July 18, 2024

Gov Otu dissolves Cross River State Council of Chiefs

Governor Bassey Otu has responded to the resolution of the Cross River State House of Assembly of Tuesday, which urged him to sack the state traditional rulers council chairman, HRM (Dr) Etim Okon Edet, for allegedly being brutal and overstaying in office for eight years.

In a statement signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Anthony Owan-Enoh, the governor approved the immediate dissolution of the Cross River State Council of Chiefs, chaired by Dr Edet, who is also the paramount ruler of Bakassi LGA.

Owan-Enoh explained: “The action of the governor is made pursuant to Section 4 of the state Council of Chiefs law, Cap C15 Laws of Cross River State 2004.

“Accordingly, the tenure of the council had since lapsed. It will also be recalled that the State House of Assembly recently passed a resolution for a change of leadership of the Council of Chiefs, who had overstayed his term of office. ”

In his reaction, former presidential aide Chief Okoi Obono-Obla, in a statement, said: “It is the turn of the Central Senatorial District to produce the Chairman of the Cross River State Traditional Rulers Council.”

Obono-Obla further said: “The illegal and prolonged stay of the chairman of the Traditional Rulers Council of the State had also fundamentally altered the rotational principle inherent in the law, which is to the effect that the position of the Council shall be rotated among the three senatorial districts of the State.”

He said the tenure of the incumbent chairman expired in 2012.

He urged the Assembly to take steps to amend the Cross River State Traditional Rulers Law to take care of such abnormal circumstances.

Meanwhile, HRM (Dr) Etim Okon Edet said he has stayed in office from the time of former Governor Liyel Imoke’s eight years to Prof. Ben Ayade’s eight years in office.

“Even when Governor Bassey Otu came in last year, he still asked that I stay on. I am not imposing myself on that throne. Even many of the paramount rulers would tell me to continue. The governor has the prerogative to say I should step aside for a replacement.

“It is not something they should go to the House of Assembly to deliberate on to embarrass me,” he said.

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