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Benin Monarch Gets Documents On Returned Artefacts

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The necessary documents for two of the returned artefacts, a cockerel (Okpa) and Uhunwun Elao, looted from the palace of the Oba of Benin, have been formally handed over to the Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Ewuare II, 124 years after.
The necessary documentations were done at a colourful ceremony as Oba Ewuare II and others involved in the process signed the necessary documents in line with the British laws on the return of artefacts and the objects would at a later day be handed over to the monarch for keeps by the federal government.
To safeguard the artworks and others expected to be returned in future, Oba Ewuare II announced Prof. Wole Soyinka as a member of the board of trustees of the Benin Royal Museum, where the returned artefacts would be kept and be opened to the public, including researchers and scientists.
He listed Aghatise Erediauwa, Nduka Obaigbena, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, Ifueko Omoigui-Okauru among others to be members of the board of trustees for the museum.
Oba Ewaure II, who commended the role played by the federal government in the return of the artefacts, said Benin art and culture reflect the past and present glory as well as splendour of the kingdom.
He said: “As our treasures are returned, our youths will be able to establish a new relationship with the heritage bequeathed by their forefathers. The return of all the treasures taken away will begin a new era of Benin history and civilisation.
“International best practice and the rule of law dictate that restitution and compensation is the new discourse.
“We ask that friendly countries seeking to return our artefacts should do so directly to the Oba of Benin or to the federal government, who will hold them in trust and return the same to the Palace of the Oba of Benin Kingdom as was recently done in Cambridge and Aberdeen.”
In his remarks, Ngerian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Ambassador Sarafa Tunji Isola, said the ceremony was in line with President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s commitment that all stolen artefacts should be returned to Nigeria and sent to their original owners.
He said: “In 1897, when the Benin aretefacts were taken away from Benin Kingdom, sovereignty was vested in Benin Kingdom under the leadership of the then Oba of Benin, Ovonranmwen Nogbaisi, the same sovereignty was then vested in respective kingdoms and its respective traditional rulers in the present day Nigeria.
“This explains why these artefacts are still being referred to as Benin bronzes up till the present day. Sovereignty is, however, currently vested in the federal government by the 1999 constitution (as amended).
“Hence, the legal and physical possession of the artefacts by the federal republic of Nigeria under the leadership of Buhari, my presence in Benin Kingdom today is in fulfilment of the desire and the express directive of the president to return the repossessed artefacts to where they originally belong.
“The present administration places much emphasis on the return of Nigerian artefacts to their original home, hence the painstaking efforts of the federal ministry of information and culture, with the tireless commitment of the national commission for museums and monuments to attain this presidential directive and mandate.”
The event attracted personalities from all walks of life including the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Bayero; representative of the Ooni of Ife; representative of the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, who is from Benin Kingdom.
Others were Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Godswill Akpabio; former governor of Edo State and immediate past National Chairman of All Progressives Congress, APC, Mr Adams Oshiomhole; Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu; Ken Imansuagbon; former Deputy Governor of the state, Lucky Imasuen; palace chiefs and traditional rulers from other parts of the state.

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Niger Delta

Edo 2024: Sen Okpebholo Promises Inclusive Govt

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The candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State, Sen. Monday Okpebholo, has said he will run an inclusive government when elected in the September 21 governorship election.
He stated this on the sideline of a flag-off of medical mission by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in Akamkpa, Cross River State on Monday.
The Senator, representing Edo Central in the 10th Assembly and a member of the Senate Committee on NDDC, also noted that he will adopt bottom-top approach in running the affairs of the state.
According to him, unlike what is currently obtainable in the governance of the state, his administration will be practically driven.
‘‘It will be a governance that the people can relate with, a true people’s government in the real sense”, he said.
The APC candidate, who bemoaned the lack of infrastructural development across the 18 Local Government Areas of Edo, promised to re-enact Adams Oshiomhole’s infrastructural revolution.
He said emergency would be declared on roads, schools and health infrastructure in the state.
“We are set for that. We will be taking a holistic approach to correct the decayed roads, schools and health infrastructure that have been left unattended to.
“If the Obaseki-led administration had built upon what the government of Adams Oshiomhole did, Edo would have been competing with a state like Lagos in terms of development.
“Our mission is to, from day one, hit the ground running and make Edo a better place.
‘‘A place we can actually call our own, a place that everybody will be happy to see”, he stated.
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Niger Delta

