Efik National Association Inc., USA (ENA) strives to encourage and stimulate community-partnership and involvement amongst Efik communities in the USA. We also provide an avenue for the recognition and acknowledgement of selfless service rendered by individuals or groups, towards the wellbeing of Efik people. Our programs focus on individual and community empowerment of Efiks, and other minorities in the USA.
We aspire to establish a first-class collaborative effort with organizations of similar interests, as we strive to promote programs in the areas of economic development, education, health, and human services.
As a cultural organization, ENA maintains direct contact with the office of the Efik monarchy (the Obongís Council), in an effort to keep abreast with important issues that impact on our cultural heritage, and the general wellbeing of the Efik communities. The ENA is a non-political group, but its activities promote equity and social justice for the people of Calabar, as a result of which it maintains an open line of communication with the government of the Cross River State of Nigeria, through its Office of Diaspora Matters.
The Efik National Association Inc., USA, was formally incorporated in 1997 as a non-profit organization. Its membership comprises of indigenous people of Calabar from the three major groups namely, Efik, Efut, and Qua. Our mission is to operate a world-class consortium that brings together at a national level, all Efik Organizations (otherwise known as chapters) located in different regions of mainland USA. Our organization serves the unique purpose of uniting the indigenous people of Calabar from all walks of life that are resident in the USA. Our activities as a consortium is to create an avenue for Efiks living in the USA to dialogue, and congregate annually, with the intent to promote and protect our cultural heritage; thereby make it possible for such to be inculcated into the next generation of Efik-Americans.
The ENA strives to encourage and stimulate community-partnership and involvement amongst Efik communities in the USA. We also provide an avenue for the recognition and acknowledgement of selfless service rendered by individuals or groups, towards the wellbeing of Efik people. Our programs focus on individual and community empowerment of Efiks, and other minorities in the USA. We aspire to establish a first-class collaborative effort with organizations of similar interests, as we strive to promote programs in the areas of economic development, education, health, and human services.
As a cultural organization, ENA maintains direct contact with the office of the Efik monarchy (the Obong’s Council), in an effort to keep abreast with important issues that impact on our cultural heritage, and the general wellbeing of the Efik communities. The ENA is a non-political group, but its activities promote equity and social justice for the people of Calabar, as a result of which it maintains an open line of communication with the government of the Cross River State of Nigeria, through its Office of Diaspora Matters.
Efik National Association Inc., USA (ENA) started when some members of independent and unaffilliated Efik Associations in Dallas, Houston, New York, Washington DC, etc. namely, Dr. Archibong Nyanibo, Chief Emmanuel Duke, Samuel Ndiyo (late), Dr. Frances Offiong and others came together to explore the possibility of forming a national body that will bring together their respective associations under one umbrella with a united message and common purpose. Thus, their effort was rewarded when in 1997, Efik National Association Inc., USA was incorporated in Houston, Texas. Thus, effectively bringing together for the first time and uniting all the different Efik associations that existed in the United States cities of Atlanta; Dallas; Houston; New York; Washington; and later Detroit; Boston; California; and Minneapolis under one national body, Efik National Association Inc, USA.
The merger of all the different Efik associations into one entity has enabled these associations to become stronger through shared resources, increased memberships, and common purpose even as they operate as independently-chartered entities in their respective locale each with its unique Constitution, Bylaws, and Vision; and collectively as Chapters of Efik National Association Inc., USA. The national association derive the bulk of its membership from the Chapters as all members of each chapter are by default also members of the national body and are required to pay the mandatory $50 dollars national due each which in some chapters is deducted at source. Each chapter is also levied a mandatory annual dues of $300 dollars per chapter for general administration. Efik National Association Inc., USA does not admit members who do not belong to one of its chapters at the moment.
Every year, ENA holds a national convention which usually comprise of a fundraising and gala night, fashion shows, beauty pagaent, cultural dances, seminars, workshops in one of the cities which it has a Chapter. The convention is usually heavily attended by members of ENA and their families; friends; supporters; donor; and sponsors whose kind donations and contribution and/or sponsorship make up the bulk of the national body budget. All monies derived from these events and others are used to support ENA nonprofit work here in the United States of America and in Calabar, Nigeria.
Efik Eburutu is a tribe orginally made up of twelve clans hence the proverbial saying ”AMI EYEN NDEM EFIK ESIEN DUOPEBA”, meaning `I the offspring of the Efik tutelary god “Ndem” of the twelve clans. These twelve clans sojourned at Ibom in Aro-Chukwu. Later they started to move out to found places like Eniong, Ito, Ukwa and Eki where they are till this day neighbours to Union, Agwagune and Aro-Chukwu.
Four groups reached Uruan and these were Iboku, Usuk Akpa,; Abayen and Enwang. From here the Enwangs left to establish a settlement on the shores of Calabar thus becoming the first Efiks to reach what later became “Canaan” to the whole tribe.
They also remained here until they were gradually joined by their Kith and Kin from Creek
Town. It was after the quarrel between them and their neighbours that they finally moved out of Calabar to settle in some of the Atlantic Islands that are now component parts of the Oron
Local Government in the newly created Akwa Ibom State.
