WHY WE MUST PROTECT OUR ANTIQUITIES AND ARTEFACTS
By Tariu Zakari
World heritage sites hold critical cultural, historical and environmental importance. Nigeria is a country that is now home to the UNESCO world heritage site and a leading destination for travellers visiting, rich in culture, history and beautiful landscapes. Nigeria joins some of the most historically culturally rich areas in the world. Unfortunately these invaluable ancient cultural sites, Antiquities and artefacts are increasingly coming under threat. Terrorist groups in the country are targeting our valuable Antiquities. Given the above,e therefore, plan must be center on improving security of Antiquities and Artefacts in our museum Nationwide as follow.
Efforts must be made to ensure that the nation’s ancient historicalry relics remain intact for thousands of years to come. Beyond cultural significance, there is a practical reason for defending these Antiquities. Government should provide measures to monitor heritagsiteste with satellite and train local ground troops and those conducting airstrikes.
Awareness must be created that owing illegal Antiquities is no longer acceptable. Museum staff should be posted to airport and all boarders to work with customs and immigration. There should collaboration with NCMM and international council of museums. Before now a lot have been envisaged in respect of the security of Antiquities. In 1971 the director of the then Antiquities department of Nigeria warned that unless the theft of Nigerian collections was arrested, nothing will be left of Nigerian Antiquities in about ten years.
Also in 1996The Minister of culture said, we are losing our cultural heritage at an alarming rate that unless the trend is arrested soon we may have no cultural Artefacts to leave to our children”. In ( 2002), Eluyemi lament that Nigeria is steadily losing her cultural objects to illegal traffickers who have established networks that include museum personnel to facilitate their trade.
In Minna my present station and many others are operating in Federal Secretariat which gives no room for maximum security of our Antiquities. Also, the headquarters of the commission which is operating in the office of the head of service of the federation is not supposed, for the security of Antiquities, we need a befitting headquarters with all the departments specified.
I wish to conclude by stressing that Nigeria cultural Antiquities are important vehicles for social engineering that have the potential for pivoting Nigeria towards achieving her desired developmental plans. Therefore their protection from criminal activities can not be wished away. Tahiru Zakari. NCMM Minna. ÇAPO. PF.8743