Political leaders, led by Governor Godwin Obaseki , Yesterday, in Benin-City, called on the Federal Government and the National Assembly to commemorate the late Chief Anthony Enahoro, by naming the National Assembly complex after him before the end of the 2017 legislative year.
Obaseki also announced the reintroduction of history as a subject in primary and secondary schools in the state, just as he directed that the Tayo Akpata University of Education and the College of Education, Igueben, will create a special department for the training of history teachers.
The leaders made their position known at the Castle of Legend Initiative Inauguration and Lecture, in honour of Enahoro. The occasion witnessed the unveiling of a life sized statue of Enahoro at the Edo State House of Assembly. It was donated by the President of the Castle of Legends Initiative and Esogban of Benin Kingdom, Chief David Edebiri.
The event also witnessed the presentation of awards to some nationalists including Alhaji Lateef Jakande, Senator Obi Nosike Ikpo, Chief Ichie Mbazulike Amaechi and Alhaji Tanko Yakassai. The event was chaired by the Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, Justin Okonoboh. Royal fathers including the Otaru of Auchi and representatives of the Oba of Benin and other traditional rulers from Delta state were present.
Obaseki lamented that some elder statesmen involved in the nationalists movement such as Enahoro had not been given their due recognition.
“For a better Nigeria, he sacrificed his youth, his adulthood, going to jail and exile for many years. He is an icon of nationalism and patriotism, one of the most vibrant journalists and nationalist that Nigeria has produced. As Edo people we must make sure that the country immortalize him the way he deserves. We call on our National Assembly members to ensure that before this legislative years runs out, they do all they can to make sure that he is immortalized”.
Yakassai, who commended Edebiri for the initiative, in his statement, said, “ I thank God that I am still alive being honoured today while alive. Many of my colleagues died without being recognized and it is sad. We must as a nation learn how to recognize our heroes so that our future will be brighter”.
Jakande, represented by Oba Rufus Olanrewaju, dedicated his award to Obaseki, saying “I am proud of your victory and I know you will do Edo state proud. I commend the everybody who thought of honouring us particularly in this great Benin empire. I am very proud of this award today”.
In his lecture entitled, “Immortalizing our Heroes Past: Nigerian Nationalists in Focus”, in honour of Enahoro, Edebiri pointed out that Enahoro was jailed three times while struggling for Nigeria’s Independence and successive Nigeria governments have failed to appreciate and honour these heroes.
“I saw a tiny street in Abuja one day named after Chief Enahoro but only few houses on it and felt bad. People like this must be appreciated by the Federal government posthumously. This will inspire the present and future leaders to serve the country with undiluted sense of patriotism and commitment”.