There have been mixed reactions following the call by the Obong of Calabar, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu V, that Governor Ben Ayade should step aside and learn from an interim government.
The Obong of Calabar told a delegation led by former Governor Liyel Imoke when they paid him a courtesy visit following the devastating destruction that took place in Calabar.
He stated that if it was within his powers, he would have asked Governor Ayade to wait for an interim administration to take over so he can learn from the administration.
Reacting to the statement, were some eminent political leaders. There were those who didn’t approve of the Obong’s statement.
Political leaders of Northern Cross River State, Chief Linus Okom, stated that such a call could lead to anarchy and that the government is not a village meeting position.
He said: “I believe the Obong must have been misquoted or his statement taken out of context but if he actually said it, then that is unfortunate because the office of governor is not that of a village meeting position.
“Even at that, the chairman of a village meeting cannot be removed arbitrarily without due process. Governance is a tedious task and it is not proper to apportion blame without a careful and thorough appraisal of the issues at stake. Governor cannot resign by somebody’s fiat.”
Former Chairman of Inter-Party Advisory Council, IPAC, Mr Godie Akpama, said, “The Obong has no constitutional powers or traditional role to call on the governor of the state to resign. The governor was voted by people of the state, who are about four million though the result shows four hundred thousand. Therefore one individual cannot ask the governor to resign.”
Also speaking on the matter, another political leader and veteran journalist, Dr Matthias Oko, said: “If the call by Obong for the governor to resign is because of the EndSARs protest, which was hijacked by hoodlums, did he not hear that the protests and destruction were not peculiar to Cross River State. So, why single out the governor of our state and asking him to resign?”
However, there were those who agreed with the Obong’s statement.
An APC stalwart and former House of Assemby member, Cletus Obun, said he totally agrees with the Obong although, constitutionally, it’s not attainable.
He said: “I agree with the Obong of Calabar on this, even though it does not have any place in our constitution. The kind of governance we have seen in the last five years is abysmal and what the Obong posited is nothing but the truth.”
Also, a former aide to Governor Ayade and social critique, Ray Ugba Murphy, said even though the Nigerian constitution does not allow such, the Obong of Calabar spoke the minds of a large number of CrossRiverians.