By David Agabi
The somewhat peace brought about by the official recognition of Prof Itam Hogan Itam as the true Muri Munene of Efut kingdom and Paramount Ruler of Calabar South Local Government Area is silently rattled with the emergence and rising in the ranks of Muri Maurice Okon Eyo, Clan Head of Efut Akwa Ikot Ekpe Kingdom, Calabar South.
Investigations by AFRICA TODAY reveals that with the transition into the land of ancestors of the former Muri Munene (though still in contention) Effiong Okokon Mbukpa, some royal families within the Efut kingdom feels aggrieved hence calling on Muri Eyo to perform the burial rites of the late Mbukpa and then engage Prof Itam Hogan Itam for the traditional stool since the case is still in the Supreme Court.
Recall that the crisis among the Efut has been on since 2009 when the former Muri Munene Ita Okokon Ekpenyong Ebuka Ebuka IV joined his ancestors. It was gathered that Muri Efiong Okokon Mbukpa emerged as his successor after carrying out the necessary traditional rites and proclaimed as Muri Munene of the Efut by the Efut Combined Assembly, the highest policy and decision making body of the kingdom.
However, Mbukpa has since had running battles with Prof Itam Hogan Itam whom then was a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist with the University of Calabar teaching Hospital.
Though the legal battle started in 2011 without proper settlement it rose up to the Supreme Court.
Chairman of the Efut Combined Assembly, Ndabo Obo E. E. Obo from Ifako clan, said Efiong Mbukpa was duly selected having been fully qualified and carrying out all the required traditional rites after the death of the former paramount ruler.
He said Mbukpa had performed all the traditional rites to mount the throne and that, according to the tradition of the Efut, whoever performs the burial rites of the late monarch automatically takes over and that the rites had been done many years ago except otherwise somebody wants to exhume the corpse of the late monarch.
Meanwhile, the silent but eminent activities tending toward recognizing Muri Maurice Eyo as the true successor of the former Muri Munene Okokon Mbukpa heralded on Thursday as members of the Efut Nyong Edem Clan of Calabar South Local Government Area officially induct Muri Eyo into the family.
The Muri-elect and Chairman of Edet Obio-Ekung royal family, H.R.H Edet Bassey Okon called on all paternal and maternal family members to be united for peace and development and to accept Muri Eyo as one of their own.
Muri Okon who stated this in a chat with newsmen at his No. 97, White House street ancestral home regretted that the disunity in the family has robbed them of fortunes and opportunities over time.
Expressing joy over the reunion and recognition of Muri Eyo, Muri Bassey Okon thank all family members for honouring the event while maintaining that with the coming together, the royal family is poised to reclaim all its stolen rights, noting that they are an autonomous family with rights and privileges.
Meanwhile, in a remark the Clan Head of Efut Akwa Ikot Ekpe Kingdom, Calabar South, Muri Maurice Okon Eyo 1 a newly inducted member appreciated the honour done him, while appealing to all family members to sheath their sword for the sake of unity and harmony.
He however expressed hope that with the high turnover of members, the royal family is rebirth for progress and development.