By Magnus Effiong
As Cross River state gradually prepares for a new administration mid next year, the Chairman of the Cross River state Traditional Rulers Council and Paramount Ruler of Bakassi local government area, HRM Etinyin Etim Okon Edet, has said the voice of the traditional institution shall be heard boldly at the appropriate time.
Etinyin Edet, who spoke in Calabar with our reporter in reaction to an alleged involvement of certain traditional rulers in a reported consensus meeting of some parties, said Monarchs across the State were too enlightened to get enmeshed in such controversial issues, but warned politicians against dragging Royal Fathers into partisan politics.
He said: “Traditional Rulers should be isolated from partisan politics but not from politics. This is because he is a father to all. Any Royal father who indulges in the game politicians play does not know his onion. We do not indulge in partisan parochial issues about consensus or any matter about their primary election.
“When the time comes for the general elections, after they had chosen their flag bearers, that is, after their respective primaries, we will look at the candidates of the parties and make our position known, boldly.
“We will sit down and visualize on who would serve the interest of the people more among the number who emerged. At that time, it is a general matter and not a party thing,” he stated, but warned the political class to count Royal Fathers out of confusion generated by the issue of consensus in some political parties in the State.
“A traditional ruler cannot look at his four children, for instance, and say, you, go and become Manager of that multinational company and let this other one be in the village to take care of the farmland. He would be igniting fire in his household if he does that.”
The Monarch also advised politicians not to set the country ablaze with their brand of politics, and advised electorates to have the background knowledge of those they would vote for before the main Election Day.
“Everything should follow due process and in accordance with our constitution which is the grand norm. Nigerians should vote for someone who is good mannered, with capacity to create impact and ability to lead, and not those who are struggling for their selfish interest,” Etinyin Edet said.
However, our reporter reliably gathered that a special committee has been set up by the authorities to ascertain the authenticity of a reported case of a Royal Father who allegedly attended a consensus meeting of one of the main political parties in the state.