Thursday, 22 June 2017

Calabar Cult Rampage: The gods are angry with C’River govt – Prof Itam Hogan

Incessant cult killings, kidnapping and armed robbery cases will not end in Calabar, the Cross River State capital, because the gods are extremely angry with the Governor Ben Ayade-led State government, factional Muri Munene of Efut nation, Prof Itam Hogan, has said.
He spoke in Calabar during a courtesy call on him by a 5-man Cross River Technical Committee of the Presidential Committee on Small Arms and Light Weapons.

Prof Hogan, who is contending the throne with another factional Muri Munene of the Efuts, Effiong Okokon Mbukpa, said, “the gods are very angry because the State government has allowed the Efut nation, landlord of the restive Calabar South, to remain rudderless without a leader for nine years.
“Government is withholding recognition of duly elected Muri Munene of the Efut kingdom and Paramount Ruler of Calabar South without any tangible reason.

“The Munene is the link between our ancestors and the people, and until the State government releases the staff of office and the certificate of recognition, the situation particularly in Calabar South shall remain. It is after the proper thing is done that we can then go back and appeases the gods.

“The State government also had the gut to lock up our palace which was built by communal efforts. Government must speedily open that palace for us to pour libation to our ancestors as was done in time past, and when that is done, we shall clear the now bushy place, make it habitable and then call the meeting of the youths to talk some senses into them as to how to surrender firearms and other weapons they are using to wreck havoc on members of the society.

“When we mediate, confidence will be built between the youths and government, we will then present the proposals and agreement to government after which, we believe government would assist them to earn legitimate livelihood. But, despite this, I appeal to our youths to eschew violence.”
Reading from a prepared position paper on the matter, factional Chairman of the Efut Combined Assembly, Muri Maurice Okon Eyo, gave four conditions which the State government should fulfil for insecurity in the area to be addressed.

Some of the conditions were: urgent release of staff of office/certificate of recognition to Prof Itam as the Munene-elect; payment of N500 million to Efuts to rehabilitate the restive youths, immediate opening of Munene’s palace locked by the State government for nine years, and setting up of community policing.

In his reaction, Special Adviser to Gov Ben Ayade on Inter-Party Affair, Mr Austin Ibok, who also doubles as Chairman of the Technical Committee, promised to table the matter before Governor Ayade.

Ibok said settling of the 9-year throne tussle would form part of their recommendations to government since, according to him, it could be difficult to achieve their goal of moping out fire arms in an atmosphere of uncertainty.