Oba of Benin, Ewuare II, has asked the Prince of Wales, Charles George, to support the call for return of ancient Benin artefacts which were taken to the United Kingdom in 1897 by the British colonial masters.
The Benin monarch made the demand during a closed-door meeting with Prince Charles at the British High Commissioner’s residence in Abuja on Tuesday.
He said the return of the artefacts would enable him to establish Oba Palace Museum for the promotion of tourism in Benin City, the Edo State capital.
Ewuare said, “Suffice to say that Nigerians in general and Benin people in particular will be most delighted to have your royal highness throw his royal weight behind our efforts to have some of our ancient artefacts that were taken in 1897 from the Royal Court of Benin returned to Benin to establish Oba Palace Museum for the promotion of tourism in Benin City, Edo State.”
Other monarchs at the meeting included the Ooni of Ife, Enitan Ogunwusi; Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar; Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Achebe; Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II, among others.
The Emir of Kano said the meeting also discussed climate change, immigration, demographic explosion, population control and their consequences.
“The population of Nigeria today, is four, five times what it was in 1960, we are moving from 45 million to about 200million, we are not looking at the level of desertification, the erosion in Niger Delta, the loss of the reserve in Chad Basin. Basically, there is population explosion and you got diminishing resources.”