Agbonifo Obaseki The Vice Chancellor (VC) of the University of Benin, Prof. Osayuki Oshodin has called on the various ethnic groups in Nigeria to use the nations centenary celebration to close ranks.
He appealed that Nigerians should use the mood of the celebration to see themselves more as one.
The VC who was represented by Prof. Edosa Omozuwa, made this appeal on Wednesday in a colloquium as part of the centenary celebration of Oba Ovonramwen N’ Ogbaisi.
While noting that it was not a coincident that the nation’s centenary celebration coincided with that of Ovonramwen, Oshodin urged that the events be used to furge a closer ties among ethic groups in Nigeria.
According to him, “Who says we cannot disagree on the basis of principles.
“Nevertheless, we must strive at all times to find a common ground to agree so that we can collectively defend and uphold the unity of this country.”
On the Ovonramwen centenary celebration, the VC said the celebration was not only an honour to the dead, “It is also an honour to us as a people of Benin kingdom.”
He noted that the life and times of Ovonramwen who died in 1914 while in exile in Calabar constitute a major component of the history of Benin kingdom.
“The celebration is also apt as it would exposed many of us to the history we previously had not known about the late monarch as well as the history of this great kingdom.
“He described the initiator of the centenary celebration, Chief Solomon Edebiri is a Blessing to the people of the kingdom.
Also speaking at the colloquium, Prof. Muhktar Burka, a professor of history in Usman Danfodio University commended the Bini’s for remaining attached to their culture and tradition.
He regrets that many Nigerians seems to have sacrificed their culture and traditions to foreign ones.
He advised that the Oba Ovonramwen centenary celebration should not just be seem as a mere celebration.
“If we make it a mere celebration, then we are falling in the pit of history,” he streeted that Oba Ovonramwen week long ceebration commenced on Monday with road show and cultural display.
The celebration is being championed by the Solomon Edediri centre for change in collaboration with the palace of Oba of Benin.
Chief Dr Solomon Edebiri is a philanthropy and a former governorship candidate of ANPP in the last governorship election in Edo that cultural troupes from Edo, Akwa Ibom and Cross Rivers have been displaying their various culture since the commencement of the celebration.