Home News Ikot Offiong Community Gets Relief 23 Years After 

Ikot Offiong Community Gets Relief 23 Years After 

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Obong Elect,, Etubom Anthony Ani

After 23 years of negligence, succour  has come the way of Ikot Offiong community of Cross River state state.

The Obong elect of Calabar,  Etubom Anthony Ani in a visit of loyalty and allegiance by the people of Ikot Offiong on him on Tuesday, promised to assist the state government give them some basic infrastructure of life. 

The Ikot Offiong people led by the Clan Head of Mbiabo Ikot Offiong, Etubom Nya Asuquo had pleaded with the Obong elect for an intervention to give displaced people of Ikot Offiong a home and basic facilities of life like schools, hospital and others. 

Etubom Asuquo who is the immediate past Ambassador of Nigeria to Uganda said, “since 2000, we have suffered persecution. Since then we have had three governors from Donald Duke to Ben Ayade yet no intervention by any governor or Obong but we believe with Governor Bassey Otu in office and support of the Obong elect certainly positive changes and developments will come our way. 

“In all these years all money spent on displaced Ikot Offiong people came from one pocket and that is my pocket. There is no road, school or hospital and no community can stay like that, Our people are happy and excited believing that you will intervene in these areas.
We need school for our youths. Pls give us special place in the industry you intend to build” .

Speaking with journalists shortly after the ceremony,  Etubom Asuquo, said the visitation was from one of the ancient houses (Mbiabo Esin Ufot Ikot Offiong) that constituted the Efik dynasty.”The Obong-elect is our neighbour. In that area we have Mbiabo Ikoneto, Mbiabo Esin Ufot Ikot Offiong and Mbiabo Edere. All of you have heard a lot about the history of what transpired over the last 15 years. I want to to assure you that as far as Efik land is concerned there’s only one Obong presently and that Obong is Etubom Anthony Asuquo Ani.”

He affirmed that Etubom Ani is an Efik man of the purest stock, while Ekpo Okon Abasi-Otu is only related to the Efik maternally, and that “nobody can sit on the throne of the Obong of Calabar if you are not agnate.”

Speaking on the significance of the visit, Etubom Asuquo said, “when an Obong is elected all the royal houses have to visit him turn by turn. Other royal house will visit him on Thursday. Then the Obong-elect will be paying courtesy call to the Cross River State Traditional Rulers Council in the Council’s lodge by governor’s office. All the traditional rulers in Cross River State, from Obudu to Bakassi will be there.”

Some Etuboms during the visit of the people of Ikot Offiong on the Obong elect, Etubom Anthony Asuquo Ani in his residence in Calabar on Tuesday

In his response, Etubom Ani who promised that the traditional institution will complement government efforts in the development of the state, among other things in promised to assist the Ikot Offiong people in areas of education, give them employment in his proposed Truck ile industry that is expected to be on stream soon.

Etubom Ani who identified education as a potent tool for human capacity development, lamented the plight of Ikot Offiong who were displaced due to incessant communal conflict, which he noted had impacted negatively on the educational development of the people, and thus hindered their political, economic and social progress.

He promised that after his coronation as the Obong of Calabar, he would work towards the full resettlement of the people in their ancestral communities and ensure that lasting peace prevails.

The ex-Minister of Finance in the regime of late General Sani Abacha said , “I know that Ikot Offiong have suffered, and I have also suffered with them. Since the communal conflict between Ikot Offiong and Oku Iboku erupted in the year 2000, Ikoneto and I have always stood by you until this very day. We are brothers from the same father. During the communal conflict I provided relief materials to the displaced persons from Ikot Offiong. At the time we made efforts for peace to return to the area. We took up the case to the office of the vice president, and the National Boundary Commission came in to see how the issue could be resolved.

“Wherever I will be I will always speak on behalf of Ikot Offiong people. I know the value of education. When you are not educated your community will be backwards and you people will be in darkness. In my community (Ikoneto) I place people on scholarships till this day. I am confident that I can replicate this in Ikot Offiong. We will set up modern schools for you because without education the future is not bright at all. We will organize it at the community level in a way that you will not depend entirely on government. We will complement government’s efforts in terms of providing you with education. I will pay the fees for those who are willing to go to school. A committee will be set up to implement this project”.

The Obong-elect thanked the Ikot Offiong people for standing by him during the campaigns for the Obong of Calabar throne, noting that even when the throne became a subject of controversy and litigation, they never abandoned him. He, however, pledged to use the office of the Obong of Calabar to secure social good for the entire Efik kingdom.

On his part,  the Chairman of the Etubom Traditional Council (ETC) as at 2008, Etubom Essien Efiok said,  “I was Chairman of the ETC between 2002 and 2008 when I left. I don’t struggle position, Supreme Court judgement made me Chairman again in its judgement. No any other chairman except me, anyone who does not follow me has missed” .

Recall the people of Ikoneto had last week paid paid similar homage on Etubom Ani and others are expected to follow. 

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