From Tony Osauzo, Benin
A coalition of Benin Youth groups, yesterday, kicked against plans by Edo Governor, Godwin Obaseki, to build Edo Museum of West African Arts (EMOWAA) that will house stolen artefacts to be repatriated from abroad.
The governor had, last week, during a 2021 management retreat of the National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM) in Benin, unveiled plans for the Benin City Cultural District and EMOWAA Pavilion.
But the leadership of the youth groups in a joint statement signed by the President, National Union of Edo South Youth, Osaghae Collins; President, Benin Solidarity Movement, Curtis Ugbo, and President, One Love Foundation, Patrick Elohor, vowed to resist attempt by the state government to preside or decide where the artefacts to be received will to be housed.
Rather the group supported the Royal Museum proposed by the Oba of Benin to be built directly opposite the Oba of Benin palace, adding that any “structure that must be erected must get an approval and must be guided by the Royal home of the Oba of Benin.
“The major stakeholders in the affairs of Benin Kingdom have agreed and designed/proposed a place that will store the Benin artefacts.
“That the board set up by Godwin Obaseki (EMOWAA) is an attempt to re-loot and steal the artefacts for the second time and we demand the dissolution with immediate effect.
The Benin Traditional Council, the Oba of Benin must oversee every activity as it concerns the return of the artefacts.”