Donate historical artefacts, books to NCMM

By Caleb Ayansina

ABUJA—ITSEKIRI Leaders, under the auspices of the Itsekiri Leaders of Thoughts, ILoT, yesterday, showered encomium on Nana Olomu, the last Governor of the Benin River (Itsekiri Country), describing him as a true symbol of African resistance against domination.

They formally handed over some historical artefacts and books relating to Nana Olomu to the National Commission for Museums and Monuments, NCMM, for conservation and promotion of the country’s heritage.

The artefacts, procured from London Museum and donated by ILoT Chairman, Mr Johnson Ayomike, related to the Famous Nana Olomu, the great merchant of the Niger Delta, the last Governor of the Benin River (Itsekiri Country).

Nana vehemently resisted British Imperialism, and the military expedition carried out by the British on Ebrohimi, his hometown in 1894, in the present day Delta State.

Nana Olomu later surrendered in Lagos, was tried and found guilty in their Kangaroo Court of Enquiry in Calabar and sent on exile to Accra, Ghana in the 1890s.

He was allowed to return to Nigeria in 1906, 10 years later, Nanna died peacefully in Koko on July 3, 1916.

To commemorate the 100 years of the death of Nana Olomu, Ayomike in collaboration with ILoT prepared some historical artefacts; Two large framed photographs of Nana Palatial Residence; out-house and stores in Ebrohimi before the expedition of 1894, and four British Warships firing canon on Ebrohimi (air filled with heavy smoke) about a week before the fall of Ebrohimi.

Copies of books relating to Nanna Olomu, and other historical books on Warri and ethnography in the Niger Delta region were also presented.

Presenting the items to the Director General of NCMM on behalf of Ayomike, in Abuja, the Secretary of ILoT, Mr. Edward Ekpoko described Nana Olomu as a true symbol of African resistance to British Imperialism imposed on the African continent.

He reminded the NCMM boss, the role of Ayomike in the establishment of the Nanna Living History Museum in Koko similar to the Mandela House in South Africa, adding that “he (Ayomike) also donated other Nanna artefacts to the University of Benin in 1988.

“This is also in further pursuit of Mr Ayomike’s position that knowledge of history brings a feeling that we are part of a fellowship that runs through the ages from long before our birth to long after our death.”

Responding, the NCMM Boss, Mallam Yusuf Usman said the presentation will help the government ensure proper conservation and promotion of the country’s heritage.

He emphasised the need for the private sector partnership in the preservation of the museum, calling for ethical rebirth among Nigerians to appreciate the country’s past.

Usman noted that the artefacts presented would be placed in National Museum to further expose the heroic deeds of Nana Olomu to the younger generation to promote African culture with the aim of improving the country’s economy.

 

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