Youth Group Demands Construction of Benin Royal Museum

A youth group under the Coalition of Benin Socio-Cultural Organisation have protested over the planned establishment of the Edo Museum of West African Arts, EMOWAA, by the state government.

They urged the sons and daughters of Benin and the palace of the Oba of Benin to start building the Benin Royal Museum, which the Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, had suggested to hold the artefacts that had been looted by the British in 1897 and were anticipated to be returned to the palace.

The group claimed that the march took them from the historic Benin Arousa Church on Akpakpava Road to the palace of the Oba of Benin and then to the proposed location for the museum, which is direct across from the palace. The march was led by the group’s Coordinator General, Osaze Amos-Edobor.

The group, who carried banners with many slogans, claimed that Obaseki’s EMOWAA was foreign to them.

Speaking, Secretary of the group, Osaro Iyamu, said: “Today, we are here to inform our great Oba, the Oba of Benin Kingdom, to appeal to him not to be deterred, not to be disturbed. We appeal to him to commence work on the proposed Benin Royal Museum. We are demanding that work should commence next week.

“We have great sons and daughters who have the wherewithal, and we are also using this medium to advise them and appeal to them to join the palace to commence the construction of Benin Royal Museum. It is only the Benin Royal Museum that we, the Edo people know.

“We are at the permanent site for the museum to show to the world that Omo N’Oba already has a place for the construction of the Benin Royal Museum, which is just opposite the palace. We don’t know any other museum for our artefacts apart from this.

“We want to also thank President Muhammadu Buhari for giving his nod to ensure that our artefacts are given the rightful recognition and the necessary support.

“We call on all Benin to support this project as we expect more to be returned because we know some have been returned and taken back to where they were stolen from. We are expecting more than 1000 from the German government.”

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