By Magnus Effiong
The Obong of Calabar Executive Forum (OCEF), the administrative cum advisory arm of the Palace of the Obong of Calabar, has lauded Governor Bassey Otu for affirming His Eminence Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi-Otu V as Obong of Calabar.
Recall that after 15 years of succession tussle between the Monarch and former Finance Minister, Etubom Anthony Ani, the Governor said on Wednesday that his government recognizes Edidem Abasi-Otu V as Obong of Calabar.
Commenting on the Governor’s position, through a press statement signed by OCEF Chairman, Chief Gershom Henshaw, Secretary, Chief Dr. Maurice Ekpenyong, and Chief (Dr.) Anne Ene-Ita (Vice chairman) respectively, the body said it was conveying “the deepest and solemn gratitude of all Efik people at home and abroad,” to Governor Otu.
OCEF described the Governor’s stance on the matter as “well-considered, measured, all-embracing pronouncement and timely,” and noted that the Governor’s intervention “has put to an end to the unhealthy development in the Efik Kingdom and has restored peace and dignity to the Efik Land.”
It further submitted that the body “aligns wholly with the admonition of government for a reconciliation of all the contending parties in the now resolved tussle for the Efik Throne.”
OCEF pledged “to robustly support the harmonious and progressive unification of all Efik people under the able fatherly leadership of His Eminence Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu, Treaty King, Grand Patriarch of all Efik people.”
“Accordingly,” it continued, “we encourage all our brothers and sisters to sheath their swords and return to the Palace of the Obong of Calabar, which in any event always remained open and accessible to every Efik and friends of Efik Nation.”
It also congratulated the Obong of Calabar “on his official recognition by the State government as the validly selected and elected Obong of Calabar and Patriarch of the Efik Kingdom.”
The body therefore called on all the Efiks at home and in the diaspora to rally round His Eminence Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu V to “build a prosperous Efik kingdom for the benefit of all and sundry.”