His Eminence Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu V Treaty King, Natural Ruler, Defender of the Faith and Grand Patriarch of the Efik Eburutu Kingdom on the 11th January received and welcomed His Royal Majesty, Omo N’Oba N’Edo, Uku Akpolokpolo, Ewuare II, Oba of Benin to his Palace with an assurance of a peaceful and memorable visit to Calabar.
The ceremony which began from the Bassey Duke Effigy erected graciously at the roundabout by the famous Watt Market in Calabar with displays by numerous cultural troops and Ekpe masquerades was later convoked at the Palace of the Obong where the Oba was spiritually and majestically welcomed into the Palace.
The meeting of the two first class natural rulers and Treaty Kings from the South South geopolitical region of the country, whose forebear had had very early contact with the European merchants, especially the Portuguese through maritime ventures and signed various treaties with them will further oil their royal templates to accommodate contemporary issues of every significance to the development of their domains, the region and country at large.
Welcoming the Oba, the Obong of Calabar charged the visiting monarch, Ewuare II to relax and feel at home, being the city of which one of his forefathers is peacefully resting in.
Also welcoming the Oba, indigenes of Edo state, resident in Cross River State said they were elated to have their Oba visit Calabar, a land they have lived peacefully in while engaging in meaningful livelihood that has contributed to the economic growth of the state. The Edo community therefore, appealed to their Oba to encourage the government of Cross River to provide them with a piece of land to build their secretariat:
“Your Royal Majesty we wish to draw your attention to the residence of the Oba of Benin, Oba Ovọnramwẹn Nọgbaisi, who reigned between 1888 to 1914 AD, who live in Calabar. We wish to appeal to you that during this your historic visit to Calabar, you encourage the Cross River State government to give us a piece of land to help us build a secretariat”. They pleaded.
In his response, during the vote of thanks, a member of the Etubom Traditional Rulers Council, High Chief (Dr) Emmanuel Nsan former Minister of Health assured them of the commitment of the Etubom Traditional Council to ensure their request of setting up a structure for the memorial of their forefather who was on exile in Calabar:
“We are very very mindful of the wish of your people to set up something in memorial of your forefathers. It is too soon for us to forget and we may never forget about what happened to the British colonialists in their exercise of unmerited authority over royalty”, Nsan assured.
“I will leave that to the Etubom traditional rulers council and I think they will give due consideration to that project. Personally, I support the agenda and sincerely speaking, we look forward to its fulfillment”. He concluded.
The historic royal visit that will for ever be remembered by the Efik nation as it marks a wonderful chapter in the historical fraternal relationship between the two Kingdoms has since become a major conversation in the city of Calabar and beyond, both on social media and offline.