…says he was not excluded from contest
By Ene Asuquo
The trouble surrounding the EFik kingdom regarding who occupies the revered throne of the Obong of calabar deepens as Etubom Anthony Ani finally breaks silence over the obongship of the Efiks as he publicly declared that he is the Obong of Calabar elect.
The 87 year old former minister of Finance in the late Sani Abacha regime who never made a statement regarding the throne, yesterday in his residence maintained that it was rightfully the turn of Ikoneto in Western calabar to produce the next Obong 15 years ago, stated that the process which produced the present occupant was faulty which caused him to seek for a redress
He made the declaration when the Ikoneto community paid him homage to show their support and solidarity in the struggle to produce him as the Obong of calabar
Ikoneto is made up of two distinct Clans, Mbiabo and Obom-Itiat with six villages, Namely;Ikot Mkpo, Ikot Ani, Ikot Oyok, Ito, Ikot Ukorebi and Ikot Ukpong
In his remarks, Etubom Ani had assured the people of Ikoneto that there is nothing that would stop him from ascending the revered throne of the efik Eburutu kingdom claiming that even the principalities and their ancestors are in support
He recalled that in 1973 in Creek town was when the accord for ascendency was signed giving legitimacy for Ikoneto to also produce the Obong of calabar noting that since then, Ikoneto has not been given that opportunity. He explained further that in 1990, they voluntarily allowed Henshaw Town to take that turn
Etubom Ani said that in 2007 when another opportunity came, that was about 15 years ago which was supposed to be the turn of Ikoneto, his people presented him, and the process was manipulated which was the reason he approached the court for redress
In his words, “I didn’t take the Efiks nor the throne to court, I only approached the court to look into the selection process whether it was fair and just”he stated.
“He continued, “I was not excluded from the contest, the court simply asked us to go back and do another selection”, adding that what ever thing that was done in the last 15years is a nullity, stressing that there is no Obong of calabar, for now he is the Obong elect”, he maintained.
He promised to build a befitting Palace for the Obong of calabar once everything normalizes in no distance time
Meanwhile, Etubom Anthony Ani disclosed in his cabinet, Etubom Essien Ekpenyong Efiok is the Chairman of the Etubom traditional rulers council while Etubom Micah Archibong serves as the secretary
But In a quick response to the unfolding event, the media aid in the palace of the Obong of calabar otuekong Francis Edet said that there can never be two Obong on one throne, adding that the position of the Obong of calabar is for lifetime and nothing can change that
He called on all the Efiks at home and in the diaspora to disregard the faults claims made by Etubom Anthony Ani