By Simeon OSAJIE
President Bola Tinubu has vowed to protect Benin artefacts which were returned to the country from different parts of the world as a way of archiving the history of the people.
President Tinubu made the assertion when he received His Royal Majesty, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Ewuare II, the Oba of Benin Kingdom and other traditional rulers from the 18 local government areas of the state at the Government House, Abuja.
The President congratulated the Benin monarch for the retrieval of the stolen artefacts, commending his effort in ensuring that a befitting museum is built to archive the rich history and traditions of the Benin Kingdom.
In a statement by Dele Alake, Special Adviser to President Tinubu on Special Duties, communications and Strategy, was quoted as saying, “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.”
President Tinubu said 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.
In his address, 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).