By Ene Asuquo
THE Etubom Traditional Rulers Council, the Efik kingmakers recently maintained that there is only one king in Calabar and Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu V is the Obong on the throne.
The Obong Traditional Rulers Council stated this in a press statement signed by its Chairman Etubom Bassey Oko Bassey Duke at the Palace of The Obong of Calàbar while reacting to the purported declaration of ex- Finance Minister, Chief Anthony Ani as the Obong of Calàbar by a few disgruntled chiefs.
“We have seen a video in which Chief Anthony Ani is seen surrounded by a mortely crew purporting to have made him the Obong of Calàbar in his domestic residence thus demonstrating their delusion or ignorance of the sacredness of such an affair”
The Etuboms Council stated that all the heads of the twenty four royal houses recognize Abasi Otu and not the action of an “impostor desperate to be Obong , a throne he is not even qualified to contest thus and remind Chief Ani and his cohorts that the Supreme Court dismissed the case he brought owing to its lack of merit”
The traditional rulers further declared that “In that judgement, the Supreme Court affirmed that the earlier judgement of the Court of Appeal in 2023 which found Chief Ani as traditionally unfit and ineligible to vote or be voted for in matters concerning the stool of the Obong of Calàbar and the purported smuggling of his name into the contest as an aspirant to the revered Efik Throne was vehemently frowned at and adjudged as contamination of the process”
According to the Etuboms Traditional Council, when the Supreme Court ordered a re-election exercise, it specifically stated that the first Respondent, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu V is “automatically qualified” to participate in the said process
*And the Etubom Traditional Rulers Council adhering to its age long traditional process in compliance with its Constitution carried out the re-selection exercise on the 18th of January 2023 and re-ploclaimed His Eminence , Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu V as the Obong of Calàbar for the fourth and final time . The Supreme Court, Government, and all security agencies were duly and formally notified of the step-by-step procedures that were followed”
The kingmakers concluded that Chief Ani by his action has “chosen to wrestle with the gods and we gently remind him of the fate of his predecessor who tried the same thing in 2008”
The statement further stated that the appeal court judgement, as affirmed by the Supreme court, clearly confirmed the unfitness of Tony Ani for the EFik Royal Throne, and renders his current actions not only abominable to common sense, but contemptuous of the rule of law.