Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said the state government has completed the training of 253 teachers, who will be deployed to teach Benin culture, language and history in secondary schools and selected primary schools across the state.
Obaseki disclosed this at the weekend during the presentation of a book titled: “Ogiamien and The Illusion of Kingship,” written by the Esogban of Benin, Chief David Edebiri, in Benin City, the Edo State capital.
He said the deployment of the teachers to the schools is in line with the state government’s policy to preserve Benin’s rich history and culture, noting, “We are emphasising the study of Benin language, culture and history to preserve it for the present and the future generations. This is to ensure that we preserve our identity.”
The governor said a major focus of his administration is to reform basic education in the state, adding, “In few years to come, children who complete basic education in the state would have obtained quality education, similar to the quality of education obtained by the author of the book.”
According to him, “During the last book presentation by Chief Edebiri, I made a commitment to restore the teaching of history in our school curriculum. We have not only achieved the promise but happy that the Federal Government is following suit by reintroducing the teaching of history in the national curriculum.”
He commended the author of the book, whose generation, he said, has helped build local communities, the state and country.
The Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, also commended Chief Edebiri, noting that the book has revealed more historical facts about the Benin monarchy by dispelling the wrong perception relating to the defeat of Ogiamien by the Oba of Benin in the 13th Century.
The Benin monarch, who was represented by the Oliha of Benin, Chief Edionwe Oliha, noted that the book is significant in presenting the real issue about Ogiamien, adding, “I commend the author in going the extra mile to present such a book. I have confidence that the book will serve as valuable research material for researchers and all those interested in Benin history.”
The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonaya Onu, said the heritage of Benin Kingdom is significant to the social development of Nigeria, noting, “When I visited the Benin Museum and Igun Street, where the great Benin art works are made, I was marvelled by the resourcefulness put into creating such works. The Federal Government will review how such resources can be used in deepening the development of science and technology in the country.”
The author of the book, Chief David Edebiri, expressed appreciation to dignitaries who were at the event, noting, “The book is the 8th in the Benin historical essay series. I realised that if I fail to document these aspects of our history, it would mean denying the present and future generations the knowledge of these facts in our historical development.”