Etuboms Traditional Council denounces impersonation, clarifies Obong of Calabar succession
Thr Etuboms Traditional Council, the governing body representing the 26 Royal Houses of the Efik Eburutu Kingdom, has strongly condemned the circulation of forged letters and misleading announcements that falsely claimed the authority of council members on the issue of the Obong of Calabar.
Chairman HRH Etubom Bassey O. B. Duke in a statement, expressed deep concern over these incidents,
“We will not tolerate the unauthorized use of our signatures and the dissemination of false information. Such actions not only deceive the public but also disrespect the sacredness of our council,” he said.
The council also addressed a video that surfaced, depicting Chief Anthony Ani surrounded by individuals dressed as inappropriate masquerades, falsely purporting his appointment as the Obong of Calabar within his residence.
Etubom Bassey O. B. Duke denounced this as a deliberate attempt to mislead and confuse the public.
“The video featuring Chief Anthony Ani is a fabricated spectacle that shows a lack of understanding of the significance of our revered traditions,” he added.
To provide clarity, the Etuboms Traditional Council reaffirmed the legal standing of the Obong of Calabar succession. They emphasized that the Supreme Court of Nigeria had dismissed Chief Tony Ani’s appeal due to a lack of merit, upholding the Court of Appeal’s 2013 judgment that deemed Chief Anthony Ani “traditionally unqualified and ineligible” to participate in matters concerning the Obong of Calabar stool.
Duke said, “We must respect the decisions of the highest court in the land. Any claims or actions contradicting the court’s judgment not only undermine our traditions but also disregard the rule of law.”
Regarding the reselection exercise, the council reiterated that Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu V was rightfully proclaimed as the Obong of Calabar for the fourth and final time. This process adhered to the council’s traditional procedures and constitution. The council ensured that proper notifications were sent to the Supreme Court, government, and security agencies, adhering to due process.
Addressing concerns about Chief Anthony Ani’s alleged involvement in recent events, the council expressed doubt, considering his advanced age and the potential for deception.
Duke said, “It is highly unlikely that an almost 90-year-old Chief Anthony Ani would participate in such futile endeavors. These actions not only defy common sense but also disrespect our ancestral heritage.”
The Etuboms Traditional Council reinforced its commitment to upholding Efik traditions and serving the Efik people. They urged anyone dissatisfied with the court-ordered processes to seek legal recourse rather than resorting to actions that could incite unrest or violate the rule of law.
The council condemned the criminal activities of forgery and impersonation, affirming that the security agencies had taken action against those responsible. The council reassured the public of their dedication to maintaining peace, stability, and the preservation of Efik customs within the kingdom.