Obongship stool: Group absolves DSS of blame, berates sponsors of crisis

Obong of Calabar, Edidem Ekpo Abasi-Otu the V,

By PATRICK ABANG, Calabar –

A socio-cultural group, Concerned Efik Youths, have commended the Department of State Service, DSS, for displaying professionalism in handling the crisis which threatened to erupt in Calabar few days ago over a purported proclamation of Chief Tony Ani as another Obong of Calabar.

Recall that some persons had on Monday reportedly proclaimed Chief Ani, whom the Supreme Court judgement said was not qualified to vie for the throne, as the new Obong, despite the current Obong of Calabar, His Eminence Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu V, being formally re-selected by kingmakers and re-proclaimed in line with the January 13, 2023 Supreme Court judgement.

In a statement signed by the State Coordinator of the group, Chief Etetim Archibong, and Secretary, Felicia Asuquo, and made available to our reporter, the group said “We must in all honesty commend the DSS for stepping in to stop what could have resulted in bloodshed.

“Reports at our disposal indicated that the supporters of the dissident group, who purportedly claimed Chief Ani is their Obong, made attempt to invade the Palace of the Obong of Calabar but for timely intervention of the DSS. After the futile attempt, the dissidents sponsored a media attack on the DSS for just nothing.

“We hereby condemn in strong terms such display of desperation. There must be one man on the throne at a time. The re-selection and proclamation of the Obong was done since January by the Conclave of kingmakers who procedurally, in line with the Supreme Court Judgment and the year 2002 constitution of the Etubom Council, proclaimed Edidem Abasi-Otu V.

“The dissidents woke from slumber in May to start another crisis just few days to the inauguration of an Efik son as the next Governor of Cross River. Are they not having a motive to cause unrest in this transition programme? Why are they rising up now after almost four months of the exercise? Why are they calling out the DSS?

“Are they not trying to divert security attention in other to have a field day? We bear witness that the DSS and other security agencies have not been partisan as far as the avoidable crisis over the Obongship stool is concerned. We urge the security agencies not to lose their guard in anyway because we are suspicious of the motives of those people.

“Chief Ani was expressly disqualified by the Supreme Court from voting or being voted for in the re-selection process that had since been done, and today, the same man is the person they feel is more qualified to be declared Obong of Calabar. Is that not an utter violation of the Supreme Court judgement?

“Everyone is familiar with the sacred rituals that follow the making of an Obong of Calabar. All the Royal houses are statutorily involved with specific roles. Was that the case in this their show-of-shame in which they purported to have proclaimed Chief Ani? No! what we rather saw in video footages on social media was a complete joke and caricature of the process.

“But at the Palace of the Efik people, it has been an unprecedented show of love and acceptance by well-meaning Efiks and residents of Calabar over the last 3 months after the re-selection of Edidem Abasi Otu V as the Obong of Calabar. Groups and Royal Houses are paying solidarity visits to the Monarch on daily basis and pledging loyalty. Why are those people seeking to shatter the atmosphere of peace in Efik land?” they asked rhetorically

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