*King pleads with President to help ensure artefacts are not snatched from Palace
Deji Elumoye in Abuja
President Bola Tinubu has pledged to firmly protect Benin artefacts returned to the country from different parts of the world as a way of archiving the history of the people in particular and Nigeria in general.
Speaking yesterday when he received the Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo Ewuare II, and other traditional leaders from Edo State at the State House, Abuja, the President also assured them that his administration would support the Benin Royal Council in its bid to establish a museum that will house the artefacts.
On the same day, Olugbon of Orile-Igbon, Oyo State, Oba Francis Olusola Alao was at the Villa on a courtesy call on the President. He appealed to Nigerians to be patient with the new government, assuring that the nation would prosper under the Tinubu-led administration.
The President congratulated the Benin monarch for the retrieval of the stolen Benin artefacts and commended his effort in ensuring that a befitting museum is built to archive the rich history and traditions of the Benin Kingdom.
“It deserves our protection. We are glad to have them back, and we are glad you are happy. They are in protective custody. It is a matter of history, over a hundred years. We will work on the museum,” he said.
President Tinubu said the federal government was undertaking an audit of its infrastructure projects, promising to ensure that roads in Edo State are considered in line with a request made by the traditional ruler.
In his address, Oba Ewuare II commended President Tinubu for the giant strides of his administration within its first weeks.
“We’ve predicted that you would hit the ground running and you have done so, even faster than we thought,” the royal father said.
He said the steps taken by the President since his inauguration on May 29, 2023 had renewed the hope of Nigerians and put the country on the path to progress and development.
The monarch appealed to the President to help ensure that the artefacts returned are not stolen or taken over from the Benin Royal House.
Oba Ewuare II also thanked the federal government for his appointment as Pro-Chancellor of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN).
Olugbon: Nigeria’ll Prosper Under Tinubu
The Olugbon of Orile-Igbon, Oba Francis Olusola Alao, yesterday assured Nigerians that the nation would prosper under the Tinubu-led administration.
In an interview with newsmen after meeting with President Tinubu at the State House, Abuja, he urged Nigerians to be patient with the new government as it pulls all the strings to bring relief and development to the country.
Oba Alao, who is also the Deputy Chairman of the Oyo State Council of Obas and Chiefs, noted that the current biting condition “is the natural pain that precedes the deserved gain for all citizens,” adding that he was confident of good times ahead.
The traditional ruler, who said he had fruitful and promising discussions with the President, prayed to God to sustain and help the administration achieve its programme for the country.
He said: “We paid a courtesy visit to the President to wish him well, a successful tenure and also we’ve been able to discuss some national issues that will bring prosperity to all Nigerians. All I will say is let all Nigerians be patient with him. He has kicked-started in a very positive direction and there’s no way you’ll have gains without pain.
“We’ll have the immediate pain, but we’ll have the long-term gain. Nigerians will enjoy prosperity at the end of the day, this government means business and the business is to serve the people, to bring the dividends of democracy to the people.
“All the issues we have discussed are very positive about this government. I wish Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, a successful tenure. I wish Nigeria a peaceful coexistence country, a prosperous nation and a fulfilled country, by the special grace of God.”
The President also yesterday received the former governor of Lagos State, Mr Akinwumi Ambode; and the Senator representing Edo North, Senator Adams Oshiomhole, at the State House, Abuja.