Following the Obong of Calabar’s expression of anger and disappointment over the recent vandalization, looting and burning down of public and private properties by people believed to have hijacked the EndSARS protest, the PillarToday hasgathered that there was a threat on the Monarch life at the weekend.
Recall that the Obong, HRM Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi-Otu V, during the visit of former Gov Liyel Imoke to his palace, was quoted to have blamed the state government for not being proactive enough to have stopped the destruction of everything the State held dear.
Top officials at the palace declined to comment on the matter neither could the Monarch be reached for comment as at press time. However, a source close to the Obong who did not want to be mentioned since he had not received expressed directive from the Monarch to speak on the matter, said he was also informed that Edidem Abasi-Otu was threatened.
He said, “just as you heard, we also heard there is a threat on the Monarch’s life because of the statement he made few days ago when former governor Liyel Imoke visited him. We believe it is a mere rumour but even at that, the palace has put security apparatus in place to counter any threat on the Obong if at all there is such a plan. There is no cause for alarm”.
The alleged attempt on the Monarch’s life may have also been corroborated by Mr. Paul Erokoro (SAN) who led a team of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) and other senior lawyers from Cross River and Akwa Ibom state to pay a solidarity visit to Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba’s vandalized residence to see the extent of destruction of the former Senate Leader’s house.
Erokoro who shed tears at the extent of damage in his colleague’s house said “I just confirmed from the Obong of Calabar that his life is being threatened. So if paramount rulers are afraid, what about the rest of us? We are all lawyers and we all live here. Maybe after granting this interview, I will receive threats too. That should not be.
“Whoever is threatening our people; the government should step in and protect the people. That is the primary responsibility of government. We hope that in the next weeks, the government would have enough material to let us know; and address the state to let us know who is behind these. We must know, we need to know, otherwise we will be scared of living here”.
Erokoro stated that “the primary responsibility of government is protection of life and property. Whether it was the government fault or not, nobody knows for now but we give the government the benefit of doubt, that it is not their fault but the one responsibility that the government owes us is the protection of life and property.
“There are conspiracy theories out there blaming the government but there is no evidence. However, if the government does not speak clearly it gives room for doubts, suspicion and conspiracy theories. That is why the government must speak. Tell us who did it, tell us quickly. Encourage people to live in the state and come to the state. There should be commission of enquiry and people who go there to testify should be protected”
When contacted on phone, the Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Irene Ugbo, told some newsmen that she was not aware of the alleged kidnap attempt but promised to find out.
On the increased security presence at the Obong Palace, she said security has always been there but noted that there is an increase as a result of the state of general security situation in the state.
Meanwhile, Paramount Rulers and other first class chiefs in Cross River State have declared total solidarity and absolute support for Governor Ben Ayade’s administration .
Led the Chairman of the State Traditional Rrulers Council and Paramount Ruler of Bakassi, His Royal Highness, Etinyin Etim Okon Edet, the Traditional Leaders, in a courtesy visit to the Governor, lauded him for the development strides of his administration particularly the industrialization effort of the government, saying the industries would create jobs to help solve the menace of unemployment.
“We came to give you solidarity, that we are behind you in the process of rebuilding Cross River state,” Etinyin Edet said, and urged him to be resolute in his pursuit of a better future for the state, saying the Governor was seeking to create an economy that would be less dependent on federal allocation.
Responding, Gov Ayade expressed delight at the visit of the monarchs, describing it as his most comforting moment since the national crisis.