Cross River State has raised alarm over an attempt to overthrow their village by members of Ekpo Abasi Family.
According to Emmanuel Ekpo Edet, Secretary of Ekorinim Community, there are rumors going round that a certain Ekpo Okon Ekpo has been parading himself that he has been selected by his Ekpo Abasi Family to become village head of Ekorinim Community which is against the traditional procedure of selecting a village head in the community.
Emmanuel added that what is even more worrisome is the fact that the village head is still alive and the community currently has no reason whatsoever for a replacement of their village head. He warned that if nothing is done by government and the security agencies, this act is capable of leading to breach of peace, mayhem and communal unrest.
“We heard that Ekpo Abasi Family selected somebody as our village head and the person himself went to Princes Okpoho to present himself as the new village head and this can not happen, we have a village head. What baffles us is that we have a village head, who is recognized and certificated by government, even if we had a need for a new village head we have a procedure of selecting our leaders. Nobody can impose anybody on us because they don’t have such rights.
“As a community we are putting in our best to ensure it does not lead to crisis because if allowed to escalate, this is capable of causing unrest and breach of peace in the community, we are therefore calling on relevant agencies to step in and ensure this does not escalate, because for us as a community we can not allow a stranger to be imposed on us as our village head”, the community Assistant Secretary added.
Also speaking with newsmen shortly after a town council meeting, Princess Okpoho Edet Nsa whose father is said to be the founder of Ekorinim Community, informed that Chief Nyong Eyo Ekpo is their village head and he is certified and recognized by the government of Cross River State and as such the community cannot and will not accept anyone imposed on them.
She said nobody, not even the Obong of Calabar can impose a leader on them, if they have need for a new leader, they will follow the laid down traditional procedure to select their own leader and nobody can come from outside to lead them.
“As the princess of the community, I was informed by one Okon Ekpo that he was been nominated by his Family, Ekpo Abasi Family to come and be our village head. And we are saying no! Nobody can stay outside and come and be our village whereas we have a village head. You cannot stay outside and send a village head when we our village head. Chief Nyong Eyo Ekpo is our village head and he is recognized and certified by the government of Cross River State”, she said.
As a way of maintaining peace in the community, the leadership of Ekorinim community have resolved to ensure that the alleged planned dethronement of their village head doesn’t see the light of the day as they have discussed measures and steps to be taken to amicably resolve the matter without breaching the peace enjoyed by residents.
Also speaking with the Police Public Relations Officer of the Cross River State Command, Iren Ugbo, she informed that the matter hasn’t been brought to their notice promising that the command will look into it swiftly as soon as it is brought before them.