The Chairman, National Forum of Heads of Federal Government Establishments, Kwara State chapter, and Coordinator, National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) North-Central Zone, Mallam Ibrahim Lawal, has said that, museums are much more than cultural resources that attract large number of visitors as they have social values, like collection values, connecting values, experience values, economic values, and many more.
Lawal disclosed this in a paper, titled, “Museum Collections make Connections,” which he presented at the 2014 International Museum Day celebration, organised by the National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM) in Ilorin, Kwara State, adding that, museums are not only responsible for the collection of artefacts and other objects of scientific, artistic, cultural and historical significance, they also serve researchers, the public and succeeding generations by documenting, preserving, exhibiting and interpreting material evidence and associated information.
According to him, museum collections represent a rich blend of generations, cultures, religions, sciences and opinions, thus presenting an image of society in the past, present and future, and called on the Federal Government to extend museums to local government areas to offer communities the opportunity to access such museums, as that will not only keep memories of our values alive, but keep reminding people of how peacefully we lived together, check any brewing act of terror, pull together our reputation in disarray and curtail the kind of challenges our beloved country is faced with today.
In his goodwill message delivered on his behalf by the Curator, National Museum, Ilorin, Kwara State, Mrs. Adeboye Omotayo, the Director-General, National Commission for Museum and Monuments, Mallam Yusuf Abdallah Usman, said museums are constantly facing serious challenges in the execution of their traditional function of conservation and protection of cultural goods within new strategies so as to attract more visitors and ensure accessibility to collections.
He added that, in spite of the above dilemma, many museums are revamping the traditional method of preservation of their collections in order to involve communities where the museums are sited and remain in constant contact with the public.
Earlier in a welcome address, the Curator, National Museum, Ilorin, Kwara State, Mrs. Adebayo Omatayo, encouraged both the youth and adults to take advantage of the Education Services Department of the Museum, in order to meaningfully engage themselves in traditional craftworks, such as, tie and die, batiks, soap-making, bead-making and pottery, as this will empower and enhance their capacity.
She said workers in the Museum encourage people to keep and maintain historical and symbolic material items for posterity and attention must be focused on those cultural traits that unite people, emphasise values and norms that contribute to the growth and development of the members of such society, in order to have a stable, loyal and mutually patriotic citizenry.
Also speaking, the Chairman of the occasion, Hon. Akintoba Fatigun, who is also the Chairman of Ekiti Local Government Council, pledged his local government’s support for memorable occasions like the International Museum Day.
About ten secondary schools that attended the occasion thrilled the audience with cultural performances, which included, traditional dances, Ayo game, oral poetry, fashion parade, quiz, proverbs competition, as well as dance and drama by the Kwara State NYSC Cultural Troupe.
The guests included Director of Archives, University of Ilorin, Prof. Abdulrahim Olaoye, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), “A” Division, Mrs. Abu Joy, the State Director, NAFDAC, Mrs. Abayomi Bolaji, and Culture Masters of the participating schools, among others.
Naseer Saeed Ategba