Obong of Calabar denounces Biafra, distances self from video

Obong of Calabar, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu V

The Obong of Calabar, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu V, has distanced himself and the Efik kingdom from the state of Biafra, as he denied sending any emissary to the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mr. Nnamdi Kanu.

A two-minute video on YouTube titled, “BIAFRA: I am very happy we are now a nation,” shows Kanu addressing some supporters in a room, when a man in dark glasses, dressed in Efik traditional attire said he brought greetings from the Obong, who supports the Biafra cause and would like to see the IPOB leader.

According to the man, the Obong and Calabar people wanted to see the IPOB leader.In his response, Kanu said: “tell him he was one of the people I was praying for, while in prison and one of the people I would go to. Tell the Obong of Calabar that I will go to see him, that I would be honoured to see him in person. I will come to see him in his Palace. Tell the Obong that. Thank you very much for coming.”

But in a reaction, while briefing journalists in Calabar on Friday night, the Obong said: “Ordinarily, the palace would not react, but to put the records straight, this is fake, as we don’t support any separatist group. And such a person or persons faking the Obong should be brought to book, as it is a case of impersonation.”

A press statement signed by the Chairman of Etuboms’ Traditional Council of the Palace of the Obong, Etubom Bassey Okon Bassey Duke, said, “The Obong of Calabar is one of only eight rulers recognised by the Federal Republic of Nigeria as Natural Rulers and Treaty Kings, whose kingdoms existed hundreds of years before the amalgamation and who interacted with and signed Treaties and Agreements with Sovereign Nations in Africa and Europe.

“The content of this video is, therefore, a ridiculous insult and the Obong of Calabar-in-Council dissociates itself completely from everything to do with the person and fake message carried in the video. From the poor illegitimate dressing, intonation, accent and comportment, it is clear that the person is a petty impersonator with dubious intentions.

“While freedom of speech is guaranteed by the Nigerian Constitution, it does not extend to endorsing the propagation of falsehood of making fraudulent claims.“The Obong of Calabar-in-Council, therefore, calls on security agencies to live up to expectation and immediately arrest and prosecute the impersonator, whose face can clearly be seen in the video.”

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