The Cross River State Government has begun remodeling of some of its monuments erected at public places within the Calabar metropolis.
Commissioner for Environment, Mr Mfon Bassey, said this during an inspection of the monuments on Thursday, May 14, 2020 in Calabar, the state capital.
He described the remodeling as one of the ways of preserving and giving the monuments a face-lift.
Bassey said that some of the monuments were already defaced and needed a new design to complement the green and clean environment of Calabar metropolis.
He said that Gov. Ben Ayade approved the remodeling of the monuments in order to sustain and beautify them.
The commissioner said the Coat of Arms monument would have a new design when fully completed.
“What we are doing is total remodelling of these monuments erected at public places, especially those on the roundabouts.
“Calabar is an ancient city and some of these monuments speak volume in the description of a particular area in Calabar.
“For instance, it is very easy to locate the Mary Slessor roundabout monument, the Coat of Arms roundabout, Calabar-Calabar roundabout, the Monolith roundabout and Destination Cross River roundabout.
“All these roundabouts were beautifully designed with historical monuments. What we have just embarked on is total remodeling of these monuments to give them a new facelift,” he said.
Mr Anthony Akinbola, the Chief Executive Officer of Masta Price Production Company, who designed the roundabouts in 2010, said Calabar had historical monuments that represented humanity and history.
Akinbola, a virtual artist and the contractor re-modelling the monuments, said that his company specialised in beautification of iconic monuments for public spaces in Nigeria.
He said the Coat of Arms monument in Calabar was erected in 2010 to celebrate Nigeria’s golden jubilee.
“Calabar as a town is one of the few historic cities that you cannot neglect when writing the story of Nigeria; having been a capital city of Nigeria.
“The Coat of Arm is a national monument and Calabar is the only state with a 3D Coat of Arms. It is a thing of pride for the state.
“The celebration in 2010 was a beautiful one. But, 10 years after, Cross River remains the only state with the Coat of Arms, displaying the unity and strength of the country.’’
According to Akinbola, the Coat of Arms is designed to capture the moment of the nation’s golden jubilee celebration in 2010.
On the late Mary Slessor roundabout, he said the monument was designed to showcase the initiative of Slessor who stopped the killing of twins in Africa.
He said that such monuments inspired patriotism, unity and nationalism.
The Coat of Arms in Calabar is situated close to the Old Residency Museum.
The residency was the first “State House” in Nigeria and close to the Governors official residence and the Nigerian Navy Victory Ship.
By George Odok