The idea of constructing three massive entrance gates in Benin City, to commemorate the history and role of the Great Benin Empire is overdue. The great Benin Empire in its glory influenced the world in all aspect of human endeavors; in Science, philosophy, arts and creativity writings.
Question: Why and What is the significance of these City gates?
Answer: In the past, massive gates and walls in ancient cities around the world, including the ancient Benin Walls formed an integral part of an ancient city’s defense as well as image. Massive gates or Walls were constructed to serve as the first line of protection against invaders, and also as part of the ancient cities’ image.
City gates were also places of central activity. For example, in biblical times. It was at the city gates that important business transactions were made, court convened, and public announcements were heralded. The first mention of a city gate is found in Genesis 19:1. It was at the gate of Sodom that Abraham’s nephew, Lot, greeted the angelic visitors to his city.. In the Law of Moses, parents of a rebellious son were told to bring him to the city gate, where the elders would examine the evidence and pass judgment (Deuteronomy 21:18-21). This and many more evidence affirms that the city gates played central role in community affairs. In the Benin empire, main entrances to the capital city were intensly guarded.
The construction of theses three entrance gates into Benin City will help restore the historical role of the ancient city and contribute to the development of long abandon terrorism industry in Nigeria and Edo state in particular. Now, there are people that may ridicule this idea, and are quick to say that huge project such as these will never get the funds and support it needs from the Federal or State government. I have thought long and hard about that, thus I propose that this project be funded entirely by private citizens and corporate funds. Individuals around the world who are interested in the promotion of Africa’s history and heritage.
This project if approved by the office of the Palace, (Oba Palace) shall have three individuals designated by the palace to be the only members of the project committee to approve and control the project bank account and management of funds. No other person, political of otherwise shall have any access to the said bank account. All fund- raising events and money donated to this project shall be deposited directly into the said project bank account.
I believe that this project will serve as a testament of what we as individuals and as proud Africans can do to promote our image and history for our future generations to emulate.
Thanks: I can be reached at : Aghaze@beninempire.org.
Founder and president.