BY SIMON EBEGBULEM
BENIN — THE Iyase of Benin Kingdom, Chief Sam Igbe and the Solomon Edebiri Centre for Change, yesterday, called for the return of stolen Bini artifacts by the British, noting that for the injustice done to the Benin Kingdom to be addressed, the British must pay compensation to the Binis.
Speaking at the centenary celebration of Oba Ovonramwen N’Ogbaisi, organised by the Solomon Edebiri Centre for Change, he noted that the artifacts could be repatriated through the collaboration of the various agencies concerned.
He stressed the need for the British to adequately compensate the Benin Kingdom for the artifacts that were plundered. He also called on sons and daughters of the kingdom to join in the agitation, saying “the fight for the return of our stolen artifacts must be sustained and must be realised. The Binis are known to be fighters and we will continue to seek for what belongs to us. That is the only way we can sustain our culture and heritage and we will not relent until we succeed.”
On the centenary celebration, he said that it was aimed at renewing certain aspects of the historical and cultural heritage of the Benin Kingdom, adding that the event would also place “the Benin Kingdom on the world map again, because this is one of the greatest kingdoms and we must always remind the world of our contributions.”
Collaborating the position of Chief Edebiri on the issue, Chief Igbe stressed that the people of the kingdom must use all legal means to ensure the return of their stolen artifacts.
He noted that Oba Ovonramwen was worth celebrating because he sacrificed a lot to keep the kingdom united.
Present at the event were the Obong of Calabar, royal fathers from Edo, Akwa Ibom and Cross River states.