By Prince Acquah
Cape Coast, March 02, GNA-The Cape Coast Youth Development Association (CCYDA) has cut the sod for the construction of a bronze statue in honour of the late Osabarimba Kodwo Mbra V, the immediate past Oguaamanhen.
The monument, a symbol of unity and peace, would stand on a hexagonal pedestal at London Bridge, the Centre of Cape Coast, providing link roads to the Cape Coast Castle, the Emintsimadze Palace, the new Kotokoraba Market and other notable sites.
The enclave of the statue in memory of the longest reigning chief of the ancient city, would also be designated as a tourist site and handed over to the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board when completed to boost tourism.
The project being funded by Dr James Condua Orleans-Lindsay, the Executive Chairman of JL Property and Chief Patron of the Association, is expected to be completed in three months.
Dr Orleans-Lindsay and Osabarimba Kwesi Atta II, Oguaamanhen jointly cut the sod at a short ceremony on Wednesday amidst loud cheers from the people.
Mr Stephen Doffoe Forson, also known as Cole Arthur, Assemblyman for Kru-Town Electoral Area and leader of CCYDA, said the gesture formed part of activities marking the Association’s 12th anniversary.
He said the decision to honour the late chief was informed by his achievements and the need to have a traditional monument in Cape Coast.
“This will promote walking tourism in particular, and because of where we are siting it, it will provide a three-way approach and a conducive viewing experience for tourists,” he said.
Osabarimba Kwesi Atta, eulogising his predecessor, observed that the gesture should have been done long ago but it was never too late.
“Osabarimba Kodwo Mbra V did his part for Cape Coast in his 48-year reign, and we are commemorating him today for his good works, dedication, achievements and humility,” he noted.
He also commended Cole Arthur and Dr Orleans-Lindsay for their dedication to the development of Cape Coast, adding that they have demonstrated that they truly love Cape Coast and urged all to emulate their good works to move our city forward.
Dr Orleans-Lindsay described the move to immortalise the memory of Osabarimba Mbra as a decent cause and hence, his commitment to the project.
“Osabarimba did not ask for his statue to be done first. He rather pushed for his predecessor’s which for me is an indication of his selflessness.
“Everything is paid for, and we want to finish it before the Fetu Afahye. I am experienced in the work and so I will make sure a quality work is done,” he added.
Dr Orleans-Lindsay pledged his unflinching commitment to the development if his ‘hometown’, saying it was his responsibility as an indigene to do promote the growth of the area.
He urged other successful people from Cape Coast to return home and contribute to the development of the city.
“Cape Coast can only be and must be developed by the indigenes and not strangers. Rome was not built in a day but it was built day by day. Together, we can drive this city to its destination if we all do the little we can,” he said.
Osabarimba Kodwo Mbra V, known in private life as Kofi Kakraba, was enstooled as chief in 1948 following the abdication of Nana Kodwo Mbra IV, (Kofi Panyin).
His reign was said to be peaceful, characterised by wisdom, show of sympathy and foresightedness despite pockets of chieftaincy disputes in Cape Coast at the time.
Under him, many educational institutions that were in existence thrived and excelled while many new ones, including the University of Cape Coast, were established.
It was also during his time that the High Court, Centre for National Culture and Ministries buildings were put up and he also initiated the construction of the Central Regional Hospital.
One Major landmark in Osabirimba Mbra’s reign, history said, was the revival of the Oguaa Fetu Afahye in 1964 after it was abolished in 1934 by the colonial administration because of the constant wars by the Asafo companies.
He passed away in August 1996 after 48 years on the throne.
Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info).