Nineteen architectural sites, 57 historic sites, 12 natural and five technological sites as well as seven wildlife/forest reserves have been proposed by the National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM) as national monuments.
The 100 sites which were identified from across the country proposed national monuments located in various parts of the country. These new set chosen by Nigerians, will be added to the 65 already identified monuments which have existed since colonial Nigeria.
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At a pictorial exhibition of the monuments, which took place penultimate Monday, at the Federal Secretariat, Abuja, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, represented by Mrs. Lizzy Ihezue-Iwuamadi, Deputy Director, Cultural Industries and Heritage, said, “The addition will fill in the gaps in the categories of values and typologies of Nigeria’s monuments and heritage sites.
The Director General of the NCMM, Mallam Yusuf Usman said the additions include
On the list are the tombs of the first Nigerian Prime Minister, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa; the first Governor-General and President of Nigeria, Dr. Nnnamdi Azikiwe and General Murtala Mohammed.
Usman said, “The list has been extensively discussed with the individual communities where the monuments are situated through a stakeholder sensitisation workshop that was carried out in the six geo-political zones of the country in 2013.”
In a bid to carry on the initiative, the Commission is conducting ethnographic researches across the country. The National Museum Port Harcourt started a group research in Unyeada community, Andoni Local Government of Rivers State in November, 2015 until June 2016, when kidnappings and militant activities began to threaten the work.
Also, there has been ethnographic documentation of selected crowns of Yoruba monarchs, pictorial presentations of historical buildings and monuments in selected cities of South West, historical relevance of Efunsetan Aniwura Iyalode of Ibadan, the significance of Wood carving in Iseyin Oyo and the relevance of Ibadan Traditional Kingship in contemporary time.
In the same vein, the Commission is making efforts to collaborate with communities across the country to promote their tangible and intangible cultural heritages.
In Enugu the NCMM participated in two new yam festivals hosted by Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo and Igwe Ibagwa Nike in September 2016 (the third quarter) and was part of the New Yam festivals hosted by the National Council for Arts and Culture in October 2016. The Museum also celebrated Iri-Ji October 2016 and the International Mother Tongue Day celebration held in Port Harcourt, in February last year, among others.
Usman said, while not all sites and monuments have been captured, the Commission would continue identifying monuments and historic sites for national recognition as more will be discovered and list updated from time to time to meet the aspirations of Nigerians.
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