Efik Throne Tussle: Reconciliation committee inaugurated

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The Etubom Traditional Council of the Palace of the Obong of Calabar, has inaugurated a 7-member independent truth and reconciliation committee to reconcile contending groups that have battled for the throne of the Obong of Calabar in the past 15 years.

Headed by a retired chief judge of the state, Justice Michael Edem, the committee is to, among other things, independently look into the immediate and remote causes that trail the dispute, especially over the Supreme Court judgement of Jan 13 2023, which ordered a re-selection of a new Obong of Calabar.

The committee is also tasked with the responsibility of establishing the truth while also facilitating reconciliation between the parties involved in the succession dispute.

According to the press statement signed by the secretary, Etubom Traditional Council of the Obong of Calabar palace, HRH Ekpo Archibong, the committee must carry out a judicial review of the Supreme Court judgement or adjudicate on the matter but display utmost integrity with respect to the culture and tradition of the Efik people in the course of their assignment.

Other members of the committee include a former deputy governor of the state, Efiok Cobham, a retired AiG Ene Okon, a serving reverend of the Presbyterian Church, Rev, Ubong E, Eyo PhD, Barr, Rosemary Archibong and High chief Prof Eyo Etim Nyong.

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Recall that on the 7th of November 2023, Governor Bassey Otu directed his Chief Press Secretary, Emmanuel Ogbeche to issue a statement, directing that the 15 years feud, legal struggle and backlash over who is the authentic Obong of Calabar should cease forthwith and that contenders should sheath their swords and make peace.

He said the state government has studied the court’s judgment and affirmed Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu v as the actual Obong of Calabar and directed that an independent reconciliation committee be set up to reconcile all.

In the last 15 years, there has been a bitter tussle over the Throne of the Efiks, leading to several court battles which have given several judgments, climaxing in the Supreme Court’s judgments of 13 January 2023 which called for outright re-selection of the Obong of Calabar process.

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