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Lagos, NG
21st May 2022

Governor Ben Ayade Sacks Calabar South Paramount Ruler

Governor Ben Ayade Sacks Calabra South Paramount Ruler
Governor Ben Ayade Sacks Calabra South Paramount Ruler

Governor Ben Ayade has removed Prof Itam Hogan Itam as Paramount Ruler of Calabar South for taking part in the meeting of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) last Sunday night in which a University Chancellor, Sir Jarvis Archibong, was said to have emerged as a consensus candidate of the party in next year’s governorship election in Cross River state.

According to reports, the Monarch was sent packing by Governor Ben Ayade for dabbling in partisan politics contrary to edicts of the Cross River state Traditional Rulers Council and his Certificate of Recognition was withdrawn with immediate effect to allow him to participate fully in partisan politics.

The order convening the certificate withdrawal is contained in a letter addressed to the embattled paramount ruler dated May 11, 2022 and signed by the Special Adviser to the governor on Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr Adoga, Ifop Victor.

Consequently, the government directed Zorif Itam to surrender his certificates of recognition to the Department of Chieftaincy Affairs, Governor’s Office, Calabar immediately.

The letter partly reads: “Following the report of the panel set up by the Cross River State Traditional Rulers Council (CRSTRC) and the approval of His Excellency, you have been removed as the village head, Clan head of Ukem and Paramount Ruler of Efuts with immediate effect to enable you go ahead to do your partisan politics. You have therefore ceased to be so recognised and cannot operate as such forthwith.”

The Chairman of the State Traditional Rulers Council and Paramount Ruler of Bakassi local government area, HRM Etinyin Etim Okon Edet, had warned traditional rulers against active involvement in partisan politics.

“We know that everyone is a political animal but Traditional Rulers should be isolated from partisan politics but not from politics. He should not be part of partisan politics because he is a father of all.

“Any Royal father who indulges in the game politicians play does not know his onions. We do not indulge in partisan parochial issues about consensus or any matter about their primary election,” he stated.

In its reaction, the Efut Combined Assembly, the apex decision making body of the Efuts, presided over by Muri Munene-elect, Maurice Okon Eyo, who doubles as president, Calabar South local government Traditional Rulers Council, described the government’s decision on the Professor as apt.

A press release signed by the Secretary-General of Efut combined assembly, Ndabu Dr Godwin Bassey, commended the governor for promptly intervening in the matter, saying the sack of Prof Itam was a step in the right direction so as to deter the further occurrence

The combined assembly spokesman called on all sons and daughters of Efut, both at home and in the diaspora, as well as other members of the public, to remain calm and go about their lawful businesses as the people of Efut will soon present their leader to the government for recognition.

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