BY: VITALIS UGOH, Calabar
Absolute and complete truce was reached in Calabar, Cross River state, as the Obong of Calabar, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi V, graciously readmitted one of the Houses, Duke Town Family Council into the Efik Kingdom.
The final acceptance and readmission was concluded in a meeting held in the Obong:s Palace with his Etuboms in Council all in attendance.
Trouble started when the popular Marina Resort, Calabar was forced to shut down by angry youth from the host community which had hitherto been opened.
It would be recalled that Ekpenyong Family was ostracised from Duke Town Family Council in 2017 and since then the centre can not hold. And there was a royal sanction and a process to be met before they can be accepted back into the fold.
As part of the process, traditional leaders from the ruling Duke Town Council, had recently performed the traditional cleansing rites.
However, today’s meeting was the climax of the processes of bringing back the ostracised Ekpenyong family back into the Duke Town ruling Council.
Obong of Calabar, who is chairman in Council, had carefully listened to the report and presentations from various speakers and the committee before giving his royal ruling.
He warned against any attempt by any House to disparage Efik Kingdom in the future, saying “enough is enough “.
In an interview after the ceremony, the chairman of the caretaker reconciliation committee, Chief(Dr.) Offiong E. Eyamba, said “I spearheaded this fight up till this moment. I am very much impressed at the outcome of the meeting with the Obong in Council with his Etuboms. Initially I was very much afraid that we will not be accepted amongst our family again but I thank God every thing went well as anticipated.
You will recall that few of our own brothers pulled out of the committee and we were in disarray hence we all came together as one to resist them resulting in what you witnessed today”.
Also speaking ,His Highness Effiom Okon Ekpenyong Effiom, said that “there is no interest attached to this peace accord at all. We have been members of the Obong”s traditional council. I have been here as an adviser. It is not good for us to continue to stay outside in our own family”.
He declared “I am using this opportunity to call on our brothers left behind to cue from this divine reconciliation and do the needful so as to return back to the fold as
“No tree can make a forest”.
His Highness Peter Ene Ekpenyong, retired (DSS) Director said “i am very much impressed over the outcome of the meeting with the Obong today. The Obong is truly a father of all Efik Kingdom. We appreciate his humility. God bless his reign “.
In his own submission, Secretary of Duke Town Family Council, Chief Charles Effiom Offiong OKon described Duke town as the cradle of civilization East of the Niger.
He noted that “we cannot be seen to be uncivil taking arms against ourselves in this 21st century. That is why a peaceful mechanism was employed to resolve issues. It is quite unfortunate that there was this quaqmaire with some of our brothers not the ones here today. There is no problem without a solution. Our brothers though not the people you are seeing today, disguised themselves and used the name of Ekpenyong Offiong Okoho house to perpetrate certain atrocities against the Efik Kingdom which in the wisdom of the Kingdom has forgiven and accepted them back.
Instead of us to allow the pig to destroy the whole farm let us use one cocoa yam to set a trap with its teeth”.
Traditionally, he added, the House was sanctioned to forestall it affecting other Houses. And today, the real members of the House , Chief Effiom Okon Ekpenyong John Eyamba has been an adviser and a member of the Etubom Traditional Council. The Etubom of that House is old -.centinarian and very much incapacitated. People have been using his name to commit havoc within Efik Kingdom. We have come to tell the Efik Kingdom that all what has been happening is not from Duke town Family Council House either, but from our common enemies”.
He blamed what happened to be an inordinate ambition within their fold and not from our honourable family.
Chief Okon on behalf of everybody thanked the Obong and the entire Efik Kingdom for accepting them back to the fold.
“The Obong is a magnanimous person. He is a father to all and he has just demonstrated today showing that whosoever has a problem with the Obong or the Kingdom, should come as such issues will always be resolved.