We have been reliably informed that only common sense averted what would have degenerated into a frenzied stand-off between Cross River State governor, Ben Ayade, and the The Obong of Calabar, His Eminence Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu V, after the monarch, embittered by the Ayade administration’s slow response to the series of events that culminated in the vandalization of critical public and private infrastructure in Calabar, voiced his disapproval of the governor’s style of leadership.
Irked by the monarch’s frank talk, certain political elements within and outside the Ayade administration swiftly made moves to pitch their principal against the reverred monarch. While the real motive for this move, apart from eye service, could not be readily ascertained, www.calitown.com was discreetly informed that the plan which was to help them extort money from the governor, targets the use of several induced prominent traditional rulers in the state who will make open denouncements of the Obong in press releases that were to flood the media space. Three paramount rulers each, from the three senatorial districts, are thought to have been targets who will, in a deliberately measured manner, make the press releases. The releases will loudly condemn the Obong’s position while reiterating their unflinching support for the governor.
“We were told that someone with common sense among them, objected to this plan and effectively weighed the pros against the cons. First, he made them understand that the monarch in question was not just any other monarch, but the Obong of Calabar, highly respected at home and abroad. Further, it was also realized that since the monarch who had spoken unblemished truth about the ugly situation of things, did not come across as someone who will be cowed into financially induced silence, it was better to go deal in his court than trade words with him. Considering too that Ayade’s rating after the looting was at an all time low – they simply beat a retreat and sought the Obong’s audience instead”, one source maintained.
Perhaps, HRM Etiyin Etim Okon Edet, Chairman CRS Council of traditional rulers provided more than a veiled acceptance that a feud between the governor and the monarch was brewing when he maintained, on a visit to the governor that this was no time for division among our people, especially the traditional fathers because the state needs to move forward and rebuild the infrastructure that have been destroyed.
“I want you know that we all love you, we all want you, no matter how people were trying to bring problem in between us”, the Obong of Calabar is widely reported to have said, while receiving Ayade when the he paid him a courtesy visit at his private residence in Adiabo, Odukpani Local Government Area. It was a statement that appears to have calmed frayed nerves, both ways, with the governor openly committing thus: “The Obong of Calabar stool is one of the most eminent stools in this country and you can never undermine that position”.
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