Osinbajo to unveil Igbo Ancestry Museum in Anambra
Nigeria Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo would later in the month, officially unveil the rebuilt Odinani Museum, in Nri kingdom, Anambra state.
The curator of the museum, Chief Tony Akunne, who dropped the hint in a press briefing, said the monument was officially inaugurated on March 18, 1972 by the Sole Administrator of the defunct East Central state, Chief Ukpabi Asika.
He said the 70-year old edifice, which suffered eight years of dilapidation, received a face lift following its reconstruction by Chief Charles Tabansi, an illustrious son of the kingdom.
He said, “The museum suffered dilapidation since 2010 after the brains behind it, late Prof. Kenneth Dike a foremost historian and Prof. Michael Onwuejiogwu, an Anthropologist stopped giving attention to it.
“The building started collapsing, the staff were not being paid and even some of the artifacts molded with red earth like ‘Egbo and Abadaba’ which are usually erected during new yam festivals got spoilt because of rain.
“Tabansi singlehandedly renovated the ultra-modern building at an estimated cost of N50million.”
According to him, the museum contained more than 10,000 artifacts which included 17th century wooden door, sacred python, pre-colonial legal tenders, a wooden gong called ‘Ekwe Ikolo’ which was used by Eze-Nri Enwenetem in 1616AD.
He said the ancient city had existed 900AD and endowed with its preservative nature of legacies bequeathed by the ancestors and has attracted foreign archeologists and anthropologists for academic exercise.
The Curator praised Tabansi for bringing back the pride of the community as well as bringing professionals from National Museum and Monument, Enugu, to arrange the artifacts in the museum.
On his part, Prince Tabansi, a former President General of Nri, said he moved to rebuild the museum having watched the antiquity reduce to rubbles and in fulfillment of the wish of his late father who was regent of the kingdom.
He said, “I’m happy that the old glory is coming back. Those artifacts displayed in the museum have shown that Ndigbo can produce what they need despite its crude nature.
“Particularly, Nri people have been technologically informed right from the 13th century when we started creating instruments from iron.
“The new museum would be officially opened by the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo in December and we shall honour Onwuejiogwu for his contributions to the kingdom on his literal works about Nri hegemony.”
Nri is the historical ancestral kingdom and cradle of Igbo civilisation while the Odinani Museum is the collection house for valued cultural antiquities that depict the origin and history of the Igbo nation.