By, Monday Ajogun, Joy Odigie
Benin – President Muhammadu Buhari has called on traditional rulers across the country to continue to build bridges of unity to ensure the development of the country.
Buhari made the disclosure at the official launch of a book “the Benin Monarchy an Anthology of Benin history” held in Benin on Saturday in commemoration of the 2nd coronation anniversary of the Oba of Benin Oba Ewuare 11.
The president, represented by the Secretary to the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Mr Boss Mustapha commended the good relationship that exist between the Sultanate and the Benin Kingdom saying it should cut across the country.
He said traditional institutions must continue to stay abreast with the digital changes in the world and should not allow the changes to affect the preservation of customs, languages and tradition of the people.
Buhari congratulated Oba Ewuare 11 and the council of chiefs for preserving the Benin culture, saying that the kingdom is a role model for others to copy.
He further called on traditional rulers across the country to join hand with the Federal Government in preaching against hate speech and money politics as the 2019 elections draws nearer.
The Chairman of the occasion, Retired Gen. Yakubu Gowon commending the outstanding features of the Benin Monarchy describing the book a masterpiece that tells African history written by Africans.
“One of the tragedies of Africa is that our story has always being told by others from their own perspective and from their own purpose.
“The result is that much of the narratives of our continent have been a distorted picture against this background, we appreciate the impact of this singular effort of telling the history of the Benin Kingdom,’’ he said.
Also speaking, former President Good luck Jonathan said the Benin Kingdom had always made the country proud via its rich history and well structured governance system.
Jonathan commended the Oba of Benin for his resourcefulness and protection of his people.
In his remarks, Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo assured that the construction of Benin Royal Museum would be completed before Oct. 20, 2021.
He said he took the decision to complete the project at the recent meeting of the Benin Dialogue Group which was made up of all prominent museums in Europe.
“We also got the commitment of the group to return many of the works that were taken from the palace during the expedition in 1987”, the governor said.
Other dignitaries at the event included the Sultan of Sokoto, former governors of Edo, Chief John Oyegun and Adams Oshiomhole, Vice Chancellor of University of Benin, Prof. Faraday Orumwense among others.