By DAVIES IHEAMNACHOR
KALABARI— AS the tussle for who ascends the throne of Amanyanabo of Kalabari Kingdom in Rivers State builds up, a contender to the stool, Chief Mac-Donald Abbi, has called on King Theophilus Princewill to vacate the throne, claiming that the court has removed him. Princewill had after the death of the former monarch, King Obaye Abbiye-Suku Amachree X in 1998, taken over the throne of Amanyanabo of Kalabari.
However, on Monday, May 16, a Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt in suit number PHC/624 /2002, ordered the present occupant to vacate the throne for a proper selection process of a new king. Abbi said that based on the court judgment, the throne was now vacant and therefore, Princewill should not remain or purport to still be on the throne when the right thing was for the kingdom to traditionally select who becomes king among the five contenders.
We’ve no Amanyanabo
I am a front line contestant to the throne of Amanyanabo of Kalabari. I have been on this matter for 16 years now, so I am a very serious and interested contestant. This victory in court is not for me, it is for the entire Kalabari people of Rivers State because for 16 years, we have no Amanyanabo, which is not supposed to be. “So we are happy that God has answered our prayer through the court judgment. Very soon, Amanyanabo of Kalabari will emerge. For now, we have no Amanyanabo. Therefore, nobody should be parading himself as Amanyanabo. The throne remains vacant until the people traditionally choose another person,” he said.
His words: ”Where there is no head, there is a problem. Therefore, since that time Kalabari has been facing problems because we have no head, we have been having problem of militancy, crises upon crises, all these because we do not have a leader, who will control these situations. These problems will be solved later by the grace of God. He asserted: ”Princewill illegally went and installed himself king, Kalabari has a tradition, installation of a king follows a democratic nature, but he did it alone, that is why we went to court and we have gotten justice.
No vacant throne
Reacting to the development, King Princewill told Niger Delta Voice that he remains the Amanyanabo of Kalabari, adding that he had appealed against the judgment. Speaking for king, Mr. Opubo-Pryse called on the people to disregard any rumour that the stool of Amanyanabo of Kalabari was vacant. He said: “As far as I am concerned, the seat of Amanyanabo of Kalabari is not vacant because there is no case in court that cannot go to appeal.” “The king that is occupying the seat of Amanyanabo of Kalabari is still the Amanyanabo of Kalabari, if a judgment is given and you are not satisfied, you will go to appeal the case, which we have done I am sure they will be served shortly.”