Efik Throne Dispute: Independent Truth & Reconciliation C’tee Submits Interim Report

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In a recent development, the Independent Truth and Reconciliation Committee set up in December 2023 by the Palace of the Obong of Calabar, has submitted its interim report aimed at resolving disputes surrounding the Efik throne. The committee, chaired by retired Chief Judge of Cross River state, Justice Michael Edem, and including prominent figures such as former deputy governor of the state Efiok Cobham Esq., has worked tirelessly to address the contentious issues that have troubled the Efik kingdom NEGROIDHAVEN can say.

While fielding questions from a cross section of the press in Calabar on Monday, Justice Michael Edem highlighted the committee’s mission, stating, “The purpose is not a hidden issue. It’s a well-known publicized issue concerning the commission set up by the palace to look into the dispute involving the Efik throne. We had set about it and we have come to an interim end, if I may say so. Having come to an interim end, an interim report is therefore a desideratum. Because of the submission of the report we are here.”

The committee’s objective was to calm the ongoing tensions and restore peace within the Efik kingdom. Justice Edem elaborated, “The outcome of the assignment was to pour oil on the troubled water – the Efik throne. The Efik kingdom is not new to what had been happening recently. The outcome naturally would be to bring down the tension and shoot down the problems and also restore peace, tranquility which the Efiks are very much noted for.”

Efiok Cobham, reflecting on the committee’s achievements, stated, “We have succeeded in our assignment and we have submitted a report to the Obong-in-Council today. It is a human situation so there are no clear cut conclusions. It’s ongoing. But we’ve set in part in our report to the Council, steps to be taken to encourage further reconciliation.”

Cobham acknowledged the complexities of the situation, noting that “Twins do disagree. Then talk less about a larger composition like the Efik kingdom.” He expressed confidence in the progress made, pointing to the relatively few responses to their call for memoranda as an indication of general satisfaction with the status quo. “Apart from the issue in court which is subjudice, which we cannot talk about here, I think there is a level of calmness in the Efik kingdom.”

Highlighting the stability provided by the current Obong, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu V, Cobham added, “He’s been one Obong that has stayed quite long on the throne. This is 16 years on the throne. For a very long time, we’ve not had a king that has stayed this long. You could see even the support from the various families that constitute the kingdom. They’ve been coming here to pay homage. That on its own should tell you that all is well.”

The report submitted by the committee included several key proposals to ensure lasting peace. Cobham emphasized the need for inclusivity, stating, “We have said that the palace should be open to everybody who wants to come in. The palace should be able to embrace even those who disagree. We are all one family. We will be happy to have all of them.”

Additionally, the committee recommended addressing the root causes of the current dispute to prevent future occurrences. “We’ve also asked them to look into the loopholes that will prevent future reoccurrence of the issue that gave birth to the current disagreement, which is why we are here,” Cobham explained.

Etubom B.O.B. Duke, Chairman of the Etubom Council of the Obong of Calabar, acknowledged the receipt of the report but noted that they had not yet reviewed it in detail. “We’ve not read through the submitted report yet. So we might not give you any accurate reports about it now,” he said.

NEGROIDHAVEN confirmed that the submission of this interim report marks a crucial step towards resolving the disputes surrounding the Efik throne, with the committee expressing cautious optimism that their recommendations will foster reconciliation and unity within the kingdom.