STATEMENT BY THE EFIK LEADERSHIP FOUNDATION (ELF) ON THE BIAFRA ISSUE.
The Efik Leadership Foundation (ELF) is a vibrant pan Efik non-governmental organisation (NGO) that champions the cause of the Efik people of Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria, particularly as it affects community building and national development.
Our vision, through our activities is to actualise the dream of a united Efik people that are socially and economically prosperous within and beyond Nigeria.
The ELF has as its core strategy, the following:
iv. Good governance.
• We aim to achieve the aforementioned through mentorship, sponsorship, grassroots engagement, advocacy, partnerships amongst others.
• The ELF has watched patiently in the past months, the activities of certain individuals and groups agitating for the secession of certain States from Nigeria and the creation of Biafra nation.
• Our decision to finally publicly state our position is borne out of the growing false propagation especially on social media of maps showing various versions of the proposed territories of the new country being agitated for wherein such maps include our beloved Cross River State.
• More recently, we were presented with a video of one Nnamdi Kanu, the acclaimed leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) at a gathering of some sort, where he thanked an unknown fellow for attending the meeting on behalf of the Obong of Calabar. This unknown man who dressed in an attire mimicking the Efik attire, had earlier claimed to be representing the Obong of Calabar.
• Historically, and as can be Googled for confirmation, the Obong of Calabar “is one of the eight rulers recognised by the Federal Republic of Nigeria as Natural Rulers and Treaty Kings whose Kingdoms existed hundreds of years before the amalgamation, and who interacted with, and signed Treaties and Agreements with Sovereign Nations in Africa and Europe”. We are therefore pleased to note that the Palace through the Chairman of the Etuboms Traditional Council (ETC) has since unequivocally disowned and distanced the Palace from the impersonator.
Presently, it has become absolutely important to make known the stance of the Efik people on this issue of Biafra to fellow Nigerians and the world at large. We therefore declare as follows:
1. Although we acknowledge the imperfection of the present Nigeria union, we the Efik people are peace loving people hence the acronym for CALABAR: Come And Live And Be At Rest. We primarily seek, within a workable and generally beneficial framework, a better, effective and equitable union of all constituent parts and people of Nigeria, irrespective of ethnicity, religion, sex, age, status and other circumstances of life.
2. History has shown that we have never been a part of Biafra and we reiterate that we are still not a part of this new proposed Biafra, either.
3. We were never consulted before or after the said Nnamdi Kanu and his co- adventurers began their new agitation for the Biafra Nation thus any attempt to annex or conscript us surreptitiously or use our people, land and territory as basis for bargaining is unequivocally resisted by the Efik People.
4. While the Biafra agitators and indeed all Nigerians are entitled, within the law, to speak up against injustices, marginalization by the Nigerian State, and need for referendum and restructuring, the Efik people are also very capable of tabling their own grievances, which indeed exist, to the relevant authorities without necessarily using Biafra as a crutch.
5. We are deeply pained and feel insulted by the actions of IPOB, more so when they attempt to portray the Efik people as co-travellers in a venture where the two parties have not met to discuss any points of mutual benefit or interest.
6. The office of the Obong of Calabar is a highly revered office and the incumbent would never belittle himself by sending such a representative to any gathering. We make bold to say that in this particular instance, the so called representative was fraudulent and the Efik people vehemently alienate themselves from that gathering. The Etuboms and any other person whom the Obong may occasionally ask to represent him are usually carefully selected and well spoken men and women of substance and definitely not the calibre of the imposter shown in that video.
We therefore demand that the Biafran agitators cease and desist from further including the Efik people in their Biafran shenanigans or misleading the world that the Efik people are part of the movement. For now, we the Efik people remain part of Nigeria and are more inclined to making the country a better place for every Nigerian.
