From Aniekan Aniekan, Calabar



Another round of controversy is brewing in the traditional institution of Cross River State over the selection of a monarch.

Gov. Bassey Otu


The fresh controversy stems from the ongoing plans by the state government to select a new paramount ruler for Akpabuyo local government area of the  state.

The selection of a new ruler is occasioned by the vacancy in the Akpabuyo Traditional Rulers Council following the demise of its  paramount ruler HRH Lawrence Edet.

Following his demise, which is alleged to be as a result of trauma he suffered following his abduction by suspected kidnappers,  the state government last week announced the appointment of an acting paramount ruler of the area.

A statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the state governor, Nsa Gill  said HRH Etinyin Francis Edem Efa, the clan head of Esuk Mba has been selected as the acting paramount ruler and chairman of the Akpabuyo Traditional Rulers Council.

The release read in part: “The clan head of Esuk Mba Clan in Akpabuyo local government area, HRH Etinyin Francis Effiom Edem Efa has been appointed the acting paramount ruler and chairman of the Akpabuyo Traditional Rulers Council.

“He is the eldest clan head in the area and his appointment takes immediate effect.”

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However, one of the stakeholders in the area and  clan head of Akansoko in Akpabuyo LGA,  Etinyin Archibong Ita, said Governor Bassey Otu is wrong to select a paramount ruler for the area.

Ita, who disclosed this in Ikot Nakanda after a meeting of the Akpabuyo Traditional Rulers Council said the clan heads are supposed to meet and select one from among themselves to assume the position.

He said this did not happen and the selection of acting paramount ruler by the governor is also devoid of equity.

His words: “I learnt the governor has announced a new interim paramount ruler for Akpabuyo LGA and I said no, it should not be.

“The clan heads did not want anyone to be acting so we wanted everyone to sit down and then elect one of us as substantive paramount ruler.

“Secondly, some of the eligible clan heads bought forms for N100, 000 naira, were screened and the acting paramount ruler refused to buy the forms, saying his hand will be lifted.

“In addition, for the sake of equity, the position of paramount ruler for Akpabuyo ought to move to another area of Akpabuyo like Akansoko, Idundu and Ukpong Atai and not from the same area which had earlier produced two successive paramount rulers to produce a third one.”

He said the immediate past  paramount ruler of the area bought form, was screened before his ascension to the throne.

He also said most clan heads in the area are dissatisfied with the appointment but choose to keep mute but he has elected to speak out.

He also disclosed that the governor was being misled by a commissioner in his cabinet and  relative of the acting paramount ruler to select him for the throne.

However, in his reaction,  the acting paramount ruler of Akpabuyo and clan head of Esuk Mba, Etinyin Francis Effiom Edem Efa, welcomed the decision of the governor.

He told our correspondent: “I have just come to see some of them reacting, its just two of them while we are twelve.

“I have been selected and I cannot say no because I am the only qualified person. Governor knows i am the person and also knows what he is doing and I am very happy about it.”

He denied lobbying for the position and insisted that he only heard  over the news of his selection, stressing that there is no way his selection will bring problem in Akpabuyo because the people know what they want.