Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has assured that his administration’s well-thought-out policies for education and sustainable development will guarantee the transmission of Edo peoples’ heritage to future generations.
Obaseki gave the assurance in commemoration of the African World Heritage Day, marked on May 5, each year.
According to him, “As part of the ongoing reforms in the basic education sector, the state government has completed training for selected teachers to teach Benin language, culture and history in selected primary and secondary schools in the state.”
On this year’s theme of the celebration, “Cherishing Our African Heritage and the need to preserve it for future generations,” Obaseki said the adoption of the Queen Idia Mask as a communication tool was to signpost the centrality of culture to the government’s development planning.
He added that support is being extended to bronze casting guild in Igun Street to equip them with relevant structures to preserve their trade and ensure it survives for the benefit of future generations.
He said, “The plans to deploy the teachers to teach children the Benin language, culture and history would enable us preserve our unique culture which we inherited from our ancestors and transmit same to the present and future generations. As a government, we are committed to ensuring that elements of our culture are not lost.”
“In addition to teaching children our culture, my administration is also making effort to preserve other cultural asset. They are priceless and part of our heritage, which command global appeal. We have commenced with the reclamation of the Benin Moat, while plans are ongoing to restore others,” he added.
Obaseki explained that: “With culture being one of our unique assets as a state, we will ensure we preserve our prized inheritance for present and future generations. This includes the partnership with the Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, to build a world-class Royal Museum to hold stolen artefacts being recovered by the Benin Kingdom.”
“We believe that operating the museum will put an end to arguments by holders of these stolen works, that we lack world class facilities for preserving our heritage objects and ensured that future generations gain past knowledge from the objects.”
Obaseki urged stakeholders of Edo culture and tourism promoters, to enlist in his administration’s inclusive policies to preserve the state’s cultural assets.
According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), the African World Heritage Day is an international observance held on May 5, each year across African countries with different types of activities, including visits to monuments and heritage sites, conferences, round tables and newspaper articles.
The day was proclaimed by 38th session of the General Conference UNESCO in November 2015, to afford people around the world and particularly Africans, the opportunity to celebrate the continent’s exceptional cultural and natural heritage.