Nigerian in diaspora writes C’River governor over proposal to rename street named after Scottish missionary

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Richard Duke, a Glasgow resident and postgraduate researcher from Cross River in Nigeria has written the executive governor a letter titled, Rev. Hugh Goldie versus Emperor Ayade, in respect of the proposal to rename a street in the state capital metropolis, Calabar, after a demised politician, Esther Bassey.

The affected street is Goldie Street named after a foreign missionary. According to Duke, Reverend Hugh Goldie has accomplished more than the executive governor, Ben Ayade.


“Do not destroy the ancient landmarks that your fathers erected.” -Proverbs 22:28

“Never correct your adversaries when they are making a mistake” – Bonaparte, Napoleon

Greetings, Governor Ayade!

I am writing this letter to you in the twilight of your reign with the deepest sense of regret. Since you tried to convince the entire nation of Nigeria in 2020 that there was no Covid-19 case in Cross River State, I have made every effort to refrain from responding to your antics. However, it appears that you have a history of tripping over your own feet, causing harm to your 8 year-old pseudo-legacy in the process.

The historical traditions of Calabar have been utterly destroyed by you. You tore down portions of the oldest hospital in Eastern Nigeria, St. Margaret’s Hospital. You have left Calabar in an unrecognisable ecological state, worse than when you arrived in 2015. You also appear to be obsessed with the prefix “Cala.”

The majority of the factories and warehouses you are leaving behind have the prefix “Cala” What does the term Calas Vegas even mean? Cala-Ayade has been added to the “Cala” prefix list for your consideration; it means Calamity Ayade.

Only a calamitous Ayade would alter the name of Goldie Street to Esther Bassey Street without any knowledge of the city’s history. There is nothing improper about naming streets after public officials, but the selection of Goldie Street is inappropriate.

Rev Hugh Goldie has had a greater impact on the development of Calabar and the Efik language than any State Governor or Calabar local government chairman, including yourself, Governor Ayade.

Goldie’s tomb in Calabar the state capital metropolis

Rev. Goldie authored the first Efik Bible and also developed the first Efik alphabet/orthography. During his 49 years of missionary service, he taught many other missionaries including Mary Slessor the Efik language and he died and was buried in Calabar.

I have attached a picture of Rev. Goldie’s tombstone here for your attention, which is inscribed with an epitaph lauding his good deeds in Calabar. I am very certain he will not be pleased with you.

Goldie Street is one of the historical landmarks that should not be tampered with. You have 48 hours to withdraw your proposal to rename Goldie Street. Otherwise, we will be compelled to obtain a restraining order against you to prevent you from taking any rash executive actions detrimental to the historical integrity of Calabar during your final 30 days in power. So assist us, God.

N/B: It is unnecessary to request Christian Ita to respond on your behalf.
Best respects.