The federal government through Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization (CBAAC), has conferred the ‘most outstanding traditional ruler on Arts and Culture’ in Nigeria award on the Oba of Benin, His Royal Majesty, Oba Ewuare II, CFR.
The 2022 prestigious award would be formally be conferred on the Benin monarch in December at the 45th anniversary of the Second Festival of Black Arts and Culture (FESTAC) and the Benin cultural heritage Benin warrior Queen Idia mask, which was unanimously adopted as the official emblem of ‘FESTAC 77’.
The Chief Press Secretary to the Oba, Mr. Oguobaro Osaigbovo, in a statement in Benin City, disclosed that Director-General of CBAAC, Ms. Oluwabunmi Ayobami Amao, gave the hint when she paid a courtesy visit to the Oba in Benin City, Edo State.
Amao, explained that CBAAC, is a federal government agency and the sole custodian of all the materials and other cultural collections used during the second world FESTAC hosted in Lagos, Nigeria in 1977.
The director-general said that the agency has carefully followed the very beautiful track record of Oba Ewuare whose impact is not only felt in Nigeria, but internationally in upholding the values and tradition of the Benin Kingdom over the years.
Amao cited the immersed role of His Majesty’s overall protection, preservation and promotion of African Culture as the reason for the recognition. Accordingly, “I wish to inform your Majesty of your recognition by the centre for the honour.
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“In recognition of the traditional of the Benin traditional institution and as the birthplace of the emblem of ‘FESTAC, 77’; we are here to seek your Majesty’s support and prayers for the overall success of the programme,” Amao said.
Members of the Diplomatic Corps in Nigeria would attend the event which would feature cultural parade, arts craft antiquity exhibition, dance performances and poetry, according to the director general.
Responding, the Benin Monarch, His Royal Majesty, Oba Ewuare, commended the federal government for the recognition.
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Oba Ewuare who declared that as a direct descendant of Queen India N’ Iyesigie, pledged his support to the Centre and promised to continue to build on the legacies of his forebears.