UniCal Demonstration School Wins SAGE 2024 … To Represent Nigeria In Tokyo

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The University of Calabar International Demonstration Secondary School has won the 2024 edition of the Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship (SAGE) competition.
By coming tops at the national competition, the School will represent Nigeria at the global level in Tokyo.
The school presented a solar-powered Chi ECOSOL Freeze Storage System, equiped with off-grid capacity for areas with limited or unreliable traditional electricity.
The system uses high efficiency cooling storage unit to preserve fresh produce and vegetables.
The Tide’s source reports that Federal Government Girls College (FGGC) Abuloma, finished second with a project on Bio Fortification of Cassava Flour at the finals held in Calabar.
The source also reports that FGGC Benin came third with their project on Tomato Powder.
It would be recalled that Nigeria has won 12 out of the 17 international SAGE completions held in different parts of the world after its premier edition in 2002 in America.
The theme for this year’s edition of the competition is: “Mobilising Education for Food Security”.
Speaking during the award ceremony on Monday in Calabar, Mr Peter Odey, the Cross River State Deputy Governor, said the theme for the 2024 edition of the competition was apt and well thought-out.
Represented by Hilary Bisong, the member representing Boki Constituency II at the State House of Assembly, Odey, said the theme touched on a major challenge in todays human society.
Noting the need for a multifaceted global campaign against hunger and food scarcity, he said, “nobody who has access to three square meals in a day will start thinking of crimes and violence.
“Our state has very fertile soil, the winning school has proffered solution to the challenge of food storage and preservation.
“For example, in Boki, we always have so much food after harvest, but a lot of the foods get wasted due to poor storage, so this project gives us a solution”.
Also speaking, the President, SAGE Nigeria, Mr Agwu Amogu, said the essence of the initiative was to make young people to become solution providers through entrepreneurship and community service.
Amogu stated further that the initiative had directly and indirectly impacted on no fewer than 200,000 people since 2005 when it took effect in Nigeria.
“Also, no fewer than 8,000 students have passed through the initiative, many of them have graduated, and are now alumni of SAGE.
“Our goal is to move the mindset of young Nigerians from entitlement to being solution and innovation providers.
“This new mindset will not only create jobs for them, it will even make them to become job creators and self-reliant”, he said.
On her part, 15 year old Miss Victory Idiku, the team lead of UniCal International Demonstration Secondary School, expressed her team’s joy after  wining the competition.
“It took us several weeks of research to create that innovative project, it also took a lot of hard work to effectively present it.
“We are happy to represent Nigeria at the global event in Tokyo, we promise to make our nation proud”, she said.
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Niger Delta

Eid-el Kabir: NSCDC Mobilises 1,210 Personnel In Edo

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Edo Command of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has deployed 1,210 personnel to ensure maximum security during the forthcoming Eid-el Kabir celebrations.
The command’s Public Relations Officer, Efosa Ogbebor, in a statement on Friday in Benin, said NSCDC would provide maximum security at various Eid praying grounds, palaces, monuments and recreational centres across the state during the festivities.
Ogbebor stated that the NSCDC Commandant in the state, Mr Gbenga Agun, assured residents of security of their lives and property before, during and after the festival.
“I have directed all commanders, heads of tactical units, Area Commanders and Divisional Officers to ensure smooth, crime-free and secure celebration before, during and after the Eid-el Kabir festival.
“The personnel deployed have been tasked with critical responsibilities of safeguarding national assets and infrastructure, a core mandate of the corps, protection of lives and property and crowd control, amongst others.
“NSCDC personnel will work in collaboration with other sister-agencies”, he said.
The NSCDC boss appealed to members of the public to give maximum cooperation to the personnel and support them with useful information about criminal elements.
The Commandant felicitated with all Muslims and wished them joyous Eid-el Kabir celebrations.

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