The Obong of Calabar, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu V, expressed his joy and gratitude to his fellow monarchs for their unwavering support throughout a 15-year legal battle against the former finance minister of late Gen Sani Abacha’s regime.
The former minister had attempted to remove him from his throne through various court cases.
During a visit to his palace, the Obong welcomed the South-South Monarchs Forum, led by its Chairman, His Majesty (Dr) Dandeson Douglas Jaja Jeki V, OFR, Jaja of Opobo, who came to celebrate his ultimate victory.
The Obong praised the Monarchs for their display of solidarity, emphasizing that the South-South Monarchs had once again demonstrated their commitment to being their brothers’ keepers. He reiterated his dedication to uniting all the people for the betterment of the Efik kingdom.
“I commend you for this show of solidarity, and I deeply appreciate it. We will continue to do our utmost to bring our people together for the advancement of the Efik kingdom,” stated the Obong of Calabar.
The South-South Monarchs Forum called upon Efik leaders who may have been affected or misled during the throne dispute to set aside their differences and join forces with the Obong to build a great Efik kingdom.
The Jaja of Opobo expressed gratitude for the resolution of the distraction, remarking, “We commend Governor Senator Bassey Otu for upholding the truth in accordance with Efik tradition.” The Jaja of Opobo stated that their visit to Abasi Otu V was an act of solidarity and gratitude to God for bringing an end to the distraction.
“We, as members of the South-South Monarchs Forum, are here on a solidarity visit to one of our own, the Obong of Calabar, who has been confirmed as the duly selected Obong of Calabar. We commend Governor Senator Bassey Otu for upholding the truth in line with Efik tradition.”
“On behalf of the South-South Monarchs Forum, I appeal to those who may have been affected to lay down their weapons in the interest of the Efik people. In life, we must know when to say, ‘Enough is enough’; let us all come together as one people to build our heritage. I urge everyone to embrace peace, which is synonymous with the Efik people,” he pleaded.
Additionally, Odidem Bassey Etim Edet, Chairman of the Supreme Council of Akwa Ibom Traditional Rulers, commended the Etuboms’ Traditional Council for standing firmly with Abasi Otu V. They also commended the council for rejecting material and monetary inducements and instead remaining faithful to Efik tradition in selecting the Obong of Calabar.
It is worth noting that while Edidem Abasi Otu V was rightfully reselected and proclaimed as the Obong of Calabar by the Etuboms’ Conclave in accordance with a Supreme Court judgment in January 2023, some Efik leaders chose to align themselves with the former Finance Minister.
Last week, Governor Bassey Otu definitively affirmed Edidem Abasi Otu V as the Obong of Calabar, putting an end to the uncertainty.