ENUGU STATE GOVT. TO RESTORE ITS CULTURAL AND ARCHEOLOGICAL HERITAGE
Enugu State Government says it will vigorously pursue the restoration of its outstanding and irreplaceable cultural and archaeological heritages.
The Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Mr. Ugonna Ibe, stated this during an international conference on the “Re-discovery and Appreciation of Igbo Heritage” held at the National Museum of Unity, Enugu.
Mr. Ibe in an opening remark said that the conference was aimed at enlightening, emancipating and inducing a sense of pride and acceptance of Igbo dying heritage and advancing them for successful self-sustenance.
Earlier, the Curator of National Museum of Unity Enugu,Mrs Vivian Okeke expressed regret that the traditional skills and indigenous knowledge of Nigeria’s ethnic groups had been callously left dormant in the archaeological records and were ignored in current attempts to revamp the economy.
In a lead paper presentation, the Deputy Vice Chancellor Administration, University of Nigeria Nsukka, Professor Pat Uche Okpoko stated that remains of buildings, tools, sites and artifacts in this part of the country demonstrated that in the ages past, there was a highly developed and sophisticated level of social organisation, which commanded a huge accumulation of wealth
Dwelling on the topic “Intellectual Aspect of our Heritage”, the Zonal Director FRCN Enugu, Mr. Ike Okere stated that before the arrival of the Colonial Masters, we were a people with a culture and tradition now regarded as monuments fit to be preserved in a museum. He charged the organisers to also remember to preserve the intellectual spaces that embody our history and culture in our Museums.
The Conference Director and Coordinator, Prof Joe Ukemenam and Mrs. Ijeoma Onyejekwe noted that the conference was to re-awaken the people’s consciousness to our archaeological and cultural heritages.
There were also presentations and remarks by notable scholars and academics including the former Director General, Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization, Dr. Ferdinand Anikwe, Chairman Enugu state Council of Traditional Rulers, Igwe Lawrence Agabuzu and Dr. Okey Nduka of the department of Architecture UNEC.
The event with the theme “Archaeology; our dying heritage” was attended by stakeholders in culture and the academia from the South East States.
Cultural music display and recitation of the National Anthem in Igbo by the Ministration singers, Enugu thrilled the audience.