1. Richard Duke (Trustee)-London
2. John Nya Offiong (Trustee)-Calabar
3. Barrister Obo Effanga (Trustee)-Abuja
4. Reginald Yves-Bassey (Trustee)-Lagos
5. Franca Archibong (Trustee)-London
6. Barrister Helen Essien -Lagos
7. Ken Henshaw-
8. Ukorebi Ita-Calabar
9. Essessien Edem-Abuja
10. Susan Henshaw
11. Asandia Hogan-Calabar
12. Barrister Timothy Archibong Esu-Calabar
13. Assoc. Prof Bassey Ephraim-Calabar
14. Sir,Chief Maurice Effiwatt,ksji,jp-Akpabuyo
15. Edwin Okokon-Port Harcourt
16. John Henshaw-London
17. Edem Bassey-Abuja
18. Edem Duke-USA
19. Peter Archibong-Calabar
20. Abasi Asukwo-USA
21. James Okon Otudor (JP)
22. Edem Duke-Calabar
23. Alice Duke-Calabar
24. Efio-Ita Nyok-Calabar
25. Eyo Ekpenyong Nsa -Calabar
26. Essien Offiong-Ireland
27. Ewa Aye Henshaw
28. Ekpenyong Ekpenyong Ambo-Abuja
29. Etim .E . Ekanem –Abuja
30. Chief Efiom Edem Orok-Calabar
31. Amasi Eyet Inyamg-Calabar
32. John Essien Inyang
33. Samuel Ekpenyong Bassey -Calabar
34. Benedine Bassey Atima-Calabar
35. Amasi Eyet Inyang- Abraka
36. Emilia Bassey Etim-Lagos
37. Francis Etang-Calabar
38. Eyo Nsa Nkune-Lagos
39. Roseline Asuquo-Calabar
40. Charles Offiong-Lagos
42. James Effanga Archibong-Calabar
43. Martin Bassey-Calabar
44. Onoyom Onoyom-Lagos
45. Norah Ekpo Effion-Calabar
46. Edemanwan Offiong Akak-Calabar
47. Adim Bassey
48. Edem Bassy Otu-Calabar
49. Emmanuel Ekpo Bassey-Calabar
50. Emmanuel Ekeng Henshaw
51. Anthony Bassey Effiong-Calabar
52. Majorie Effiom Edet-Calabar
53. Okokon Eburutu Ita
54. Hogan Bassey Jnr-Lagos
55. Inyang Ekpenyong –Calabar
56. Roseline Asuquo-Calabar
57. Nkechi Enobong Mordi-Lagos
58. Amanda Bassey-Calabar
59. Ededem Effiom Ephraim-Calabar
60. Malvin Cobham Edet-USA
61. Kingsley Otu-Lagos
62. Alice Rowland Edet-Calabar
63. Umo Adam-Yenogua
64. Offiong Louis Joseph-Calabar
65. Chief Bassey Okon-Calabar
66. Bernard Etim-Calabar
67. Geraldine Boco-Jos
68. Prince H.Hogan
69. Gloria Eme Ekpenyong-Abuja
70. Rosemary Bassey Ita-Calabar
71. Mary Bassey-Calabar
72. Abigail Bassey-Delta State
73. Emmanuel Bassey-Calabar
74. Edak Odey-Calabar
75. Efanga Efiom-Calabar
76. Uta Duke-Calabar
77. Deborah Duke-Calabar
78. Albert Efanga-Calabar
79. Joseph Otu Coco-Bassey-Calabar
80. Florence Edung Ita-Calabar
81. Prince Ukorebi Joseph Eniang Ani-Ita-Calabar
82. Effiom Edem-Calabar
83. Philip Henshaw-Calabar
84. Ukorebi Ndem-Ndem-Calabar
85. Emmanuel Okokon Asuquo-Bakassi
86. Gerald Ekpenyong-Lagos
87. Bassey Edem Ephraim-Texas, US
88. Effiom Bassey Adam-London
89. Jeffrey Eniang Offiong-Ikoneto
90. Daniel Umo Orok Ephraim-Calabar
91. Efioanwan Etim Nyong-Bakassi
92. Bassey Effanga Asuquo-USA
93. Nkute Hogan-Lagos
94. Bassey Tennyson Okon-Calabar
95. Matilda Ironbar-Calabar
96. Jayne David-Calabar
97. Ahmad Bassey-Calabar
98. Christopher Henshaw-New York, USA
99. Efioanwan Edet Hogan-Calabar
100. Bella Effiong Ita-Calabar