Mboho Afaha Iman Ibom has accused the Paramount Ruler of ONNA local government area, HRM Edidem Raymond Timothy Inyang, of attempting to usurp the powers and authority of Oku Ibom Ibibio, His Eminence, Nteyin Dr. Solomon Etuk.
The accusation came in view of the planned investiture of Enin Afaha, Supreme Leader of Afaha World Wide on the Paramount Ruler of ONNA.
Speaking on the issue with newsmen in Uyo, Asikpo Essienibok (Ph.D), the Akwa Afaha Iman Ibom and leader of Mboho Afaha Iman Ibom in Etinan local government area, said the Ibibio traditional custom sees the investiture of Edidem Raymond Inyan as treacherous, an act of rebellion and abomination punishable by severe sanctions.
Essienibok, accompanied by Chief Sunny Jackson, described Oku Ibom as the legal and legitimate existential traditional and cultural Supreme Leader in matters affecting the Ibibios and noting that Raymond is struggling to be a Supreme Leader in a part of the subtraditional make up (Afaha) of the Ibibios.
Asikpo Essienibok explained that the ONNA Paramount Ruler who is the secretary of Ifim Ibom Ibibios should know that no two Supreme Leaders can cohabitate in one institution as Supreme Leaders and warned that the Paramount Ruler does not have the moral authority to occupy that office.
“When Mboho Afaha Iman Ibom went public on Thursday April 27, 2023 on why HRM Edidem Raymond Timothy Inyang, the Paramount Ruler of Onna Local Government, who is currently the Secretary General of Ifim Ibom Ibibio should not compete the supremacy status with his superior, the Oku Ibom Ibibio, the existential Supreme Leader in all cultural and traditional matters relating to Ibibio, the Paramount Ruler, hired a history professor from the University of Uyo to attempt a reply in defence of his blind ambition. He copied the State Governor and Oku Ibom Ibibio.
“We had thought common sense would have prevailed for the simple reason that Raymond Timothy Inyang is an Ibibio man. So also, is Oku Ibom. Oku Ibom represents the Ifim Ibom Ibibio where Raymond is its Secretary General. Oku Ibom is the legal and legitimate existential traditional and cultural Supreme Leader in matters affecting the Ibibios. Raymond is struggling to be a Supreme Leader in a part of the subtraditional make up (Afaha) of the Ibibios.
“We said there was, and there is a conflict as the two Supreme Leaders can not cohabitate in one institution as Supreme Leaders. But Raymond and the Professor said there is no conflict as the supreme leadership of Raymond would compliment that of Oku Ibom Ibibio. The Ibibio traditional custom sees it as treacherous, an act of rebellion and abomination punishable by severe sanctions.
“The Professor and Raymond said there were Afaha people first on this planet earth before there were the Ibibios. Mboho Afaha Iman Ibom said the reverse. Beyond the Ibibios, could there be any Annang, Oron, Ekid, Ibeno or Obolo man who thinks he was Afaha first before he was Annang, Oron, Ekid, Ibeno or Obolo respectively? But the Professor and Raymond believe so.
“We would be fooling ourselves if we think Akwa Ibom state is traditionally and culturally monolithic. The professor and Raymond had said no it isn’t, and I quote, “Whereas Annang, Oron, Eket, Ibeno and Obolo deny that they are not Ibibio, they overwhelmingly agree that they are Afaha…… and that it is the Afaha phenomenon that holds the key to the unity of the state”
“By logical explanation and implication, Raymond means the Ibibios have lost their statistical signifance to Afaha and therefore lost their numerical traditional political basis of power to ever unite multiculturalism in Akwa Ibom State. Raymond says it is only Afaha which could do it. Could this be the reason he wants to be the Supreme Leader of Afaha, to feel, and be made to feel, superior in form, but not in content to Oku Ibom Ibibio, since Afaha worldwide, he says, is mightier than Ibibio?
“Raymond and the Professor said Afaha is a Voluntary Welfare Association. That means it is not cultural nor traditional. To them Afaha is mechanistic, transactional and mercantilistic. Why then, do they need a permanent traditional structure, such as Supreme Leader, Supreme Council to operate a welfare organization? Are they confused, misunderstood? Or they don’t know the difference between the two? Or simply misleading the general public into their business trap?
“The Mboho Afaha of our forefathers and fathers in Akwa Ibom State that we came to inherit was not, and is NOT a voluntary welfare association. It is a traditional institution with its communal belief system. It has a conservative culture of preserving the old traditional values of unity, strength, decency, peace, progress and development, and a customary method of selecting its leaders not by opportunism, nor politically colourated, but by strictly traditional conservative mores in order to preserve the cultural values of our historical past.
“Raymond and the Professor committed very serious blunders, a fallacy, we may say,by admitting an erroneous fact that Edidem Robert James Obot, a one time and late Paramount Ruler of Nsit Ubium was an Afaha. Edidem Obot was Ibiakpan by genealogy and heritage. Ibiakpan is not Afaha. Raymond might want to check out that information with the ominipotent traditional institution, Ifim Ibom Ibibio which he is the Secretary General.
“We therefore challenge the constitutional integrity (or lack of it) that brought the wrong person out for the installation as Enin Afaha. It was a desecration of the highly respected and reserved stool of our microcultural identity. And since that abomination was committed, was the stool traditionally cleansed? If so, who did it and how? It should be made pointedly quite clear here, now and then, that tradition is different from religion, politics, business and government. And that nobody should mount that stool until traditionally cleansed?
“We disagree that anybody, just anybody, could be made an Enin without passing through the traditional and cultural thresholds of the AKWAS and SOOTHSAYERS for a background check. The essence of the background check was to separate the content from the form, and select, a human being in the form of god, a deity, unblemished, humane and a symbol of purity.
“The traditional norm of raising the bar of selection to that elevated cultural high office was to get the best in character and deed out of the system, devoid of greed, avarice, thieves, adulterers, debtors, divorces, witches and witchcraft, and more particularly to sieve ignorance of the value and custom of the people out of the tradition
“Lastly, in all material particular, the intending nominee to be installed for this office does not meet the above requirements for this traditional conservative office as Enin Afaha. Raymond does not have the moral authority to occupy that office. It is a public knowledge that he does not have.”