Obaseki to cooperate with Oba of Benin on returning artefacts

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The Edo state government has promised to cooperate with the Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Ewuare II  to secure the returning artworks.

This is in relation to the recent controversies surrounding the final destination of the looted artefacts returning to the country from some European countries

The Edo State government has said there was no conflict of interest between it and the Oba of Benin over the artefacts, adding that the seeming negative perception was unfortunate.

Osarodion Ogie, the Secretary to State Government, SSG, Edo State in a statement yesterday said: “The publicity being given the issues creates a wrong impression of conflict between the government and the Oba of Benin, His Majesty, Oba Ewuare II.

“The Edo State government and the governor have always acted transparently and in consonance with existing federal and state laws in all matters relating to the proposed return of the artefacts and monuments.

“The actions of the state government thus far on this issue have been driven by selfless, patriotic considerations and in the best interest of Edo State and Edo people.

“Governor Godwin Obaseki has displayed and will continue to display immense respect for our traditional institutions and, therefore, will continue to make effort to secure a private audience with His Royal Majesty to discuss his concerns.

“The governor has, consequently, ordered that on no account should anyone, whether in government or acting independently, engage in disrespectful exchanges and/or altercation with our revered Royal Majesty and the Benin Royal Palace.

“Governor Obaseki, meanwhile, expresses his gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari, Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed and other officials of the Federal Government for their patriotic and tireless efforts that have brought us to the verge of this eagerly anticipated achievement which has remained elusive for a century.

“While thanking and congratulating the Federal Government, the president, the minister, the Royal Palace of the Oba of Benin and all stakeholders, who have contributed to the successes so far recorded in this endeavour, the governor assures that he will continue to work assiduously with all local and international stakeholders for the eventual and final return of these valued records of our great and glorious heritage back to Benin City for the benefit of all Edo people, Nigerians and the black race.”

Stephanie .S /Vanguard

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