Nigeria’s President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu has pledged to protect Benin artefacts returned to the country from different parts of the world as a way of archiving the history of the people.
Speaking when he received the Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo Ewuare II, and other traditional leaders from Edo State at the Presidential Villa on Friday, the President assured them that his administration would support the Benin Royal Council in its bid to establish a museum that will house the artefacts.
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.
“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,” he said.
President Tinubu said the Nigerian 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 President for his appointment as Pro-Chancellor of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN).
Speaking to State House Correspondents, the Olugbon of Orile-Igbon, Oba Francis Olusola Alao, who also paid a separate visit to President Tinubu, appealed to Nigerians to be patient as the country will thrive again under the leadership of President Tinubu.
“We paid a courtesy visit to the President to wish him well, a successful tenure and also we’ve been able to discuss some national issues that will bring prosperity to all Nigerians.
“All I will say is, let all Nigerians be patient with him. He has kicked started on a very positive direction and there’s no way you’ll have gains without pain.
“We’ll have the immediate pain, but we’ll have the long term gain. Nigerians will enjoy prosperity at the end of the day, this government means business and the business is to serve the people, to bring the dividends of democracy to the people.
“All the issues we have discussed are very positive about this government. I wish Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, a successful tenure. I wish Nigeria a peaceful coexistent country, a prosperous nation and fulfilled country, by the special grace of God,” he said.