Paramount Ruler of Etung Local Government of Cross River State, Ntufam Emmanuel Oru has been in the news for a controversial reason. He is said to have declared support for two of the major gubernatorial candidates in Cross River State-Senator John Owan Enoh, who hails from the local government, and the governor , Senator Ben Ayade.
One took place in his palace, the other took place in the office of the governor, when Oru led some Etung people to see the governor.
At his palace, when Owan Enoh paid him a visit as part of his campaigns, this is part of what he said:
“I say if you look at the hall today, you will see that every chief from Ekoloba, Ntara, they are all here, that shows something-, we are behind you. You mentioned something about the car and so on, if there were no competitions, you would have not gotten the car. Your party redeemed us from the slumber.
“I'm telling you that when the man (Ayade) prepared to give us these cars, the chairman of traditional rulers' council, Cross River State came to me. He is always talking with me and talking with you too, so what happened? He told me what are we going to do about the election, I said we are going in, you are my son.
“So the governor is giving us cars, I said let the governor foolishly give us the cars, and we will foolishly take it, and that is how we foolishly took the cars. In that my talk, there is a meaning, we will take the cars but we won't vote him, that's what it means.
“Me and my chairman in Calabar, so we have come here today believing everyone is behind you, you won't fail. I have told you, the first time when we came, I told you very many things, I said you are there already, you are already there, you will win.
“We chiefs are spirits, we have it but we won't tell you. Anywhere your election is going to happen, we are going to reveal it to you. I'm assuring ing you, come March, you will see yourself, I'm telling you, you will never go back.
“I thank all of you who had come that my son(Owan Enoh) could be heard. So you(Owan Enoh) can come, let me give you my blessings.”
However, a few days later, a press statement was issued from the office of the governor, quoting the paramount ruler to have denied ever endorsing the APC candidate.
The statement reads in part:
The Paramount Ruler of Etung Local Government of Cross River State, His Royal Majesty, Ntufam (Dr) Emmanuel Oru says his subject and factional governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator John Ewan-Enoh stands no chance of winning the governorship election in March.
Speaking on the phone with prominent politicians(it is not clear if it was a conference call) from the local government, the monarch was very categorical that the election will be a walk over for the incumbent, Governor Ben Ayade.
Oru, who was unhappy with the false claims on social media by the APC that he had pledged his support for Owan-Enoh, said: “Enoh and APC are lying to the public. He (Enoh) cannot win. Election is not by appearance. Election is of the mind and Ayade will win this election.”
The monarch who described Ayade as his “very good friend,” said there was no chance in hell that he will enlist his support for Enoh.
It would be recalled that the monarch recently led a delegation of who is who in the politics of Etung, including the elder brother to the APC candidate, Professor Anthony Owan-Enoh to endorse Governor Ayade for second term.”
There are pictures of the paramount giving his blessing to Owan Enoh and then to the governor. What really happened? Can one man give his blessings to two people to occupy the same seat?
Who actually is he endorsing under this circumstance?