Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade, has ordered the immediate withdrawal of certificate of recognition from the paramount ruler of Calabar South Council, Prof. Itam Hogan Itam, for dabbling into partisan politics.
The order was contained in a letter addressed to the ruler, dated May 11, 2022 and signed by the Special Adviser to the governor on Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr. Adoga Ifop Victor.
The letter directed the paramount ruler to immediately return the certificate of recognition to the Department of Chieftaincy Affairs, Governor’s Office in Calabar.
The letter reads: “Following the report of the panel set up by the Cross River State Traditional Rulers Council (CRSTRC) and the approval of His Excellency, you have been removed as the village head, clan head of Ukem and paramount ruler of Efuts with immediate effect to enable you go ahead to do your partisan politics.
“You have therefore ceased to be so recognised and cannot operate as such forthwith.”
It was learnt that Itam was at the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Southern Senatorial District caucus meeting recently, which chose one of its governorship aspirants, Mr. Authur Jarvis, as the party’s consensus candidate for Cross River South for the 2023 governorship election, an act said to be contrary to the edict establishing the state traditional rulers council.
MEANWHILE, in another statement signed by the Secretary-General of Efut Combined Assembly, Ndabu, Dr. Godwin Bassey, commended the governor for taking such a step as it called on members of the community to be calm and go about their daily business.
Also, the apex decision-making body of the Efuts, presided over by Muri Munene Maurice Okon Eyo, the supreme head of Efut Combined Assembly and president, Calabar South Local Government Traditional Rulers Council, has thanked Ayade for promptly intervening in the matter, which it described as a right step in the right direction.