The Nigerian government has declared tombs of Nigeria’s first Governor-General and President, Nnamdi Azikiwe, and first Prime Minister, Tafawa Balewa, as national monuments.
The tomb of late Head of State General Murtala Mohammed was also not left out.
Also, the first site where oil was discovered in Nigeria, in 1956, Oloibiri, in present Ogbia local government area of Bayelsa state, was also designated a national monument.
One hundred new sites comprise 19 architectural, 57 historical, 12 natural and five technological sites as well as seven wildlife/forest reserves, were identified by the federal government for classification as national monuments.
Acccording to the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, who disclosed this in Abuja, yesterday, while opening a one-day exhibition on the 100 proposed national monuments, the initiative will enhance and consolidate the management and promotion of immovable cultural heritage in Nigeria.
The minister who was represented by the Deputy Director, Cultural Industries and Heritage, Mrs. Lizzy Ihiezue-Iwuamadi, stated that the additional monuments will fill in the gaps in the categories of values and typologies of the nation’s monuments and heritage sites.
“By this addition, I am sure more diverse interest and values of different communities and socio-cultural groups are incorporated. I am hopeful that heritage management in Nigeria will get more impetus, especially through the inclusion and participation of local communities,” he stated.