A contender to the stool of the Amanyanabo of Kalabari Kingdom, Chief MacDonald Abbi, has said that the killings and militancy in the Ijaw community was as a result of the absence of a “truly elected king in the area.”

Abbi, who is one of the leaders in the area, made this remark in Port Harcourt while reacting to the judgment of a High Court, which sacked Chief Theophilus Princewill as the Amanyanabo of Kalabari, rendering the seat vacant.

He maintained that the people had been without a ruler for 16 years after the death of His Royal Majesty, King Obaye Abbiye-Suku Amachree X of the kingdom.

Abbi claimed that Princewill was never made a king by the people, adding that the judgment of the court had left the throne vacant.

On Monday, May 16, a Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt had sacked Princewill as the Amanyanabo of Kalabri Kingdom in a case instituted before it by one of the contenders to the throne.

After the death of Amachree X, five contenders emerged in a struggle to succeed the late Amanyanabo and it was learnt that Princewill was enthroned.

But the court in the matter, PHC/624/2002, ruled that the current occupant of the throne should step down for proper selection of a new king.

Based on the judgment, Abbi stressed that the throne was now vacant, noting that the kingdom was now free to elect the person that will take over as king.

Abbi regretted that the people of Kalabari had suffered too much, adding that criminality thrived in the area because of the absence of a king.

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