A non-governmental organisation, State of Africa in Diaspora, has said it would ensure that the artefacts that were illegally taken away from African museums to Canada, Europe, and America are repatriated to Africa.
Resident Ambassador of SOAD, Evelyn Ogbogu, stated this on Wednesday in Calabar during the grand reception organised by Adohose Otu Effiom community in her honour.
Ogbogu, who is also Deputy Dean of Ambassadors (West Africa) for South West and African Forum Federation, said the organisation has a mechanism to ensure that historical artefacts found in countries in Europe, America, Asia, and Canada that belong to Africans are returned to the countries of origin because they were illegally taken away from their original owners.
She said, “We will repatriate all historical artefacts taken away from South-South, South-East, and indeed all the geo-political regions of the country back to museums in the country.
“It’s for this reason that the organisation has been calling on communities, particularly in Nigeria, who feel that their historical artefacts were illegally taken to other countries of the world, to apply to the organisation for assistance.
“We are passionate and ready to give assistance to such communities. We did that and artifacts belonging to some communities in Edo State were returned back to the original owners in Edo State. We are not tired of advancing that course.”
She said every piece of artefact that is of historical interest to communities in the country will be retrieved if the communities write to the organisation indicating interest to get their artifacts back.
“As long as kingdoms recognise the fact that artefacts were stolen from their kingdoms and taken to other continents, our organiation will assist them to retrieve these historical remains,” she said.
Ogbogu said SOAD already has a research team working round the clock to check which artefacts belong to a particular country so that the artifacts would be retrieved with some cash paid as compensation to the community of origin.
“Luckily every artifact that was taken from Africa is branded and has a name. This makes the job easy. For those who are in doubt, let me announce to you that Edo State has received some of their artifacts with about 20 percent of the monetary value,” she said.
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