Tuesday, March 5, 2024


Nigeria museums and monuments of shame

Nigeria museums and monuments of shame
February 28
10:07 2017

Dr. Joe Eboriemeh, a lecturer at the IBB University and former Director General of National Commission for Museum and Monuments (NCMM) once brought life into the preservation of our national relics and monuments. Dr. Eboremah was determined to turn around the ugly face of this all important laboratory of history and culture. That task which was very daunting particularly the poor funding from federal government and lack of private sector institutional support threw Eboriemeh’s efforts into the history books as a flash in the pan.

I recall his very inspiring partnership with Nigerian travel and tourism press, a collaboration to bring to light the neglect of our museums bequeathed to us by the British, who I must confess plundered the greater and larger wealth of Nigeria history and Culture. From Koko Delta state to Benin, Lagos to Kaduna and Aba to Calabar, the face of our museums were dipped in a cesspit of corruption and vain glory – there was no glory at any time.

At least, Dr. Eboriemeh tried to unshackle the country from the cold and dark drudgery it found itself. The media is a witness that this fast talking orator did put in considerable efforts to “white wash” the neglected buildings housing these relics and century old antiquities.

Sometimes, I wonder if Nigeria is cursed or maybe we help populate the kingdom of wickedness as a people and nation. It is not a doubt that museums and monuments to which world bodies such UNESCO helps fund and protect, tells the true story of a people, their way of life, culture, farming, dances, food and all such like to show case encounter with civilization and such likes.


The world history is enriched by archaeological discoveries in Egypt, Rome and Israel to which millions of people in search of truth and possibly their roots pay so much in accommodation and travels to register sentiments and presence. Our case in Nigeria is quite unbelievably surprising and disheartening.

Our museums are bad news, nothing to cheer, a relapse into notoriety and embodiment of our slum and cave culture. At our museums today under the watch of Mallam Yusuf Abdallah, hawkers of groundnuts, roasted plantain and vendors of ogogoro (local gin) have taken over.

There are no visits and traffic of students, tourists, scientists, historians or archaeologists. Those that dare are either kidnapped by the resident hawkers or their mercantile kidnapping brothers. It is a sad story not only for Abdallah regime of NCMM but for Africa’s so called giant.


Sometimes I wonder if there are no brains good enough to help us set our bearings right in our various institutions and agencies than the often foisting of less average homo-sapiens to represent us. Mallam Yusuf Abdallah is hugely lacking in creativity and for over four years, now into the middle of another boring and sluggish second tenure, the museums are no better.

It was this same Abdallah that supervised the “embellished” museum projects funded by Sure P that could not be found anywhere around these places. NCMM under Yusuf Abdallah is dead and only left to breathe on the lifeline of its strategic connect as a veritable window to fret away federal budget.

It is worth repeating that NCMM is existing for the sake of federal allocation, not for the marginalized workforce nor for the country’s historical or cultural sake but for the vampires of our national resources.

To tell you how bad these places are, Abdalllah is only the director general of NCMM that has nothing credible to show or has not shown capacity to bring life back to this great agency. The case of the kidnap of two visiting German archeologists in Kaduna on trail of NOK history and culture had further exposed the rot in NCMM.


Apart from the locals killed in that shameful episode, Yusuf and his key operational staff if any were nowhere found in Kaduna or around the Nok site. It is sad and shameful that team NCMM could not accompany the Germans but rather preferred to sit in air condition offices in Abuja.

Once the ugly kidnap event took place on Thursday, it is possible that Abdallah and his aides were on weekend holidays in their villages instead of leading this research team to excavation site in Kadarka, Kaduna state. Unknown to many people even to Yusuf’s principals, this man superintending over NCMM is a notorious lover of weekend stays in his village in Kano state. He is hardly seen in office and when he chooses to appear, even ordinary office correspondence moves at snail speed.

No wonder Lai Mohammed, the Minister Culture and Tourism pulled a fast one on Abdallah by handing over Lagos museum to Lagos government for clean and profitable keep. A probe inventory of NCMM today would reveal a sad, deep and painful stagnation of our strategic historical monuments and museums, left to fallow and rot by a man who is never concerned about the fortunes of national assets placed in his care.

On this account, I put the federal government and Minister Mohammed on notice to sack Mallam Yusuf Abdallah as chief executive of NCMM. He has failed and has got no spine to bring our museums to world stage. Yusuf Abdallah has arrested the growth of NCMM and therefore must quit now in shame.


Views expressed by contributors are strictly personal and not of TheCable.

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