July 18, 2024

Obono-Obla supports choice of traditional council chairman from Cross River Central

Former presidential aide, Chief Okoi Obono-Obla has backed Governor Bassey Otu to pick the Chairman of Cross River State Traditional Rulers Council from the central senatorial district of the state.

On Tuesday the state House of Assembly passed a resolution calling on Governor Bassey Otu to remove HRM Dr Etim Okon Edet, from the Southern district, who spent over ten years in the office instead of the constitutional two years.

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.”

He said there is no provision in the law even for tenure renewal, adding that Dr Edet, who is also Paramount Ruler of Bakassi LGA, “brutally violated the Traditional Rulers Council laws for ten years.”

There are reports that the monarch publicly assaulted a special adviser on traditional matters to Governor Otu, allegedly challenging that he cannot work with the aide.

This is reported to have angered the governor who is quoted to have said that by such assault the monarch was assaulting him.

Obono-Obla described such an attitude as an egregious abuse of power as well as an aberration.

He expressed worry that “The illegal and prolonged stay of the Chairman of the Traditional Rulers Council of the State has 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 purported incumbent chairman expired in 2012 by effluxion of time.

He called on the executive branch of government to immediately effect the resolution of the House of Assembly and proceed to remove the incumbent Chairman and replace him with another Paramount Ruler from the Central Senatorial District.

“It is lawlessness and anarchic to the hilt for the Cross River State Traditional Rulers Law to be so brutally and brazenly breached for 8 good years.

“I commend the diligence and courage of the Cross River State House of the Assembly for bringing this unfortunate situation.

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

Meanwhile, the monarch has denied assaulting the governor’s aide and has also explained that he did not deliberately perpetuate himself in office.

He said he has stayed in office for part of former Gov Liyel Imoke’s eight years and Prof Ben Ayade’s complete eight years in office.

“Even when Gov 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, to embarrass me.”

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