By Emmanuel Una
UFUT—THE Munene of Ufut in Calabar South Local Government Area of Cross River State, Muri Effiong Mbukpa, has alleged that some influential persons incited criminals to march into his palace and attack him. He also said that the influential persons, who were working against his getting staff of office from the state government, meddled with court proceedings when he took the hoodlums to court.
Mbukpa, who lamented the high rate of criminal activities in the area now, said he fought criminals and drastically reduced crime in his domain, but lately, the hoodlums took advantage of the absence of a recognized traditional ruler, occasioned by the protracted tussle over the kingship position of Efuts, to perpetuate crime.
His words: “When the judge was about to rule on the case, a nolle pronoqui was entered, asking the judge not to rule. “Even at that, I have won five court cases, including the one at the Court of Appeal, which ruled that the people duly chose me. I have done all the traditional rites as required by the custom of Efut, yet some people in the previous government did not want to see me recognized as King of my people for reasons best known to them,” he said.
He commended the governor, Professor Ben Ayade, for creating a security outfit, Operation Skolomo, to join forces with other security outfits in the state capital to combat crimes, adding, “Why all these things are happening in my area that they have looked left and right and seen that Efiong Mbukpa is not effectively in control.
“They know that I am a no-nonsense person, but they take liberty because I am not there in quote. Otherwise, it takes me no time to root them out, whether they are resident in this domain or operate from outside.”
Fruitless police strategy
He said the police collaborated with him to strategize on how to fight crime in the area, but of recent, that was no longer the case, as they (police) prefer to go it alone, which was not yielding much result.
“In the past when a Police Commissioner or Assistant Inspector General of Police resumes in the state, he come comes here and I tell them measures to take to be efficient in fighting crime, but that is no longer the case and that is because someone is beating the drum for them to dance,” he said.
Muri Mbukpa said traditional rulers were closest to the people, knew who the criminals are and their hideouts, adding in partnership with security agencies and backing of government, criminal activities could easily be routed out in any domain. “Where can they hide without us seeing them or even if they come from outside to operate, we can rout them, but for now, we have limited authority since government is yet to give me the staff of office as the man chosen by the people,” he asserted.
I leave my fate with God
The royal father, who commended Professor Ayade for the bold steps he has taken so far towards developing the state, said, “ I see him as somebody who has come to correct the mistakes of the past.
“Of course, every parent would want his son to do better, so I know the former governor, Senator Liyel Imoke would want Ayade’s administration to be better than his own and correct the mistakes he might have made and from what I am seeing, he is someone, who critically looks at issues before taking decision.”
He said he has left his fate in the hands of God, who is God of Justice and at the appropriate time, he would use someone, who is fair in his decisions to look into his case and grant him recognition, no matter the pressure that some groups of people may bring upon him.