By Ola Ajayi, Ibadan
A two-time senator at the National Assembly, Iyiola Omisore and some archaeologists have called on leaders in the country to resuscitate museums by proper and regular funding to make them attraction centres for indigenous and foreign tourists.
They made the call Tuesday during the international museum day at the Museum of National Unity, Ibadan.
Omisore who presented a keynote address at the event suggested that branding and increased social media presence; infusion of technology into display of artefacts, photographs and documents could attract tourists to museums across the country.
Other factors, he feels, could save the dying museums, include introduction of more flexible hours, multiple exhibition facilities; creation of inter school competitions in the museum to arouse the curiosity and research among youths would make museum enjoy good patronage.
While presenting the guest lecture entitled, ” Museums and Contested histories-Saying the Unspeakable in Museums, Dr Ogunfolakan Adisa from the Natural Museum, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife underscored the importance of museums in national development.
According to him, museum plays pivotal role in national development. For instance, the artefacts of Civil War, Kiriji War involving Ijesa and Ibadan which are in our museum will constantly remind us that war is not good and that we should toe the path of peace.
He spoeaking further he said “When I went to Igboland, I saw the technology prowess of Igbo, some war equipment they manufactured during the Civil War, if not for museum which have all these artefacts, how do we know about African technology?”
He lamented that museums across the country are not well funded.
“We have to help these people. In developed world, you see people coming out to help. Our museums in Nigeria are dying. I call on well-meaning Nigerians to come to the aid of museums so that they can perform well,” he said.
The Director General of the National Commission for Museums and Monuments, Mallam Yusuf Abdallah Usman who was represented by the Deputy Director and Curator, National Museum of Unity, Ibadan, Elder Amos Olorunnipa, said, “museums as educational resource centres are veritable institutions for the promotion of creativity, innovation and inventiveness through their exhibitions and programmes”.
He called on institutions that have existed for 50 years to or more to set up museums to document their histories and on schools to make visits to the museum a compulsory part of their teaching process.
This, he added would greatly assist the misunderstanding of the past, an appreciation of the preset and the planning of a better future.
Awards were given to Senator Iyiola Omisore, Mr. Toye Arulogun, Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Dr Newton Jibunoh and Dr Segun Opadeji, Senior Lecturer, Archaeology and Anthropology Department, University of Ibadan.