Benin artefacts: “You’re govt sponsored, fake and without root” – Indigenes blast ‘Benin Bronze Casters’
Some indigenes and descendants of Benin kingdom have reacted to a letter reportedly signed by Benin Bronze Casters asking the Federal government not to release the looted Benin artefacts expected back to the country to the Palace of the Oba of Benin.
The letter which was signed by one Erahuyi Isokponwu, President – Europe; and Adolor Oviasu-Oreoghene, President – America on the platform of Igun-Igbesamwan-Owina Descendants Cultural Movement of Europe and America, had claimed that the over 1,130 artefacts expected to be repatriated from Germany belonged to their forefathers.
“Apart from losing tens and hundreds of our bloodlines to the ravaging military assaults of British invaders, thousands of artefacts made by the sweat and blood of our forefathers with the rapt support of our great grandmothers – which are at the verge of their glorious return to Nigeria should not be handed to His Royal Majesty the Oba of Benin, as doing so will be fueling the proceeds of crimes. Crime in the sense of carefully and mischievously contrived rhetoric aimed at claiming ownership of thousands of looted Bronzes and Ivories from Igun, Igbesamwan and Owina shrines. The ones that belong to the Oba palace were gifts as required by tradition to pay homage to our Obas”, the letter read in part.
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But some indigenes and residents of Benin kingdom who are unable to keep mum, following the latest development, have accused the State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki of having a hand in the letter, accusing his government, and flooded social media with commentaries on the controversial letter.
Below are some comments gathered by ChrisOsaMedia.Com from the various social media platforms:
Oguega Eziza, a Germany-based Benin son wrote: “These are not Benin bronze casters but paid Obaseki hooligans.
“Igun ẹrọnmwọn and related community named in the laughable write up are members of IWEBO society of Benin kingdom where His Royal Majesty is the supreme ruler and leader.
“Could you ask these thieving miscreants who founded and own Igun ẹrọnmwọn and the communities they claim to represent?
“The Benin Guild is own by His Royal Majesty and a chief is appointed to represent the His Royal Majesty in these communities.
“Is it possible for someone to rob his own intellectual property?
“Obaseki is a big time looser and him and his secret backers have finally realized this reality, hence he continues to use his hungry midguided chihuahua to bark at himself.
“His nefarious effort to usurp authority over ancient Benin looted artefact has been dealt a deadly blow.
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“He is no longer in charge of the process as he once plotted.
“Those artefacts will be repatriated to the Palace via Federal government of Nigeria.”
Mr. Aghanokpe said: “I think the author of and signatories to this piece have been away too long that they have forgotten where they come from and who they are.
Prior to the inglorious invasion of 1897 the Igun, Igbesanmwan and Owina were guilds in the palace and work only on the behest of the Oba of Benin.
All they do were to make their craft either for decorative, ritualistic or record keeping purposes. That’s all and to sink it into their heads is to tell them again and again that it was only the PALACE OF THE OBA THAT WAS LOOTED and nowhere else.
Messrs Erhauyi Isokpunwu and Adolor Oviasu-Oreoghene please be educated and guided.”
Another indigene, Godswill Inegbe wrote: “The ancestral casters of benin bronze relinquished their rights of intellectual property to the Oba of benin. This is a historical fact, derived from a historical antecedents.
“The purported letter to FG by a Benin foreign based group is nothing, but, a faceless apparition.”
Mr. Noah Osa-Ogbeide also commented: “They are not Benin bronze casters. They are faceless names. Benin bronze casters did their craft at the pleasure of the Oba. Their descendants would have known better.” In