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Oba of Benin to establish memorial centre in Calabar

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The Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Akpolokpolo, Ewuare II, has promised to establish a multi-million naira memorial research centre in Calabar, Cross River State.

Similarly the Oba and the Obong of Calabar, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu V, have resolved to partner towards strengthening the traditional institution in Nigeria.

Calabar and Benin played crucial roles in the colonial days, hence the memorial centre which is expected to showcase the impact and significance the colonial authority had on the indigent culture and traditions. The centre is expected to be a guide and educational resource for intellectuals.

The late Oba Ovonramwen N’Ogbaisi, who was exiled in February 1897 to Calabar, reportedly lived in peace notably with the people.

The Benin monarch, who announced his intention to build the memorial centre during his visit to the Obong in Calabar on Saturday, however, requested a plot of land from the Cross River State government for the project.

The centre will not only serve the present generation, but the generation unborn, the Oba said, commending the people of Calabar, for always being peaceful and hospitable.

He implored that the productive relationship be sustained and even strengthened.

“We look forward to more years of fruitful and beneficial relationships and engagements between our peoples. We sue for a continued and lasting cooperation, support and peaceful co-existence of our people in our quest towards nation-building,” he added.

In his welcome address, the Obong had said, “We cannot, in a hurry, forget the immense contribution of the late Oba Eradiauwa to the development of Nigeria, especially as it concerns the South-South geopolitical zone.”

Speaking through the Chairman, Etuboms’ Traditional Council, Bassey Duke, the Obong described late Oba Ovonramwen N’Ogbaisi as “a true patriot and cerebral gentleman who lived in peace notably with one of our illustrious sons and an entrepreneur, the late Etinyin Essien Etim Offiong III, married one of his daughters, and was at rest with himself, family and creator before joining his ancestors in January, 1914.”

On the strength of the subsisting understanding, he commended Oba Ewuare II for his visit and who in the course of his livelihood had traversed many countries in the world as a career diplomat.

Both first class traditional rulers said the time had come for royal fathers to advance the Nigerian unity and prosperity together, as it would be a source of strength for them to play the advisory role expected of them.


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