Days after some Kingmakers in Calabar revealed plans for the pronouncement of a new Obong Of Calabar, a former Minister of Finance during late General Sani Abacha’s government, Etubom Anthony Ani has been proclaimed as the new Obong of Calabar, amidst shocking revelations indicating the interference of the Department of State Services (DSS) in the traditional power tussle in Cross River State, Nigerian Tribune reports.

This is coming even as shocking revelations are springing up from the feud within the traditional stool: An impeccable source who craved anonymity disclosed to our reporter that a senior DSS official acting under the instructions of an Ex-DSS Boss has detained some of the Kingmakers who are warning the DSS to keep off and have asked their lawyers to sue the State for violating their freedom of assembly and association.

According to the source, “The traditional kingmakers empowered by the Supreme Court have complained about intimidation by the DSS, especially the director Mr John Kola Sokoya who has been acting as an interested party whipping up other security forces within the state.

“Thankfully, the other arms of the armed forces have been acting professionally and refused to interfere but to keep the peace which incidentally was only broken by the show of force by the DSS alone.”

The source added that “The State director has been acting under instructions from the former Director General (DG) Department of State Services ( DSS) Ita Ekpeyong who is an interested party.

“The authentic kingmakers are currently being detained at the pleasure of the state director and have instructed their lawyers to sue the State for infringement of their fundamental rights to freedom of assembly and association naming and joining the State Director personally,” an impeccable source revealed to our correspondent.

However, a statement signed by the regent and Chairman of the surviving Etuboms council of 2008 of the palace of the Obong of Calabar and obtained by our reporter indicated that the proclamation was done on May 23, 2023, by four out of the seven surviving Etuboms as at 2008 who constituted “the original kingmakers” by Etubom Essien Ekpenyong Efiok as Chairman of the Council and Conclave and Etubom Micah Archibong as Secretary.

Others in attendance during the proclamation include Etubom Okon Etim Asuquo, the oldest Etubom of the Palace of the Obong of Calabar and Etubom Nyong Effiom Okon JP, the Paramount Ruler of Calabar South Local Government Area. Out of the seven qualified Etuboms, four were present and their decision was unanimous.

Recall that, in a communique issued by Surviving Members of the Etuboms Traditional Rulers Council of the Palace of the Obong of Calabar of 31st March, 20008, had held a meeting, and called for the selection of a new Obong, for the Efik Kindom, on May 15th, 2023, arguing that the selection process that produced the present king after the January 13th supreme Court judgement was yet not in compliance with the decisions of the court.

The statement by the Etuboms conclave quoted the Chairman of the surviving Etuboms saying, ” It is my responsibility as the regent and chairman of the Surviving Etuboms Council of 2008 of the palace of the Obong of Calabar and consequence of Supreme Court judgement that made reference to the 2002 constitution, to make this proclamation.

“No other person apart from me can do the proclamation because I am still alive to take up that responsibility as chairman and in collaboration with other serving Etuboms as of 2008 and since the judgement, there is no Obong on the throne. And it is not fair for us to remain for such a long time.”

The Chairman further said, “We decided not to waste time and therefore bring in the most qualified person to the throne as the Obong of Calabar in the person of His Royal Highness Etubom Anthony Asuquo Ani. This is the time we have gotten an Obong and appeal to everyone to be calm and work with the new Monarch on the throne as there would be a turn of events for good and the efiks will feel the impact.”

Confirming DSS involvement in the matter, sources from the state DSS office affirmed to our correspondent that, “whatever the sources revealed to you, (our correspondent) is true.”

The source added that though other security agencies have remained neutral and professional on the matter, the DSS has been acting as an interested party in the conflict, thereby creating two factions amongst the Monarchs.