NCMM receives 100-year old map of Calabar region from Ireland ambassador
The National Commission for Museum and Monuments (NCMM) on Friday received 100 year-old maps of the Calabar region from the Ireland ambassador, Mr Sean Hoy.
Hoy said that he and the British High Commissioner in Nigeria, Mr Paul Arkwright were at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja to present copies of the maps to the NCMM.
We are here to present the copies of some of the first maps that were produced in Nigeria in Calabar now Cross River State.These maps are very important because so many people that came to Nigeria entered by river; Calabar was the gateway.
I know that many explorers from my country and many of the Irish missionaries set up in Calabar; I think our most famous college in Nigeria is St. Patrick’s College, Calabar.
It was a special place for the Irish people and this map was drawn by an Irish diplomat, Roger Casement; he died over 100 years ago.This year, we are marking the centenary of his passing with the presentation of this map,’’ Hoy said.
In his speech, the British High Commissioner explained that Casement worked in Nigeria as a British diplomat in the 1890s.According to him, Casement was famous throughout the world for his work on human right, especially in Congo.
But he worked in Nigeria as a young diplomat before he went to Congo; in Calabar, he was able to organise for the tanks he built, they were the first for the public water supply for the population in Calabar.
I think that is the indication of his humanitarian service, the second thing we know is that he introduced a number of maps of Calabar,’’ Arkwright said.
In his response, the Director-General of NCMM, Malam Yusuf Usman appreciated Hoy and Arkwright for the presenting the maps.He called on both of them to also extend the same gesture to other cultural objects that had been trafficked to other parts of the world.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the maps are a route from Ekanam Essien to the KWA River, which is the sketch of the country between Okoyon and Okurike and between Itu market and Inokun border.The other is the sketch of the country between the lower coast of the Opobo and Cross River.