May 18, 2024

Sen Okpebholo congratulates Oba of Benin on return of 39 artifacts by Swedish govt

Oba of Benin

Oba of Benin

By Innocent Anaba

The All Progressives Congress, APC, governorship candidate in the September 21, 2024, election in Edo State, Senator Monday Okpebholo, has congratulated the Oba of Benin; Oba Ewuare II, and the entire Benin Kingdom on the return of 39 artifacts by the Swedish Government.

Okpebholo in a statement, yesterday, said: “It is evident that your reign as the Oba of Great Benin is remarkably a turning point in the history of Benin kingdom.

“The news of the return of the artefacts did not come as a surprise because of how you have redefined African cultural heritage both as a diplomat and as a royal father.

“The stolen artefacts are very germane to the history of Benin kingdom. The return of the artifacts, 127 years after they were stolen, reminds us of the travails of African heritage in the hands of colonial plunderers.

“We therefore have every reason to celebrate your resilience and tenacity at this auspicious time of our history.

*As Nigeria Ambassador, you made the best use of the opportunity to request for the return of the stolen artefacts to the kingdom from across Europe.

“You also made us proud as a true son of Benin kingdom as you displayed such rare knowledge and understanding of international diplomacy to the advantage of our dear nation.

“We will continue to support His Royal Majesty, Oba Ewuare II, in his lofty programmes to preserve the unity, peace, and heritage of our people and culture.

“Under my watch as Governor of Edo state, we will promote, respect, and engage the traditional institution, especially the Benin monarch, for the good of the state.

“I want to also use this opportunity to condemn all those who have used their exalted offices to undermine the value of the Benin monarch by infringing on the way of the return of the stolen artefacts, to the palace of the great Benin kingdom, where they truly belong.

“This is regrettable and sacrilegious in our historical evolution.

“We, however, thank President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for his support and cooperation with the Palace of the Oba of Benin on the Benin Royal Museum project, which we believe will impact very positively on the development of tourism in Edo state and Nigeria in general.

“My team and I shall continue to harness the wealth of experience from the traditional institution, especially the palace of the Oba of Benin, in administering the good people of Edo state, when voted into office as Governor of Edo state.

“We will stay on the path of truth and support the Benin monarch to achieve collective gains for the people of the state.

“We are very proud to be associated with our Royal Majesty, Oba Ewuare II, on this auspicious occasion for his indelible marks in the annals of history as a prince, diplomat and royal father.

“Our prayer is for Almighty God to increase his wisdom and protect him with long life and prosperity for the good of the people of the state and Nigeria in general,” he added.