OPENING REMARKS BY PROF. SULE BELLO CHAIRMAN OF THE STAKEHOLDERS COMMITTEE ON “KANO CITY WALL AND ASSOCIATED SITES”…
OPENING REMARKS BY PROF. SULE BELLO CHAIRMAN OF THE STAKEHOLDERS COMMITTEE ON “KANO CITY WALL AND ASSOCIATED SITES” AT ITS 6TH GENERAL MEETING AT MAMBAYYA HOUSE ON 6TH AUGUST 2019
I humbly welcome you all to this meeting. I also thank the organisers for all the efforts they have made to make the meeting possible.
Any general observation of the condition and state of the monuments in Nigeria in general and Kano in particular, offers a picture of boundless neglect and the destruction of our valuable heritages in a way that more than saddens those concerned.
Available reports on the preservation and development of monuments and tourist attractions in Kano, and in particular the Report of the Mentors on the attempts at the enlistment of Kano as a World Heritage Site of December 2011, which is hereby attached, provide ample testimony to our observations.
The increasing destruction of national, cultural, historical and all other forms of developmental values, activities and sites in Kano, as well as the country in general, signify the necessity for a way out, and forward, which brings us to some of the major issues that should constitute the agenda for todays meeting. Some of these include the fact that:
- The existing national laws and international conventions, protecting the various monuments and sites, need to be enforced by the relevant agencies at the local, state and national levels in addition to the enactment of new laws where these are needed. It is to be noted that the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture and the National Commission for Museums and Monument (NCMM) have not yet taken any substantial legal action against those breaking these laws, despite the level of destruction visited on the monuments.
- There is also the need for the on-going campaign against corruption in the country to be extended to the protection of our various heritages as a major compliment to the reintroduction of the study of history, at all levels, by the present government. The fight against the corruption and degradation of our heritage is a necessary beginning for the promotion of a culture of self-respect decency and transparency in our society.
- Further to the official roles of the government, the additional role of public spirited professionals, and other concerned organisations, need to be fully mobilised as stakeholders that should be seen to champion the protection, promotion and development of our heritage.
- Foreign and related international organisations or agencies that have indicated interests in the protection of our heritage need to be kept in view, and informed, of the efforts that we are making. These include the UN and its agencies, the OAU, ECOWAS and many other individual countries such as Germany, USA and France.
- The public, in general, and the Stakeholders in particular will need to take pro-active positions for the defence of our monuments through concerted efforts towards the enforcement of the law. Legal action against wanton and criminal breaches of the law, which today threaten our society in many ways, will need to be formally, and actively, considered as key remedy to the barbaric assault on our monuments.
- The role of education, research and public sensitization programmes towards the protection, promotion and development of our heritages, as well as civilised conduct in general, cannot be under-estimated. There is the need to identify and sponsor educational programmes, as well as research activities, that could make it possible for us to fully investigate, document and disseminate relevant information pertaining to such heritages so that they could serve as major sources for public education, tourism, entertainment and the promotion of authenticity in social development.
- There are diverse proposals towards the salvation and protection of our remaining heritages especially the Kano City Wall, Kurmi Market, Dala Hill, Royal Palaces and other sites. These range from proposals such as that advanced by His Royal Highness, the Emir of Kano, for the rebuilding of the Kano City Wall, to various other suggestions for the partial restoration as well as the creation of models of the monuments in addition to some key architectural innovations inspired by our local building traditions. Such efforts stand to greatly encourage innovation at the levels of our local building industry in addition to creating wider opportunities for our artisans and the local building industry. Some of the earlier proposals of establishing Green Zones around the Badala and the allocation of spaces to relevant craft works in order to boost tourism, still remain relevant. The Royal Museum is another project which seems to have vanished into thin air.
In order to fully achieve these the Stakeholders will need to develop a Plan of Action which addresses the above problems, and more, as a strategy for the achievement of our basic objectives.
I thank you very much for listening. I wish us fruitful deliberations with the hope that we all return to our respective destinations peacefully. May Allah bless our humble efforts.
Africa Research and Development Agency
06th August, 2019