The succession crisis, which began in 2008, over the throne of Obong of Calabar has intensified, the Blueprint authoritatively reveals.
In a press statement issued by the Etuboms’ Traditional Council (the highest traditional authority in Efik kingdom), and made available to newsmen yesterday warned the leader of a contending faction, Chief Anthony Ani “to curb his inordinate ambition and direct his doubtfully-induced means to other useful and more rewarding venture rather than sling mud on our revered Efik throne with filthy lucre”.
In a seeming response to a letter purportedly written to the ETC by Etubom Essien Efiok and others over the issue, the Etubom conclave described as false and misleading insinuations that Chief Anthony Ani was screened and conducted as Etubom for the purpose of contesting the position of the Obong of Calabar.
The statement, which was signed by about 50 prominent leaders and chiefs of the Efik kingdom, stressed that the presentation of Etubom Ani to Western Calabar Traditional Rulers Council as Head Chief or Etubom of Ikot Nkpor house does not qualify him to vie for the throne.
It will be recalled that after the ‘traditional illness’ of the former Monarch, Prof Nta Elijah Henshaw, about three Efik sons had contended for the throne after which the current Obong of Calabar, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi-Otu V was said to have emerged and was subsequently crowned at Efe Asabo (python shrine) in 2008 according to Efik tradition.
But the coronation did not go down well with the former finance minister, Chief Antony Ani. He went to court to challenge the process which brought Edidem Abasi-Otu to the throne, and thereafter, obtained judgment in his favour in Suit No. HC/102/2008 of January 30, 2012.
Immediately the judgment was given, the Etubom conclave again conducted another round of selection where the current monarch was said to have emerged.
Thereafter, the conclave appealed the judgment, challenging the lower court decision. But in a sudden twist, some ETC members, notably Etubom Efiok, Etubom Essien A. Efiok and four others from the Creek Town of Etuboms’ Traditional Rulers Council in a letter, titled ‘Enough is Enough’, decided to pull out of the appeal.
They posited that “in view of the several published legal opinions, rejoinders and comments made on the case, we the people of Creek Town, the Cradle of Modern Efik, which was why the 1970 Accord has to be made in Creek Town, hereby resolved that, ‘it is not in the best interest of the Efiks to continue with the Appeal and, (as such) Creek Town is therefore, no longer in support of the Appeal and has accordingly withdrawn from the appeal, to give peace a chance through other options.”
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