The Director-General, National Commissions for Museum and Monuments (NCMM), Mallam Yusuf AbdallahUsman, has assured that the Commission will not relent in its efforts in identifying monuments and historic sites, saying it is a step towards national recognition.
Stating this in his address at the opening ceremony of an exhibition of 100 proposed national monuments at the Chief OlusegunObasanjo Centre at the Federal Secretariat, Abuja,Usman said monuments and historic sites were evidences of historical development, civilisation of people and places.
According to him,the exhibition was necessary was because in Nigeria, every community has one or more monuments and historic sites, which are regarded as sources of spiritual inspiration, memory of heroes and heroines, landmark of political achievements, governance and societal control; but that some of these heritage properties have not been properly documented.
Continuing, he said that the documentation would enable their proper usage for societal development; hence, there would be adequate knowledge and high appreciation on them, and that this will correct the wrong impressions being created around some of them.
Informing that since inception, NCMMhas declared 65 properties, as National Monuments across Nigeria, the DG explained that suchmonuments were recognised because of their intrinsic values and outstanding significance beyond the community and states they are located, saying that, two of the declared monuments – SukurCultural Landscape in 1999 and Osun Osogbo Sacred grove in 2005 – nowenjoy international recognition even as they have been listed as World Heritages Sites.
“It is on this note that in this exhibition, 100 hundred new sites are proposed. Their documentation would help address areas of national priority that are overlooked. For instance, the tombs of the first Nigerian Prime Minister, Abubakar TafawaBalewa, the first Governor-General and President of Nigeria, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe and General Ramat Muhammed, a former Military Head of State,are in the list. There is no doubt that these Nigerians are universally acclaimed as National Heroes. The first site where oil was discovered in Nigeria at Oloibiri is also captured. On the whole, there are 19 Architectural, 57 historical, 12 natural, five technological and seven wildlife/forest reserves”,he stated.
Nwagbo Pat Obi
NICO Training School
Abuja Study Centre