Wetin Our Roundabouts Do Na?

Reading Time: 2 minutes

After the demolition of the vaults at the Eleven-Eleven roundabout in Calabar, Cross River State, which was named after the Armistice Day when World War I (1914-1918) ended at the 11th hour on the morning of the 11th day in the 11th month of 1918, and replacing same with a statue of the Holy Bible, the replica of the monoliths at the Zone 6 Roundabout in Calabar have become the latest victim. They have been demolished and sources say they will be replaced with another “church image.” But our people need to have an idea of what thinking was behind these treasures that are going down.

The monoliths sculpture at Zone 6 roundabout was designed and built by RCCG Pastor Anthony Akinbola, a famous Nigerian artist who has many significant sculptural works in Abuja, Lagos, Kaduna, Abeokuta, Akure and Calabar. He also held exhibitions and was commissioned to do some works in the USA where he had relocated to and was a pastor in the New City Church ,GA. He was contracted by the Duke administration.

He was one of few highly accomplished and celebrated artists invited to make proposals for the roundabouts in Calabar and eventually won the Commission to install the Calabar- Calabar Roundabout near Navy Hospital, the Monoliths near Zone 6, the Drummer by Efio Ette junction and Welcome to Calabar revolving sculpture at 8 miles roundabout.

The idea behind the Monoliths roundabout was to show that Calabar is a cosmopolitan city and center of unity for the entire Cross River State, by celebrating the world’s iconic and famous Monoliths found in Alok in Ikom LGA and other northern parts.

These Monoliths are a heritage, cherished by the whole world, and demonstrate that Africans had a civilisation which developed its own writing and kept records more than 3000 years ago.

The Pastor died in America in February this year after a 2 year long battle with cancer. It is a tragedy that this precious work of art has again been destroyed and we don’t know which one is next.

Our eagerness to replace our history with church imagery smacks of striving to be more Catholic than the Pope and I humbly advise we slow down and have a rethink.


Yours sincerely,

Citizen Agba Jalingo.