The Oasis Reporters
October 24, 2019
The media space, both print and social media was agog recently about the visit to President Muhammadu Buhari by His Eminence, Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu V, Natural Ruler, Treaty King, Defender of the Christian Faith and Grand Patriarch of the Efik Eburutu Kingdom.
Though there is nothing new in the visit itself, as it is normal for a king of his status to visit the president of the country at when there is a need for him to do so, for the peaceful coexistence of his kingdom, territory and country, I have so much joy in my heart that His Eminence did not disappoint our expectations. As bold as a lion and as smart as a tiger, Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu V did not mince words in telling the president what the status of the ancient city of Calabar should be when the history of Nigeria is told. That he was able to tell the President about the neglect of Calabar by successive federal government administrations and that the President had to acknowledge that Calabar was the first capital of Southern Nigeria, a status that has hitherto not been told to Nigerians, gladdens my heart.
For those who may not know, Calabar is an ancient Efik Kingdom that existed before the amalgamation of Southern and Northern Nigeria. Before the amalgamation, the colonial masters had administered Southern Nigeria from Calabar before it was moved to Lagos. The Stool of the Obong of Calabar is not politically created and the Obong of Calabar is not a Clan Head. Though there are clans today within Calabar metropolis headed by other Clan Heads and so many clans within the Efik Kingdom controlled by other Clan Heads, the Obong of Calabar is the physical and spiritual leader of all Clan Heads within his territory and the entire Cross River and Akwa Ibom States, as his kingdom extends to Akwa Ibom State and respect must be given to whom respect is due
THE SAD REALITY OF THE VISIT
My sadness about the visit of His Eminence to the President is that, it reminds me about the true position of things in Nigeria. The fact that the president may not be aware of what is going on in Nigeria and that he only reads what is given to him and do not care to find out if what he is reading is true or not. In welcoming the Obong of Calabar and in an effort to tell the Treaty King what his government is doing to better the subjects of the king, President Buhari had mentioned to include several road constructions the federal government is handling in and around Calabar and Cross River State that is nearing completion. In it, the president mentioned the Calabar/Itu Road, Calabar/Ugep/Ogoja Road and several other projects.
The most disheartening part of the meeting was that, in the meeting with the Obong and Buhari, was the Minister of Niger Delta, Godswill Akpabio and Minister of State , Power, Jerry Agba; who are both from Akwa Ibom and Cross River States respectively and are people I will call Sons of the Kingdom. As Buhari was busy telling the Obong that Calabar/Itu road and Calabar/Ikom road was nearing completion, I expected our two sons to get close to Buhari and cause him to pause by reminding him that those two roads from beginning to end are currently impassable. That no contractors are on site and work has not started anywhere and it could not have gotten to completion or near completion stage when work hasn’t even started. I nearly cried as a subject of the Kingdom when I saw Buhari lying to my king about things even the Obong himself knows are all false.
Who will help this country? Who will help us tell President Muhammadu Buhari that Calabar/Itu road and Calabar/Ugep/Ikom/Ogoja roads are impassable and that work is not going on anywhere and it cannot near completion as he told our Obong, when work hasn’t even comenced.
I am sad that President Muhammadu Buhari knowingly or unknowingly lied to our Obong.
Written by Ekpenyong Isaiah-Isababa.