Benin artefacts: Obaseki caution aides against disrespecting Oba Ewuare

Edo state governor Godwin Obaseki

Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo state has ordered that, on no account should anyone, whether in government or acting independently, engage in disrespectful exchanges and altercation with the Benin monarch, HRM Oba Ewuare II.

Obaseki said he has displayed “and will continue to display immense respect for our traditional institutions and therefore will continue to make effort to secure a private audience with His Royal Majesty to discuss his concerns.”

The Oba’s palace had last Friday berated the government over its proposed Edo Museum for West African Arts (EMOWAA) for safe custody of planned return of artworks looted from Benin to Europe in 1897.

Obaseki said: “It is concerning that the statement appears to have created the impression that there is a major conflict between the interests of the Edo State government and His Royal Majesty.”

A statement issued by the Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie said the actions of the government on the issue have been driven by selfless, patriotic considerations and in the best of Edo state and Edo people.

“Edo State and the Governor have always acted transparently and in consonance with existing Federal and State laws in all matters relating to the proposed return of the artefacts and monuments,” he said.