Calabar, Cross River State – In a bid to resolve the long-standing dispute over the Kingship of the Efik nation and the contention for the Stool of the Obong of Calabar, the Cross River State Government has officially recognized Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi V as the validly selected and elected Obong of Calabar. This declaration comes after years of legal battles and disputes surrounding the Obong Stool.
The Obong of Calabar Stool, which has a rich history spanning six centuries, is considered one of the most revered among First Class Kings in Nigeria. To protect the throne from further legal, social, and political controversies, Governor Bassey Otu undertook a judicial review of the State High Court and Supreme Court rulings and interfaced with royal fathers.
The official position of the Cross River State Government includes the following key points:
Unwavering Qualification Standards: The issue of a waiver for a candidate’s qualification to contest the Obong Stool is considered untenable.
Sacrosanct Constitution of the Obong’s Palace: The stipulations of the Constitution of the Obong’s Palace regarding the procedure for the enthronement of an Etubom as the Obong of Calabar must be respected.
Binding Effect of Court Judgments: The State High Court judgment of September 25th, 2022, has not been set aside by subsequent appellate court judgments, and its binding effect on all parties remains.
Implementation of Judgment: All parties involved must ensure the full implementation of the State High Court judgment to the letter.
Recognition of Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi V: Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi V is recognized as the validly selected and elected Obong of Calabar and the Patriarch of the Efik Kingdom.
Harmonious Rule of the Efik Kingdom: To bring an end to the longstanding tussle for the revered royal stool, His Eminence, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi V, will set up a reconciliation team with the primary duty of uniting the two contending parties for a harmonious, peaceful, and progressive rulership of the Efik Kingdom.
This official pronouncement made on 7th November via a press release signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Emmanuel Ogbeche, is expected to put an end to speculation, acrimony, and disaffection that may have arisen during the years of contention for the Obong Stool.
The Cross River State Government’s decision is seen as a significant step towards resolving the dispute and bringing much-needed stability to the Efik Kingdom.