Oba of Benin proposes memorial site for Ovonramwen in Calabar
The Oba of Benin, His Royal Majesty, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Ewuare II, has appealed to the government of Cross River State to donate a parcel of land for a befitting memorial site in honour of his ancestor, Oba Ovonramwen N’gbasi.
Oba Ewuare II made the request during a visit to the palace of the Obong of Calabar, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu V, in Calabar at the weekend.
He said, “The people of Benin and Calabar have a rich history and affinity that has not only been defined by trade and shared co-existence. It is our belief that the choice of destination in 1897 being Calabar was no mere coincidence.
“We are aware of the reception and hospitality accorded to our father in those days which we shall never forget. It is in this regard we like to propose for the establishment of a befitting memorial site in honour of our father, Omo N’Oba Ovonramwen. We would like to request the Cross River State Government to donate a piece of land for this memorial project.
“This memorial site can also highlight the impact and significance the colonial authority had on our indigenous cultures and traditions and become a guide and educational resource for Nigerians as well as all people of the world, including the generations unborn, to be educated and enlightened on the impact of our contact with the western world.”
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.
Watch the Grand Entry of the Oba into Calabar