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Group absolves DSS, berates sponsors of Obong’s tussle

His Eminence Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi-Otu V, Obong of Calabar

With some persons accusing the Department of State Service, DSS of involvement in the tussle over the stool of the Obong of Calabar, a socio-cultural group, Concerned Efik Youths, have absolved the Service of any form of blame.

The group, instead, commended the security organization for displaying professionalism in handling the crisis which threatened to erupt in Calabar a few days ago over a purported proclamation of Chief Tony Ani as another Obong of Calabar.

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Recall that some persons had on Monday reportedly proclaimed Chief Ani as the new Obong, despite the current Obong of Calabar, His Eminence Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu V, being formally re-selected by kingmakers and re-proclaimed in line with January 13, 2023, Supreme Court justice.

In a statement signed by the Coordinator of the group, Chief Etetim Archibong, and Secretary, Felicia Asuquo, and made available to our reporter.

The group said “We must in all honesty commend the DSS for stepping in to stop what could have resulted in bloodshed.

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“Reports at our disposal alleged that supporters of the dissident group attempted to invade the Palace of the Obong of Calabar but for the timely intervention of the DSS.

After the futile attempt, the dissidents allegedly sponsored a media attack on the DSS for just nothing.

“We hereby condemn in strong terms such display of desperation. There must be one man on the throne at a time.

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The re-selection and proclamation of the Obong were done in January by the Conclave of kingmakers who procedurally, in line with the Supreme Court Judgment and the year 2002 constitution of the Etubom Council, proclaimed Edidem Abasi-Otu V.

“The dissidents woke from slumber in May to start another crisis just a few days before the inauguration of an Efik son as the next Governor of Cross River.

Are they not having the motive to cause unrest in this transition programme? Why are they rising now after almost four months of exercise? Why are they calling out the DSS?

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“Are they not trying to divert security attention in other to have a field day? We bear witness that the DSS and other security agencies have not been partisan as far as the avoidable crisis over the Obongship stool is concerned.

We urge the security agencies not to lose their guard in any way because we are suspicious of the motives of those people.

“Chief Ani was expressly disqualified by the Supreme Court from voting or being voted for in the re-selection process that had since been done, and today.

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The same man is the person they feel is more qualified to be declared Obong of Calabar. Is that not an utter violation of the Supreme Court judgment?

“Everyone is familiar with the sacred rituals that follow the making of an Obong of Calabar. All the Royal houses are statutorily involved with specific roles.

Was that the case in this their show-of-shame in which they purported to have proclaimed Chief Ani?

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No, what we rather saw in video footage on social media was a complete joke and caricature of the process.

“But at the Palace of the Efik people, it has been an unprecedented show of love and acceptance by well-meaning Efiks and residents of Calabar over the last 3 months after the re-selection of Edidem Abasi Otu V as the Obong of Calabar.

“Groups and Royal Houses are paying solidarity visits to the Monarch on a daily basis and pledging loyalty.

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Why are those people seeking to shatter the atmosphere of peace in Efik land?” they asked rhetorically

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