Obong of Calabar-elect pledges loyalty to Cross River governor

The Obong of Calabar-elect, Etubom Anthony Ani, has pledged total support of the Efik throne to Governor Bassey Otu’s administration.

Ani, who was elected recently following a Supreme Court judgment that deposed the former Obong of Calabar, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi-Otu V, made the pledged when the Ikoneto royal house paid him homage at his residence in Calabar, last week.

The throne of the Obong of Calabar had been a subject of endless litigation until the Supreme Court of Nigeria on January 13, 2023, dethroned Abasi-Otu V and ordered a fresh election in which the deposed Obong was qualified to contest.

The apex court said the way and manner Abasi-Otu V was selected and proclaimed the Obong of Calabar was not under the principles of natural justice, and therefore a fresh election be held in tandem with the 2002 constitution of the palace, in line with equity and natural justice.

Days after the Supreme Court judgement, Abasi-Otu V was re-elected the Obong of Calabar by 13 members of the Etubom conclaves.

However, the re-election was stiffly opposed because the Etuboms who re-elected the Obong were said not to be part of the Etubom conclave recognised in the 2002 constitution which the Supreme Court referred to.

In compliance with the order of the Supreme Court, surviving members of the Etubom Council established in the 2002 constitution carried out another selection and elected Ani who emerged as the Obong of Calabar-elect.

Speaking while receiving the Ikoneto royal house, Etubom Ani, a former finance minister, assured the delegation of a rebirth of the cultural and traditional heritage of the Efik kingdom.

He said starting this year, “We are going to build new palaces for all our deities to restore the traditional heritage and glory of the Efik kingdom.