The National Commission for Museum and Monument (NCMM) on Monday advocated the enlistment of Bishop Ajayi Crowther monument as a national monument for boosting Nigeria’s tourism.
The former Curator, National Museum of Unity, Dr Amos Olorunnipa, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (Newzandar News) on Monday in Ibadan, Oyo State.
Olorunnipa said what attracted the commission to monuments relating to Samuel Ajayi Crowther were the ruins of his ancestral home and the tree, where he was tied up when he was captured as a slave in Osoogun, Oyo State.
He said that the Oyo State Government presented the site for nomination as a national monument in 2004 when the NCMM was compiling monuments across the nation to commemorate the centenary celebration of Nigeria’s amalgamation.
The heritage consultant added that the site was chosen as one of the 100 monuments to be declared as centenary monuments in 2014.
The compilation and submission of the monuments were done, awaiting the legislative process.
“Nevertheless at the state level, efforts are being made to bring stakeholders together on how a management plan can be put in place to fast track the development of the site for tourism purposes.
“The statue is a recent development; it was erected by one of the sons of Osoogun to commemorate Samuel Ajayi Crowther, which is seen as a good development.
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“Effort is being made to bring together the stakeholders which include, Osoogun, the Anglican Communion, local, state and federal governments.
“The interest here is not only the ruins, tree and statue associated with Ajayi Crowther, but his personality is also a heritage to preserve.
“The aim is to use the site to promote his legacy and develop the site as a resource centre with museums, library and recreation among others.
“Such promotion will boost tourism and in turn, the village and state economy,’’ he said.
He said that the monument site faced numerous challenges that included not being legally protected, gazetted and having proclamation yet as a state or national monument.
According to him, there is no visible development activities on the site.
Olorunnipa, therefore, urged key stakeholders to come together to fashion out a road map for the development of the site.
“Also, the National Museum of Unity, Ibadan is making effort to get one of the primary stakeholders, Anglican Communion to be actively involved.
“A visit to the Diocese is being planned,’’ he said.