By Press Unit
Attention of the leaders and stakeholders of COALITION OF BENIN SOCIO CULTURAL ORGANIZATIONS has been drawn to Governor Obaseki statement where he asserted that he doesn’t have conflict with our revered Monarch over his proposed Emababa EMOWAA.
Sincerely, we were shocked that His Excellency, Godwin Obaseki asserted that he doesn’t have any issue nor quarrel with our revered Oba of Benin Kingdom whereas when he organised a Stakeholders engagement meeting regarding his proposed EMOWAA phase 1, he didn’t involve our revered Palace.
His Excellency Sir, you didn’t only have issue or conflict with our revered Monarch over your Émababa EMOWAA, you also have issue with all the Benins’ for always disrespecting and undermining our revered Palace, Throne and Benin Kingdom.
For avoidance of doubt, the word EMOWAA is alien to us as Benin people. Having been at the forefront of advocating and assisting our revered Palace, Throne and Benin Kingdom to ensure that our stolen Artifacts are returned to Palace, we wish to state the positions of the entire Benin race which are as follows:
- We would like to ask His Excellency, who owns the proposed Edo Museum of West African Art(EMOWAA) which is alien to the Benin race??
Is the proposed EMOWAA project owned by the Edo State Government or owned by your Private Venture called Legacy Restoration Trust Ltd?
If Edo Museum of West African Art (EMOWAA) belongs to your Private Venture known as Legacy Restoration Trust Ltd with its Office in Lagos, then why are you as our Governor treating it as a Government project using state resources?
- We also would want to inquire from His Excellency, why you reneged on your earlier promise regarding the Benin Royal Museum in 2018 when you supported the idea of a Benin Royal Museum before the EMOWAA idea came from the blues.
We had expected His Excellency to be a man of his words because EMOWAA wasn’t what you discussed with our revered Monarch and other prominent Benin Elders in 2018.
His Excellency Sir, Reneging on your words is tantamount to betrayal of public trust.
- We would like to point out to His Excellency that irrespective of reneging on your words in support of the Benin Royal Museum, we have nothing against your plans to build Museums or set up privately owned ventures like Legacy Restoration Trust LTD, building Museums as long as the Artifacts that will constitute the proposed Museums are not part of the stolen Historical Benin Artifacts which are the Cultural Heritage of the Benin people which out rightly belongs to the our revered Oba of Benin Kingdom as the custodian of Benin Cultural, Customs, and Traditions whom we earlier said that these Artifacts were made for our Ancestors by the various Royal guilds of Benin, and was looted from Oba Ovonranmwen in 1897.
And it has already been settled as at last year that the proposed Benin Royal Museum would take custody of these Benin Artifacts on behalf of his Majesty not EMOWAA the flagship project of your Legacy Restoration Trust LTD.
His Excellency Sir, as long as these Historical Benin Artifacts will not constitute the Artifacts of the proposed EMOWAA Museum, then we have nothing against your EMOWAA but as long as these stolen Benin Artifacts are what will constitute your proposed EMOWAA, then consider it as pipedream because we will collectively resist such move.
We will like to remind His Excellency that your position as the Executive Governor of Edo state is time bound but our revered Palace, Throne and Benin Kingdom not time bound, so whatever decision you take, the long term effect is what we are looking at.
His Excellency Sir, it is Benin Royal MUSEUM, the entire Benin race want and not your Émababa EMOWAA !!
- Why is the Executive Director of the proposed EMOWAA an Igbo Man, Mr. Philip Ihanacho?
His Excellency, we would like to ask you and the Legacy Restoration Trust Ltd, are there no Benins’ that are qualified for the position of Executive Director in the proposed Edo Museum of West African Art(EMOWAA) that is to be established in Benin City?
We expected that as a Benin Man, His Excellency would have appointed
Edo Person to chair his private venture, Legacy Restoration Trust Ltd in-order to protect the Edo interest and use it as an opportunity to train young Edo people in that field which is a component of the course at hand.
- If the primary intention of the proposed Edo Museum of West African Art (EMOWAA) is to promote Benin Cultural Heritage, then is it not proper that an Edo person occupies such position?
- We also learnt that the proposed site of the proposed EMOWAA is Ogbe-Ezoti.
His Excellency Sir, we all know that land mass of Edo South is not small, and that Ogbe-Ezoti happens to be an important Historical and Cultural Site in Benin Kingdom and that of the Oba of Benin.
His Excellency Sir, are you not aware that Ogbe-Ezoti (Aro-Ezoti) is one of the Cultural and Historical Sites in Benin Kingdom?
Why would you destroy a legacy in an attempt to create another?
Are there no other locations/lands in whole of Edo South that is suitable?
- His Excellency Sir, we hope that Benin Artifacts manufactured by the Royal guilds of Benin for the Obas’ of Benin in pre colonial times which was looted from the Royal Palace of Benin in 1897 will not be part of what the proposed EMOWAA that you intend to store in its custody?
We want to state unequivocally that these Benin Artifacts belongs to his Royal Majesty, Oba of Benin Kingdom and the entire Benin Kingdom.
Just like the proverbial saying goes Aigbuobasimwin Aiguobatile.
For clarity, our revered Oba of Benin Kingdom is the owner of these Benin artifacts.
- If the Governor is so much keen in developing the Art and Tourism sector, then it is proper thing for you to liaise with the our revered Oba who would give the nod to these royal guilds of Benin Artisans in order to collaborate with the government in replicating these stolen Artifacts, and even producing other Artifacts for the Edo State Government for your EMOWAA.
We also believe that since His Excellency is keen on promoting Benin Arts and Culture which is realistic and profitable for you to do in actualizing the establishment an Edo State Art Gallery.
Mr. Osazee Amas- Edobor
Mr. Iyamu Osaro Culture
Maxist Kola Edokpayi
Public Relations Officer
Comrade Osaze Eriamiantoe
Director of Planning
Director of Gender Affairs
Comrade Collins A. Osaghae
Director of Operations
Mr. Justice Amafe
Director of Research
Mr. Esoesa Omoregbe
Director of Mobilizations
Mr. Samuel Normamuikor
Director of Public Complaint.
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