In a recent meeting at the State House, Abuja, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu reaffirmed the commitment of the federal government to safeguard Benin artefacts that have been returned to Nigeria from various parts of the world. The President, while receiving the Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo Ewuare II, and other traditional leaders from Edo State, expressed his administration’s support for the establishment of a museum dedicated to housing these priceless artefacts.
The statement, released by Dele Alake, the Special Adviser to the President on Special Duties, Communications, and Strategy, highlighted President Tinubu’s congratulations to the Benin monarch for the successful retrieval of the stolen artefacts. The President commended the efforts of the Benin Royal Council in preserving the rich history and traditions of the Benin Kingdom by spearheading the establishment of a museum that will serve as a repository for these significant cultural treasures.
President Tinubu’s assurance of federal protection for the returned Benin artefacts underscores the government’s recognition of their historical and cultural importance. This commitment reflects a broader effort to preserve and archive the heritage of the Benin people, ensuring that future generations can appreciate and learn from their remarkable past.
“It deserves our protection. We are glad to have them back, and we are glad you are happy. They are in protective custody. It is a matter of history, over a hundred years. We will work on the museum,” the President said.
President Tinubu disclosed that the Federal Government is currently undertaking an audit of its infrastructure projects, promising to ensure that roads in Edo State are considered in line with a request made by the traditional ruler.
Oba Ewuare II commended President Tinubu for the giant strides of his administration within its first weeks.
“We’ve predicted that you would hit the ground running and you have done so, even faster than we thought,” the royal father said.
He said the steps taken by the President since his inauguration on May 29, 2023 had renewed the hope of Nigerians and put the country on the path to progress and development.
The monarch appealed to President Tinubu to help the Benin Palace to ensure that the artefacts returned are not stolen or taken over from the Benin Royal House.
Oba Ewuare II thanked the Federal Government for his appointment as Pro-Chancellor of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN).