gershom Henshaw as the chairman of the Obong of Calabar Executive Forum.
CONVERSEER reports that Etubom Anthony Ani, former Minister has laid claim to the throne, saying he is the legitimate Obong of Calabar.