Restoration of Hope Waddell’s premier building awaiting Presidential approval – Curator

 The restoration of the premier building at the Hope Waddell Training Institute (HOWAD), Calabar is still awaiting Presidential assent, Mrs Evelyn Osuagwu, Curator, National Museum, Old Residency Building, Calabar, has said.

Osuagwu made the disclosure in Calabar in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)

HOWAD was founded by missionaries from the United Presbyterian Church of Scotland in 1895 and was named after Rev. Hope Masterton Waddell.

Some of the notable alumni of the school included Dr Akanu Ibiam, Medical Missionary and Governor of defunct  Eastern Region, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, Nigeria’s first President, among others.

NAN reports that the premier building was declared a national monument during Nigeria’s centenary celebration.

The curator said that the museum has reported the state of the premier building to the appropriate authorities.

According to her, there is little or nothing the museum can do without funds even though a proper documentation of the building has been done.

“The premier building in Hope Waddell was one of the monuments declared and still awaiting Presidential approval.

“In Cross River, we have five among the 100 monuments declared during the centenary, which included the European Cemetery, Mary Slessor’s House, Oban Hills, Creek Town Presbyterian Church and the famous Hope Waddell Premier Building.

“It is important to note that this declaration has to pass through the National Assembly. This has been done; it is awaiting Presidential approval.

“Immediately that is done, it becomes a national monument like the Old Residency Building declared a national monument in 1959,’’ Osuagwu said.

She also said that in Heritage Management, even though a national monument has become the property of the Federal Government, individuals, private organisations and state governments were stakeholders.

“You cannot leave the management of a heritage site with the Federal Government alone, so I am impressed that the old students of that institution have taken it upon themselves to restore that building to prevent it from total collapse. (NAN)