The federal government has been advised to direct attention to the reconditioning of the ‘Brazilian Baraccon’ Slave Museum in Badagry, Lagos State, to help boost the economy.
According to stakeholders, this was important in order to preserve the legacy of the gallery being a slave depot and a major historical reference, in addition to its value of generating revenue to government purse.
The stakeholders spoke on the sidelines of a Public Lecture organised in honour of a renowned slave and slave trader, Seriki Fawemi Williams Abass, to mark 100 years of his demise.
The lecture was part of the activities lined up for the occasion and was well attended by government officials at the state, national and local levels, religious leaders, history students, families, friends among other.
Speaking at the lecture, the Seriki of Badagry, Chief Razaq Banire, described the late Abass as an icon whose effort in abolishing slave trade in the country cannot be forgotten in a hurry. Reflecting on the present state of the country, characterised by corruption and injustice, Banire said that this is the time when the late icon would have been better appreciated if he was still alive, as he would have gone any length to ensure things are put right in the country.
Highlighting some of the late Abass achievements in his time, guest speaker at the event, Mr. Anago James, said he was a man of many feats who is today a strong reference to transatlantic slave trade and a key voice in the abolition of slave trade in Nigeria.
“He is also renowned for the economic transformation of Badagry land being a paramount ruler for 25 years, he was honoured by the European masters for many feats and back at home, a museum was built in his name to keep his legacy,” he explained.
He however lamented government neglect of the museum, which he said should have been another source of revenue to to the community and the country at large.
He said: “We are calling on government to see to the preservation of this museum so that history can be preserved and keep future generations informed of past occurrences.”
Addressing the students present at the event, a former Permanent Secretary in the Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Art and Culture, Mr. Ashamu Fadipe, encouraged them to learn from the life and times of the legend, who despite being a slave, defied his root and made exploits which are being celebrated globally today.