Home Uncategorized Efik kingdom kicks Over Plans To Rename Historical Goldie Street

Efik kingdom kicks Over Plans To Rename Historical Goldie Street

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Andy Esiet, Calabar 

The Efik Kingdom in Cross River state has kicked against alleged plans by the state government to rename historical Goldie street in Calabar after the immediate past late Chairman of Calabar South Local Government Council, Esther Bassey.

Bassey died on February 24, the eve of the presidential election this year and was interred on Friday, April 28, in a private cemetery at Adiabo, Calabar amidst tears from relations, political colleagues, freinds and others.

A prominent Efik son, Mr. Gershom Davis said he heard such plans by the state government to rename Goldie street in honour of the departed Chairman of Calabar South council and “my immediate reaction was must we dishonor past achievers in order to elevate current ones? Why can’t we go through her records and pick one of the several things she must have done and use it to honour her?” .

Davis stated that “Goldie Street stands as befitting memorial for a man who spent 48 years of his life in Old Calabar contributing immensely to the religious and social emancipation of the people.

He is highly revered by the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria, Christians all over the world , and the people of Old Calabar in General.

“We should learn to eschew sentiments and rein in our emotions when taking actions in the public sphere” .

Going down memory lane, Davis said Rev. Hugh Goldie, born in Scotland moved to Calabar with his wife on the 16th of June 1847 to commence mission work after he was ordained for the African Mission by the Falmouth Presbytery on July 17, 1846.

He said that Rev Goldie spent about 48 years of his life labouring in the mission fields of Old Calabar and was a prolific writer and translator whose works include “the  “Iko nkpo oro emi ewetde ke Akani Testament”, Little Efik catechism, Small Hymn book in Efik, translation of the New Testament in Efik (1862), translated the English dictionary into Efik (1864), wrote the Calabar and its Mission ( the authoritative record of the activities of the early missionaries)”.

Goldie according to Davis carried out the first act of public baptism at Creek Town on 16th October 1853 when he publicly baptized the legendary Esien Esien Ukpabio who “became the first native teacher, and afterwards pastor, and the ” father ” of the Missionary Presbytery of Biafra.

He said Goldie is credited with constituting the “Old Calabar Mission Committee” into the first Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria on 1st September 1858, commenced the Presbyterian Mission at Ikoneto in July 1856 and was part of the team that carried out preliminary survey in 1850  for the expansion of the mission to Uwet. He died in Calabar on 18th of August 1895 and is buried here.

Another Efik son, Dr Emmanuel Adams said, ” our government for long not just now are insensitive to history and milestones and even if they rename Goldie, people will never call it Esther street”

He said, “streets like White House was renamed Dan Archibong, Fosbry to Nelson Mandela, Mayne Avenue to Inyang Henshaw, Marian road extension to Ndidem Usang Iso road and MCC to Liyel Imoke road yet no one calls those streets as renamed or recognizes them as such, hence our governments should learn .

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