Andy Esiet, , Calabar
Obong of Calabar, His Eminence, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi-Otu V
The Obong of Calabar and Treaty King of the Efik Kingdom, His Eminence, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu V, has called on all those disenchanted by his re-emergence after the Supreme Court’s judgement of January 13, to reorder their priorities and begin to put the will of the people above their personal interests.
Recall that on January 13, 2023, the Supreme Court, in a judgement prepared by Justice Amina Augie, affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeal on the disputed stool, and ordered that a fresh election for the position be conducted and on January 18 Edidem Abasi-Otu was re-elected or selected..
However, a group of Etuboms in release signed by Etubom Essien Ekpenyong Efiok as it’s Chairman, Etubom Micah Archibong VI as Secretary and the Chairman Central Calabar Traditional Rulers Council and Paramount Ruler of Calabar South, Etubom Nyong Effiom Okon JP,, recently said the selection was not in accordance with the January 13, 2023 judgement of the Supreme Court that sacked Obong Ekpo Okon Abasi-Otu and ordered for a fresh selection.
But Edidem Abasi-Otu V in reaction recently condemned the news making the rounds, attempting to distort the apex court’s judgement and further questioning his re-selection as the Obong of Calabar.
The Obong who said this while playing host to the Executives and members of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Cross River State Council, at the ancestral Palace of the Obong of Calabar, declared, “This throne has been there for so many centuries and it is not something to toy with. But, unfortunately, it is not the people outside that are trying to ridicule the throne; it is sons and daughters of this kingdom who are doing this. We will continue to kick against it” .
On what he described as “fake news and endless bickering from opposing forces,” the Royal Father said: “What we have has been a disheartening situation, but not withstanding, you know as human beings, we expect all these things to happen.”
Decrying the unholy alliance where media practitioners, who for selfish financial benefits, stoop low to do the bidding of mischief makers, against their statutory and invaluable role as purveyors of information for societal good, the first class King gave a charged to the NUJ in the State, saying “You are the power house in information management. People look up to you for news.
“But at the same time, let us have the true picture of what is happening; not fake news. Today, there is more of fake news than factual information in this country. Because people look at what they can make from it,” soliciting that, “come and be part of the Palace, let us work together so much so that truth and factual information on the Palace of the Obong of Calabar can be disseminated to the people.”
While praying for aborigines of Efik Kingdom who are sacrificing to sustain the reverred ancient throne, the Obong also prayed Journalists the strength to exhibit moral high ground the discharge their duties, as well as uphold inviolable ethical standards of the esteemed profession.
Earlier in his speech, the Chairman of the Cross River State Council, NUJ, Comrade Nsa Gill, also disowned the wanton claims in some sections of the media challenging the legitimacy of the Obong’s re-selection process, condemning it as “a failed attempt by a small group to cause undue unrest in the Palace.”
“As a son of the kingdom with ample knowledge of the 15-year old litigation and wrangling, which lingered up to the apex court; I am appalled by the brazenness of mischief makers to peddle such misinformation on social media.
“We the professionals have followed the litigation with keen interest. And are happy to see it come to an end, with the will of the people prevailing over individuality and personal interests.
“I can authoritatively say that the Obong of Calabar stool is not vacant. Every rumours against the actual fact that Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu V has been re-selected stand dispelled,” the NUJ Chairman stated.
Gill also intimated the referred monarch that his visit was to introduce his executive to him and also show solidarity with the reinstalled leadership of the Efik Kingdom.
He assured the monarchy that Journalists under his watch will continue to abide by professional ethics and at all times seek to report what is factual.
He also sought the Palace’s sponsorship of annual re-training of media practitioners in the State as part of the King’s social responsibility to his subjects.