The Edo State governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has requested for a private audience with Benin monarch, His Royal Majesty, Oba Ewuare II over the custody of looted artefacts when they are repatriated from some European Countries that had generated reactions.
The State had pledged its support for Legacy Restoration Trust Fund and Edo Museum for West Africa Arts, EMOWAA to house the artifacts that were looted by British invaders from the Oba of Benin palace in 1897.
But the Benin monarch on Friday last week, rejected the involvement of a third party, EMOWAA and pledged his support for the Benin Royal Museum to house the artifacts which he claimed are solely owned by the Oba of Benin and Benin people.
On Monday, the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Mr. Osarodion Ogie, said in a statement that governor Obaseki will continue to engage with the monarch to secure the final release of the artifacts.
Obaseki also barred his personal aides and other government officials from engaging in disrespectful exchanges and/or altercation with our revered Royal Majesty and the Benin Royal Palace in connection with the issue.
“The Government of 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.
He also expressed his gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari and Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed and other officials of the federal government for their patriotic and tireless efforts that have brought us to the verge of this eagerly anticipated achievement which has remained elusive for over a Century.