Wednesday, 17 July 2024.

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Cross River: Slave History Museum is no vendor in Marina Resort – Curator

By Chris Njoku

Mrs Omawunmi Ofumaka, Curator of the Slave History Museum, domiciled in the Marina Resort Calabar, has disclosed that the museum was not a vendor in the resort.

Ofumaka made the assertion on Friday during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Calabar.

The curator was reacting to the statement of Mr Ojoi Ekpenyong Managing Director, Cross River Tourism Bureau that the museum should pay N100,000 monthly as an electricity bill for being in the resort.

She said while there were many vendors in the resort, carrying out different activities and making money, the museum was not a money-making venture.

She said what museums do is to hold the culture and beliefs of the people of a particular society to prevent an extinction of their heritage, that was why states should support their museums.

“When the former administration in the state built the museum and handed it over to the Federal Government, it was the mother of the resort to remind the people of the scourge of the slave trade and not a revenue point.

“It was a baby project of the administration of former Gov. Donald Duke and successive governments have come and supported the museum; we have never paid bills here and we are not on rent in the museum building,” she said.

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While commending Gov. Bassey Otu for his support to the Old Residency Museum in Calabar, she expressed her disappointment with the statement by the MD Tourism Bureau that the museum should pay so much, monthly for electricity.

She said at the end of every month’s expenses, what was left with the museum was usually a little above N20,000 because not many people visited the museum and many did beg to be admitted for as low as N200 sometimes.

According to her, the National Museum and Monuments own over 46 museums in the nation more than half of which were built by states and none pays such an amount for electricity to run the museum.

She urged the state government to partner more with the Slave History Museum to ensure the preservation of the cultural heritage of the people and not come up with policies that could destroy it.

On his part, Mr Steven Azele, the Curator of the Old Residency Museum said the Slave History Museum was not a business centre but to provide services to schools and the community.

Azele who was a former curator of the Slave History Museum noted that former MDs of the Tourism Bureau had supported the Slave History Museum and that the present administration should continue on that part.

He called on the government of Cross River to call the Tourism Bureau to order adding that if the Slave History Museum was closed down it would affect the resort negatively.

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Christian Njoku
Christian Njoku
Christian Njoku is a journalist with an eye for stories that foster growth and development. His wealth of experience cannot be compared to any other as he is always on top of stories that bring about positive change in society.

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