Museum and antiquity protection officers have emphatically requested the Federal Government to grant them the permission to carry firearms as a means to address the imminent danger posed by individuals involved in the unlawful possession of precious artefacts from nature. Prof. Adisa Ogunfolakan, the current head of the Leventis Museum of Natural History at Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife, Osun State, delivered a significant message during a workshop entitled ‘Campaign against illicit excavation from historical sites and trade in cultural properties.’
The workshop, organised by the National Commission for Museums and Monuments, took place at the enchanting Yemoo Groove in Ile-Ife, Osun State, on Monday. An academic from the university, Prof. Adisa Ogunfolakan, has strongly advised the government to take assertive action against people who are discovered to be in possession of organic artefacts. During the event, Ogunfolakan emphasized the importance of incorporating digital technology for the conservation and protection of cultural heritage amidst the progress of technology.
Preserving Nigeria’s cultural artefacts is of utmost importance.
At the event, there was a diverse range of attendees including traditional and non-traditional security personnel, students, individuals passionate about culture, as well as construction workers. Preserving Nigeria’s cultural artefacts is of utmost importance, as their loss or theft results in an incomplete historical narrative. It is crucial for all Nigerian citizens to make concerted efforts in safeguarding these objects, for they hold the key to Nigeria’s rich heritage. However, ignorance stands as a formidable obstacle in the country’s quest to protect these treasures.
A significant number of Nigerians are oblivious to the true worth of the nation’s cultural treasures, further exacerbating the challenges faced by the country. The true value of the possessions Nigeria possesses remains unknown to them, with a few labelling them as mere idols. An object that may be labelled as an idol is something that a person practicing the Muslim faith, would not desire any association with it, even a follower of Christianity would avoid any connection to it.
National Assembly should empower museum & antiquity protection officers.
Also, it is crucial to revisit the concept of cultural education to address this issue. To ensure the preservation and proper care of the nation’s belongings, it is imperative to impart knowledge and awareness to the populace regarding the practicality and worth of these objects. Without a genuine appreciation or understanding of their significance, there is little motivation to safeguard and retain them. Therefore, the National Assembly is urged to empower museum and antiquity protection officers with weapons.
This is because it is imperative for them to possess arms in order to effectively counter any potential danger. The time has come for them to stand equipped and ready to face any threat that may arise. Furthermore, it is important to note that the majority of museum security personnel in the past were recruited through internal channels or through collaborative efforts. This can be attributed to the fact that there used to be additional steps before individuals were hired as security operatives, police officers, or any related positions.
Students should contribute in multiplying the reach of this campaign.
Thorough background checks were conducted to assess these individuals’ suitability and character for the job at hand. During a previous discussion, Prof. Abba Tijani, the Director General of the National Commission for Museum and Monuments, expressed his support for the initiative to spread awareness about Nigeria’s cultural heritage. He specifically urged students and other participants to actively contribute in multiplying the reach of this campaign. Mrs. Mopelola Omowumi attended the event on behalf of Prof. Tijani.
Leventis Foundation: Website