TENSION IN CALABAR: OBONG OF CALABAR THRONE SET FOR ANOTHER CRISIS
By: Edem Archibong, Calabar
The over seven hundred thousand years old throne of the Obong of Calabar is now ready for a fresh version pandemonium as the re-selection process to put Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu as the Obong of Calabar last week after Supreme Court judgment dethroned him, has been again faulted by senior King makers (Senior Etuboms) in Council as at 2008 through the application of Obong’s Council Law of 2002.
This information is contained in a letter circulated in the social media by Etubom Micah Archibong, the then Secretary of the Etubom Traditional Rulers Council and signed by then 2008 Chairman of the Etubom’s Traditional Council, Etubom Essien Efiok opposed to the process of re-selecting Etubom Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu and described it as a complete abuse of the selection procedure which is wh
at the supreme court upheld in it judgment and directed for it repetition ab-initio.
The statement clearly claimed that the process to select the Obong of Calabar is often codified, and that involves three various aspects which have not been complied with before making pronouncement to the general public that Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu have been re-selected.
Etubom Micah Archibong, the Secretary of the Etubom traditional Council Screening Committee in 2008 confirmed this during an interview that “any person so elected at a conclave becomes only an Obong elect” not yet an Obong of Calabar not until they have gone through the two other hideous aspects of the tradition which cannot be revealed to a non-initiate in this medium.
The Secretary of Etubom’s traditional Council explained that the Efik Tradition operates triumvirate system of government which places the Obong as the “first amongst equals between members of the Etubom in Council and does not wield power nor sit on the throne without the consent of the other two principalities” being involve in the process.
As a man with genealogical trace to the first ruling House in history to produce five Obong of Calabar since the inception of the throne, more than any other ruling Houses in Efik Kingdom, Etubom Micah explained that Etubom Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu was formerly the Chairman of Western Calabar Traditional Council and by the 2002 Law for the selection of Obong of Calabar which the supreme court relied upon to dethrone him.
Therefore, the ideal process which the supreme court relied upon is for the re-selection committee members in the conclave which should constitute strictly those who formed the screening Council in 2008, and the outcome of the screening can only make him as “Obong elect” until other two processes are completed but not to out-rightly pronounce him as Obong of Calabar, he added.
Meanwhile, a comtempt of Court proceeding is already file in court against Ekpo Okon Abasi & orders for failure to follow the Supreme Court judgment in the re-selection process as lay down by the court.
However, investigation revealed that top Efik people in Nigeria and diaspora including the former DSS Director General, Mr. Ekpenyong Ayi Ita have been consulted to wed into the inexorable conflict in attempt to help maintain the long repute of the throne.