A Nairalander with the monika DeFuturePresido has proposed a solution to the current standoff between the Governor of Edo State and the Oba of Benin over the hosting of returned Benin cultural artifacts.
In a Nairaland post he said:
“The crux of the disagreement is this: Who should rightfully take custody of these artefacts? To answer the question, let us take two approaches:
- Who was the original owner of these artefacts, and who, today, physically embodies that person?
- Who has the greatest capacity to preserve these artefacts for the greater good of the largest number of people and for posterity? Is it
A. The Benin Royal Palace,
B. A privately managed Museum Trust,
C. The Edo State Government or
D. The Federal Government of Nigeria?
- The rightful original “owner” or custodian was Oba Ovonramwen Nogbaisi, who was deposed during the British “punitive expedition” of 9 – 17 Feb 1897, which was led by Rear-Admiral Harry Rawson.
The person that, today, physically embodies Oba Ovonramwen is (unequivocally) the current ruler of Benin Kingdom, Oba Eheneden Erediauwa Ewuare II.
- The answer to who can best manage the artifacts, unfortunately, is not straight forward. Technically, it should be the Federal or State government. However, you only need to pay a visit to Federal and State museums across the country to understand that good management and maintenance is not a strong point of government in these parts.
“That leaves us with The Royal Palace or The Private Trust.
“My inclination is to suggest a merger of the two options:
A. The museum/cultural district should be built in the location chosen by the Oba of Benin.
B. The museum and cultural district should be managed by the Private Trust.
C. Oba Ewuare II should be made the Chairman of the Trust.
D. The CEO of the Trust should be a thoroughly seasoned professional and should be chosen via a merit-based selection process.
E. Members of the Trust Board should be drawn equally from nominees provided by the Benin Palace, the State Government, the Trust’s Directors and the Federal Government.
F. All decisions should be made via simple majority votes.”
Do you agree with his analysis and solution?