If there is a friends of Governor Ben Ayade team please tell your mentor what a NATIONAL

MONUMENT means. This harassment of the Old Residency Museum was at first to me like a joke when I heard about it early last year. I’m shocked it is still ongoing.

How can any literate person signify wanting to “relocate” a piece of history under any guise? So I gather it was quickly realised it can’t be touched by the State so that dream ended fast…
When this ludicrous tactic did not work I gather last month the police on a tip from the state that HOODLUMS and CRIMINALS gather at the popular museum sit out raided the place and carted people away. Unfortunately they grabbed civil servants, perm secs, directors, lawyers because of course there were no hoodlums to be found.

Let me break this down… aside from food, drinks and relaxation the Old Residency Museum is a SCRABBLE AND CHESS headquarters for Cross River. Yes a board game haven.
Of course everyone was released. Now I hear the state is shutting down the relaxation spot at the museum and is offering to provide land to relocate the bar area. WHY? This is a Govt that claims to care about small businesses, if it isn’t introducing new mind boggling taxes it is this sort of debacle.

Events at the venue have been stopped and now SECURITY IS TURING OUR CROSS RIVER SCHOOL CHILDREN AT THE GATE OF A NATIONAL MUSEUM IN A STATE THAT CLAIMS TO BE INTERESTED IN HISTORY AND TOURISM Who wants to run anything where guests can be raided without explanation?

Tourism has almost been destroyed in the state most prepared for it in Nigeria the last 2 years. The Museum kitchen area is a spot I and members of the Memories band brought back to life and ran a live music joint from for years. We replaced the rat eaten electric wires. My office was there. It hurts me to hear all the small businesses there are shut down, livelihood lost and people deprived of hanging out at one of the few well kept PEACEFUL public spaces in Calabar.

And all for what? Because a Governors numerous aides, 2000 and over, cannot tell him the truth, that a National Monument cannot be re purposed by a State no matter how much the people are harassed under “security” ploys. Shutting down Museums income streams and access under the ploy of security will not make that location available. All it does is rob our children of thier history and businesses and the state of revenue and tourists.

I ran the Youth Development Zone training there for 7 years…Over a thousand attendees total. I imagine going there now to this.

Does ANYONE in Calabar believe the place is a den of thieves? SPEAKING UP IS NECESSARY SO PEOPLE PLEASE JUST DO IT!

What a mess, Lets assume its “relocated”. Not just the bar… everything….
what is to be done with one of the 1st administrative headquarters of Nigeria, what will be done with Oba Obvaramnwens and Jaja’s relocation point before exile by the Colonial Government? What is this?

When the Federal Government through National Museum and Monument makes it clear who runs things, I hope I won’t read a barrage of badly written political conspiracy theories here.
That sad, tragic, painful thing is we have REAL security challenges in Cross River that remain untouched.

By the way, under Governor Duke and Governor Imoke the Old Residency Museum enjoyed some small intermittent support. Now look at us. SHAME

UPDATE: I hear part of Hope Wadel land within the same part of town has been seized for some strange construction by the Governor. Hope Wadel Training Institute started in 1895. Nnamdi Azikiwe went there. What is going on?

Pamela Braide is a Development and Communications Consultant

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