By Goodluck Ikiebe
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.
Tinubu gave the assurance when he received the Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Ewuare II, and other traditional leaders from Edo State.
The President assured them that his administration would support the Benin Royal Council in its bid to establish a museum to preserve the artefacts.
The President congratulated the Benin monarch for the retrieval of the stolen artefacts, hailing 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,” President Tinubu assured his guests.
“It is a matter of history, over a hundred years. We will work on the museum,” he promised.
President Tinubu said the Federal Government was 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 had commended President Tinubu for the giant strides of his administration within its first weeks in office.
“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 so far taken by the President 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 wrested 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)