Paramount ruler of Calabar South Local Government Area of Cross River State, Effiong Mbukpa, was on Wednesday beaten and chased out of his palace by thugs allegedly sponsored by the factional kingmakers (Muris) contesting the throne.
This came as the police in the state rounded up the factional kingmakers that allegedly led the attack on Mbukpa after the state government through the State Security Adviser, Mr. Rekpene Bassey, had intervened to maintain peace.
It was learnt that the factional group of the kingmakers invaded the palace with suspected area boys when Mbukpa and the Palace Secretary, Godwin Bassey, who is also the Secretary of Efut Combined Assembly, were having a meeting.
The group allegedly broke into the palace, destroyed the monarch’s royal stool removed his cap, his cell phones, broke his portrait and carted away documents from the office of the palace secretary.
The spokesman for the group, Maurice Eyo, however denied that they entered the palace with thugs, claiming that their position was that Mbukpa, who he described as an imposter, should not parade himself as the paramount ruler.
He said, “The people that entered here first were the army, and the Department of Public Transportation, they entered here first. Nobody can say that we entered here with thugs. We should have not invited the army if we wanted to enter here with thugs.
“We would not have invited the police, and the navy. We invited them because we wanted peace and sanity that is why they entered first.”
Efforts of the state Security Adviser, who told the Muris to go with him to the office of the State Commissioner of Police were rebuffed as they told him that it was a traditional matter and that government should not have any business with it.
Narrating his ordeal, the monarch said the thugs he alleged were sponsored by one of the claimants to the throne, Prof. Ita Hogan, came with the cover of security agents to beat him up and destroyed his property.”
Mbukpa alleged that the factional group took the action because Chairman of the state Traditional Council had advised the group to use force to take over the palace, adding that the police witnessed what happened.