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Excitement as Efik Royal Houses, Groups, Individuals Pay Solidarity to Obong of Calabar, Edidem Abasi-Otu V

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The past few months have witnessed increased activities at the Efanga Nsa palace of the Obong of Calabar as Efik Royal Houses/Clans, cultural organizations, groups and prominent personalities took turn to pay the Obong of Calabar, His Eminence Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi-Otu V, solidarity visits.

The visits, which came after the re-selection of Edidem Abasi-Otu as the Obong in Council in line with the Supreme Court judgement of January 13, saw various types of cultural displays and dances thrilling not only the audience but members of the Etubom Traditional Council, The Obong of Calabar Executive Forum (OCEF) and even members of the community where the palace situates.

The Royal Houses saluted the doggedness of the occupant of the throne for standing tall despite orchestrations from various interests and camps. They also used the moment to eat and drink together as well as offer prayer for peace and unity among Efik people.

Igbo Community in Cross River

PillarToday monitored the visits and reports that the Igbo community in Cross River was among the first to visit the palace to show solidarity. Speaking during the event, the leader of the group, Chief Livinus Ihezie, the Onowu of the Igbos in Calabar, told the Obong of Calabar that “the Igbos and all Cross Riverians are united in your victory. This is because an injury to one is injury to all.”

The Emir of Kano was there too

The Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, was also in the palace for a courtesy call on the Obong as both first class Monarchs harped on peace and unity.

Efik Royal Houses, Ancestral Clans Express Solidarity

As at the time of this report, not fewer than 20 Royal Houses and groups had paid solidarity to Edidem Abasi-Otu, some of which were:

The Offiong Okoho Royal House

The Offiong Okoho Royal House, made up of Ekpenyong Offiong Okoho House, Mbang Offiong Okoho, Abasi Offiong Okoho and James Edem Ekpenyong Offiong Okoho Houses were on hand at the Palace.

Spokesman for the Royal House, Chief Charles Obo Offiong, said “We are here to rejoice with and to pledge our unalloyed loyalty to His Eminence, the Obong of Calabar and the Etuboms Traditional Council.”

The spokesman added that they were not disturbed over the lawsuit because “the Kingmakers in the Etuboms Traditional Council had always followed due process in the selection of the Obong of Calabar to sit on the throne of the Efik kingdom. We ,in Etinyin Offiong Okoho Houses tag this judgement ‘Truth Must be Told.”

Otung Eyo Ema Ancestral Clan

The Otung Eyo Ema Ancestral Clan made up of Ibitam, Akabom Ene and Ekpo Nta Ene royal houses, led by Etubom Rear Admiral Ekpenyong Itam okpo (rtd) also showed up in the palace. In their letter of solidarity, the Ancestral Clan thanked God that at last victory was achieved and decried attempt by some persons to “denigrade and ridicule our ancestral throne and crown”.

Ekpo Abasi Royal House:

Another ancestral clans in Efik kingdom, the Ekpo Abasi Royal House, led by HRH Etubom Bishop Eyo Bassey Ekpo, HH Engr Chief Ene J Okon and Chief Ukpong Etim Okon Ukpong was there too.

In their solidarity letter, which was signed by the aforementioned leaders, the ancestral clan reminded the Obong that as a clan, they were solidly behind him.

“Amasi, felicitations on your recent re-selection and subsequent confirmation as the Obong of Calabar. We had no doubt whatsoever in our minds because the defender of the Christian Faith shall be defended by him who established the faith, His Son Jesus Christ.

“His decrees are unchangeable and remain sacrosanct. Your throne is established by his unchangeable decrees, and his awesomeness is made manifest in the victory he has given to you, Congratuations, Your Eminence,” the Royal House said.

Obutong Traditional Council

The Obutong Traditional Council also sauntered to the palace to pledge their community’s loyalty to Edidem Abasi-Otu V.

Speaking on behalf of his people, the leader of Obutong Traditional Council and clan head of Obutong Community, His Royal Highness, Etubom Iso Archibong Iso, congratulated Edidem Abasi-Otu V on his re-selection after the Supreme Court’s judgement and his fifteenth anniversary on the throne as King.

Etubom Iso eulogised the King for his boldness, transparency, sagacity, and exemplary leadership across the Efik principalities, saying “the three houses of Obutong reaffirm our loyalty and commitment to the sustenance of the Efik Kingdom and the traditional stool.” He wished the Monarch “God’s divine favour, long life and good health.”

Okpokoro Otu  Mesembe

Okpokpro Out Mesembe House refused to be left out. Its leaders, HRM Etinyin Otu Asuquo Otu Mesembe VI and Chief Asuquo Nyong Edet, in their solidarity letter, thanked the Etubom Conclave for the decision to reaffirm Edidem Abasi-Otu as Obong just they did in 2008, 2013 and 2023, but warned “as we celebrate this victory, let us not be unmindful of the devices of our detractors in their attempt to distract and divide us.”

Others: Other Royal Houses/ancestral clans and groups that also expressed solidarity were: Iban Essien Efik Dupeba, Nka Efak Inang Youth Group, Ntiero Edem Efiom Ekpo Royal House, Ibitam Royal House, Eyamba Clan Council, Cobham Town Council, Archibong Ekpo Effiom, Oku Atai (Abasi& Ekpe Oku), Henshaw Town Council (Effiom Ekpo,) and Duke House Royal Council, Ekpenyong Nsa,  King Eyo 11 Royal, Eyo Nsa Royal House amongst others.

The Obong of Calabar, during each visit, had preached peace and unity among Efik people at home and in diaspora, stressing that conflicts would do no one any good. He called on Efik sons and daughters, who may have been disillusioned by reasons of the tussle for the throne, to return home and described the matter as a “family disagreement.”

It is believed that with such support and expression of loyalty, peace may have finally enveloped the Obong’s throne which had been in succession turmoil since 2008.

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