The main group continued to dwell In Uruan until the quarrel and subsequent fight over an axe dispersed them to various parts of the Cross and Calabar Rivers and today, Efiks occupy a geographical area that spans three of the seven Local Government Areas of Cross River State and Itu and Oron in Akwa Thom State. They are also to be found In the Cameroons where in 1877, Reverend Alexander Ross of the Church of Scotland Mission while on a visit there, observed that there were at least sixteen towns which spoke the Efik tongue.
ESIEN EFIK ITIABA (SEVEN EFIK CLANS):
Today, after the viscissitudes suffered by the Efiks as a result of a very long and chequered history of migrations, the Ibokus and those. who kept themselves together from Uruan to 1k-
paene, to Creek Town, to Calabar had constituted themselves into the “ESIEN EFIK ITIABA” or the Seven Efik Clans. With Enwang, Eniong, Ito, Ukwa and Eki having struck out individually to found their own settlements, and Abayen and Usuk Akpa seriously depleted in number to the point of absorption by other groups, the groups therefore re-organised themselves to maintain the unity of the Seven Clans as follows.-
- IBOKU ESIT EDIK comprising Creek Town and its dependencies.
- IBOKU UTAN – comprising Duke Town, Henshaw Town, Cobham Town and their
- OBUTONG (Old Town) and its dependencies.
- ADIABO and its dependencies.
- MBIABO EDERE and its dependencies.
- IKONETO (Mbiabo Usuk),
- IKOT OFFIONG.
It may be mentioned here that many Efik groups have miscegenated into extensive areas in the Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Rivers and Imo States where they have become parts of their respective areas of habitation..
The Efik tribe recognizes the following social structure:-
ESIEN Clan groups centred in the seven original Efik settlements. UFOK House
The history of Old Calabar Is the modern history of the Efiks who like many other coastal city states did not just react to events but created and determined history to the community. Their
House system grew naturally from the patriarchal character of the Efik social system. The units that coalesced and formed themselves into what became the tribe had first formed themselves into family groups, recognizing a common paternity ever before the Efiks arrived at their present habitation. This common paternity Is borne out first by the twelve and later by the seven clan structure emanating from ATAI and branching out into EFIOM EKPO.
From these stocks we have the following components:.
ATAI EFIOM EKPO
Eyo Ema Atai Nsa Efiom
Oku Atai Edem Efiom
Adim Atai Okoho Efiom
The Houses and all their ramifications therefore sprang from these components or founding ancestors of Efik Iboku. The system did not arise from trade contacts with European traders as Is commonly and erroneously believed by people. Rather, it was already there and served as an admirable vehicle for stabilizing and regulating trade. When Great Duke Ephraim’IV (Efiom Edem) was “KING OF ALL CALABAR” (1814 � 1834), the Houses which were nearly thir• ty in number were drastically reduced by him to FIFTEEN and rigidly controlled by him. No one dared engage in trading except through him. When he died he was succeeded by King Eyamba V but all the Houses immediately shook off Duke’s totalitarian control and proceeded to strengthen themselves into the Independent settlements which Hope Waddell described In
1846 as “Petty Republics”. Today, the Houses have been Increased to thirty-two and some of them are even felt to be large enough to warrant the establishment of more units.
Calabar, located at latidtude 4.85 and longitude 8.32 was the first capital city of Nigeria as the seat of Government of the Niger Coast Protectorate, Southern Protectorate and Oil River Protectorate. “Calabar was the name given by the Portuguese discoverers of the 15th century to the tribes on this part of the Guinea coast at the time of their arrival, when as yet the present inhabitants were unknown in the district. It was not till the early part of the 18th century that the Efik, owing to civil war with their kindred and the Ibibio, migrated from the neighbourhood of the Niger to the shores of the river Calabar, and established themselves at Ikoritungko or Creek Town, a spot 4 m. higher up the river. To get a better share in the European trade at the mouth of the river a body of colonists migrated further down and built Obutöng or Old Town, and shortly afterwards a rival colony established itself at Aqua Akpa or Duke Town, which thus formed the nucleus of the existing town. The native inhabitants are still mainly Efik. They are pure negroes. They have been for several generations the middle men between the white traders on the coast and the inland tribes of the Cross River and Calabar district. Christian missions have been at work among the Efiks since the middle of the 19th century. Many of the natives are well educated, profess Christianity and dress in European fashion. A powerful bond of union among the Efik, and one that gives them considerable influence over other tribes, is the secret society known as the Egbo”(Encyclopedia Britannica, 1911).
Today, Calabar has grown into a beautiful metropolitan city famous for its cleanliness and green vegetation that give the city an ambient aura that is the cynosure of all eyes with well-planned road network of tree-lined avenues, paved side-walks, monuments, manicured public parks and lawns which taken together has earned the city the moniker – The People’s Paradise. Calabar is living up to its name as paradise and has become the preferred tourist destination in Nigeria with branded attractions and/or events such as the annual Calabar Festival which include music performance from both local and international artist, Calabar Carnival which is dubbed Africa’s Biggest Street Party that attracts about 2 Million people from all over the globe every December to Calabar, Obudu International Mountain Race, Calabar Carnival Queen Pageant, etc. According to Africaseer, Calabar too is Nigeria’s gourmet headquarter. Here, different cuisines, delicacies are served. Famous among them are Afang Soup, Edikang Ekong, Ekpang Nkukwuo, Afia Efere and Abaak among others. These dishes are well prepared and served too. Thus, other Nigerians desirous of Calabar food prefer to have their conferences in the city. The crime rate is low and security well organised.(Africaseer, 2013).
