BENIN CITY-THE Federal Government has charged Benin people to advance its science and technology skills bequeathed on the Kingdom by their ancestors.
The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu who made the call weekend in Benin City, noted that Benin Kingdom was already advanced in science and technology even before the creation of Nigeria in the area of bronze casting regretted that Edo state had failed to take advantage of that by making that the state a leading light in science and technology in the country.
He stated this at the public presentation of a book entitled “Ogiamien and the Illusion of Kingship in Benin¨ written by the Esogban of Benin Kingdom, Chief David Edebiri.
Dr Onu who declared that he has no doubt that Science and Technology originated from Benin Kingdom, said ¨I have visited the Benin museum and l went to Igun street to see the technology in the casting of these bronze works of arts so as to draw the attention of Nigerians to the importance which our ancestors attached to science and technology.
¨ So that we no longer have any reasons to think that science and technology innovation is not for us but for other people. We need to work harder and improve even on the achievements of our ancestors so that Edo state will be a leading light when it comes to science and technology in Nigeria. Benin Kingdom is already blessed in that regard and that potential must be tapped¨ he stated.
On his part, Governor Godwin Obaseki, commended the author (Chief Edebiri) for setting the record straight with his book calling on other Nigerians to emulate his kind of person and contribute to the survival of the country.
In his opening remarks, Chief Edebiri, noted that the non teaching of history in secondary schools has created wide space for people he described as “Charlatans” to thrive disseminating distorted information to the public, therefore charged the Federal Government to hasten the process of reinstating the teaching of history in secondary schools.
His words: “I am saddened with our growing lack of historical sense. In this regard, I wish to use this opportunity to call on the Federal and State Governments to, as a matter of deliberate national policy, accelerate the process of teaching Nigerian history in all secondary schools across the country.
“In a similar vein, I wish to call on the Federal Government of Nigeria to institute a policy of celebrating books in Nigeria by organising book – fairs that will attract international participation¨. He further admonished the state government to revive reading culture in the state by reviving moribund state and community library services across the state.
Speaking on the book, Edebiri said it is a timely effort to document for posterity the facts of the subject matter that has been of public concern in recent times. Either for lack of knowledge or a deliberate effort at distorting the facts, the Ogiamen phenomenon in Benin history suddenly assumed a dangerous center stage in our traditional and indeed, national discourse.
“I followed the development with keen interest and was amazed at the monstrous falsehood that is being peddled by some of our people. Given my knowledge of this matter, I considered it a duty to intervene and set the record straight. I have therefore by this publication, put at the disposal of the misinformed and indeed the general public, the true position which the Ogiamen title occupies in the Benin system,” he stated.