Plans have commenced in earnest for the construction of an ultra modern museum in the Opobo Kingdom of Rivers State.
The groundbreaking ceremony for the project, which was held at Opobo town where the museum will be sited, was low keyed as a result of the corona virus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The flag off ceremony for the world class Museum that would house all that Opobo is known for, was marked by a visit to the site of the proposed museum by officials of Opobo Kingdom and the promoter of the project, Deaconess Linda Middleton, who is also the CEO and Founder of Kaleidoscope Business Project LLC, Atlanta Georgia, United States of America (USA).
It was, indeed, a historic and colorful day in Opobo Kingdom and Deaconess Middleton, who is spearheading the project, said the essence of the visit to Opobo was to consolidate on the gains of the 150 Years of Opobo Kingdom Virtual Conference, which took place recently.
During the Virtual Conference, which attracted dignitaries from around the world, Opobo Kingdom was celebrated by all and sundry.
Deaconess Middleton also said that the visit to Opobo was to identify the exact location in the kingdom where the museum would be built and to perform the groundbreaking ceremony.
The project is aimed at preserving the past and present historical and cultural artifacts of Opobo, boosting tourism and collaborating with the Kingdom to accelerate development of the area generally.
Deaconess Middleton, during the visit to Opobo, also spoke on the ties between India and Nigeria, especially the Opobo kingdom, in terms of culture.
On his part, King Dandeson Douglas Jaja, Jeki the fifth, King Jaja of Opobo, expressed confidence that the museum would place Opobo on the global landscape of tourism.
“We are happy about it, we hope that this will mark a new beginning and also be an opportunity to open up Opobo to the world,” he stressed.
He noted that Opobo Kingdom was founded by the famous King Jaja of Opobo in 1870 and is strategically located on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. “There are a lot to take home from here. We have ancient (historical) buildings, statues and a rich history,” he said.
Her Majesty, Mrs. Prudence Dandeson Douglas Jaja, the Queen of Opobo kingdom, in an interview stated that Opobo is a very hospitable place to visit, pointing out that it is part of her role in the Kingdom to teach the women how to take care of visitors.
According to her, she takes care of the women and young ladies, brings them together to teach them how to behave themselves among visitors and how to play their roles as sisters, mothers and friends.
She also said that they have lots of social groups and activities in Opobo that women participate in, stressing that, “we teach our women virtue. When we have celebrations, these women come out en mass to entertain our visitors and we also teach them how to take care of our visitors.
“Opobo is a place where you can come in, go to any home and you will be taken good care of, whether you are known or not known,” she pointed out.
The soon to commence construction of the Museum in Opobo, Deaconess Middleton also said, will be funded with proceeds from the 150 Years of Opobo Celebration fundraising.