Apart from tourism, Calabar has emerged as the preferred investment destination in Nigeria. The Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, said Cross River State was gradually emerging as Nigeria’s manufacturing hub given the level of investment inflows into the state.
Speaking during the Good Governance Team tour of the Free Trade Zone (FTZ) in Calabar, where General Electric (GE) is to build a manufacturing and assembly facility, Maku said given the rate major international companies are opening shop in Calabar, the state may soon become the manufacturing hub in West Africa (This Day, 2013). Other major investments and infrastructural boost in Calabar include the 7.5 Billion dollars refinery currently under construction by Sino Arab Energy, Calabar International Conference Center, Covenant University Calabar Campus, and the University of Liverpool International Campus, just to name a few. Calabar is already home to two institutions of higher learning – University of Calabar (UNICAL) and Cross River State University of Technology (CRUTECH) as well as Matral Maritime Training Center; two free trade zones, Calabar Free Trade Zone (CFTZ) and Tinapa Business and Leisure Resort (TBLR); Marina Resort; Venetian Arena and Mall; The Filmhouse; a seaport; Unicem; and the Margaret Ekpo International Airport among others.
The hospitality industry has also seen a huge expansion in the past few years driven by tourism and policies of successive governments in the state. The city now boast of hotels of international standard such as Transcorp Metropolitan Hotel; Channel View; Mirage Hotels; Tinapa Lakeside; ASDAM Lodge; Axari; Aqua Vista Resort; Orange Resort; and many others.
Finally, and as noted by Africaseer, The world today is in love with Calabar. Politicians, businessmen and women, bureaucrats, fun seekers amongst others vie for invitation to attend conferences, seminars or workshops in Calabar. Tourism to the state has gone from privilege to fad. Tourist sites are attracting more visitors. Indeed in the situation ethics of economic diversification, many opportunities abound for investment. Conference tourism is set to lead the pack (Africaseer, 2013).
Encyclopedia Britannica (1911). Calabar. Retrieved from http://www.1911encyclopedia.org/Calabar
Africaseer (2013, Januray). Nigeria: The Attractions of a Growing Tourism Hub
This Day (2013, February). Nigeria: Maku – Cross River Becoming Manufacturing Hub. Retrieved from
Points to Ate
*Eflks throughout their migrations at various times among the Ibos or Ibibios, were and still remain believers and adherents to monarchical government.
*This structure was and still is built on a firm grass-roots base of families, houses, clans and clan groups each of which has distinctly evolved through the centuries with the EDIDEM or ETINYIN or KING or OBONG with the actual period of their reigns clearly identified.
*Despite commercial, historical and political pressures at one time or another even during the Efik Civil War (the Hensho/Dukean War), Efiks have always accepted that wherever they
sojourned or lived, they were always “ONE FAMILY” AS Archibong III and Henshaw III
agreed after the Civil War in 1875.
*The Obongship succession evolved originally from one ancestral line. Today, succession rotates around all the Efik ancestral lines traceable to ATAI and EFIOM EKPO. Thus we have in recent years had Edidem Ededem Archibong V, (Okoho Efiom), Edidem Adam II (Okoho Eflom), continued by Edidem David James Henshaw V (Nsa Efiom), Edidem Essien Ekpe Oku V (Oku Atai),,Edidem Bassey Eyo Ephraim Adam III (Okoho Efiom and now Edidem Otu Ekpenyong•Effa IX (Ukpong Atai), each succeeding the other in a single strengthened line of kingship as Grand Patriarch and Paramount Ruler of all the Efik people.
*Etuboms are the Heads of Houses and King makers. The most senior or eldest Etubom In each clan is the IBUOT OBIO or CLAN HEAD. The Obong is selected from among the
In the coronation ceremonial rituals, specific functions, for example, the ABLUTION or ANOINTING WITH OIL before the crowning of the new king, are traditionally performed by the Clan Heads or by designated members of their Houses.
*The Etik Royal Lineage goes back to antiquity. It is the ‘ oldest known and recorded dynasty on this side of the River Niger.
Its ancient origin, Its unmistaken and undisputed lineage to the present day, confers on It a most distinct position which has been recognized in and outside Nigeria.
*Inspite of the above, one cannot consider the Efik monarchy simply as an ancient throne on which sits a king. To the Efiks the King was and still Is a sacred priest (a concept still adhered to by Bini, Ife and Ashanti). The Efik people from the grass roots are governed by a sacred trinity of the Throne the Ekpe and the Ndem. Some have called this the Efik Tripod. The throne with Its king, is protected by the great powers of the Ekpe and Ndem each with its powers and independent conclave.