A member of the House of Representatives from Oyo State, Honourable Abass Adigun, popularly called Agboworin, has explained the reason he moved a motion for at least three of the historical sites in the state to be listed as national monuments.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lawmaker representing Ibadan North East/Ibadan South East Federal Constituency had, in the motion which was adopted by the lower parliament, called on the Federal Government, through the National Commission for Museums and Monuments, to include at least three sites from the state.
Listed by Agboworin, who is the vice chairman of the House Committee on Air Force as heritage sites in the state are Mapo Hall, Alaafin’s palace in Oyo town, Soun’s palace in Ogbomoso, Ado Awaye suspended lake, Kurunmi battleground in Ijaye, Bower Tower, David Hinderer’s house, Asabiri Hills in Saki, Sogidi Lake in Awe, Agbele Hill rock formation in Igbeti, among others.
The lawmaker explained that declaring such sites as monuments would help in preserving them and attract tourists from all over the world to the state, adding that none of the 65 sites listed by the Federal Government is in Oyo State.
According to him, if listed as national monuments, the sites would serve as revenue earners for the government and put the state on the global map.
He noted that Mapo Hall, which perches on the historic Mapo Hill and was constructed during the colonial period by Robert Taffy Jones in 1925, had been serving as a symbol of authority and unity of Ibadanland.
“Mapo Hall is a place of historical significance. It is the same thing with the palaces of the Alaafin of Oyo and Soun of Ogbomosho, the suspended lake in Ado Awaye and many others.
“When tourists want to come to Nigeria, they will Google to find out places of interest they can visit and what usually happens is that they rely mostly on data from federal agencies and bodies.
“This is why I called on the National Commission for Museums and Monuments to list at least three of these sites in its compendium of national sites of historical significance.
“I am happy my colleagues supported the motion which has since become a resolution. It has been referred to the House Committee on Culture and Tourism for immediate action.
“When I was elected in 2019, I promised to do things differently and the people of my constituency will be the judge of the good work I have been doing.
“There is virtually none out of the 24 wards in my constituency that I don’t have at least a project, including the tarring of about five kilometres of roads and bringing the largest Air Force base in entire southern Nigeria to Oyo State,” he said.