. . . As Bishop Okoye Commissions Edifice in Memory of Late Reuben Tabansi
By Chioma Ndife
The family of the late Prince Reuben Tabansi has given Odinani Museum, Nri, a project of the Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan, a facelift to commemorate the 15th memorial anniversary of their father's passage into eternity.
The Museum, which was formerly a bungalow, was rebuilt and converted into a one-storey building to house both the museum and Agbadana Village Hall, Nri, by Prince Charles Tabansi on behalf of the entire late Prince Rueben Tabansi's family.
The ultra-modern edifice was erected for the museum following the massive dilapidation which rocked the museum built in 1948 and inaugurated officially in March 1972. The renovation of the museum was carried out in honour of the Late Prince Rueben Tabansi who was instrumental to the museum's establishment in 1948.
The Odinani Museum and Agbadana Village Hall was commissioned and blessed by the auxiliary bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Awka, Most Rev. Jonas Benson Okoye, on Friday, December 28, 2018, during the 15th anniversary celebration organized by the family of the late Reuben Tabansi in remembrance of their dad's gallant deeds while alive.
Fides gathered that the establishment of the Odinani Museum which was attracted to Nri Community through the efforts of the late Prof. Angulu Onwuejeogwu who hailed from Ibuso in Delta State, was made possible through the determination of the late Prince Reuben Tabansi whose funds were utilized during the attraction of the project to the community.
Commissioning the project, Bishop Okoye commended the family of the late Prince Reuben Tabansi for coming with the idea of renovating the Odinani Museum in celebration of their dad's 15th memorial. He highlighted the importance of a museum and stressed the benefits which Nri Community and Anambra State stood to gain from the museum.
He emphasized the need for people to live value-driven lives, saying that such life style not only added value to people but also to the community.
The Catholic prelate noted that museums told the story of a particular group of people as thousands of years of history were mostly recorded for upcoming generations to have the knowledge on the type of lives lived by their forefathers.
He regretted that the sense of history had died in Nigerian society and urged people to start keeping records in their various localities as it would help to tell who they really were.
Speaking on the motive for the renovation of the museum, the second son of the deceased, Prince Charles Tabansi, said the family undertook to reconstruct the museum in order to celebrate the 15th anniversary of their late dad and keep alive what their dad fought to see to its establishment.
He described his late dad as a good man who had great love for the culture and tradition of Ndigbo, noting that the activities of his late dad were geared at promoting and sustaining the Igbo culture and that promised to keep his legacies alive.
Also speaking, the decease'd daughter, Hon. Barr. Anthonia Tabansi Okoye, disclosed also the museum was able to see the light of the day through the efforts of her late dad, saying that it was rebuilt to keep the work of their father alive, describing him as a great unifying factor in Nri Community.
In their various speeches, the chairman of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Anambra State Chapter, Ichie Damian Ogene, and the chairman, Otu Suwakwa Igbo Group, Prof. Pita Ejiofor, underscored the importance of the museum in Igbo land, saying that it would help to restore the pride which Igbo land lost after the Nigeria/Biafra Civil War.
The Senior Conservator, National Unity Museum, Enugu, Uche Nwokolo, noted that Anambra State and Nigeria could develop the economy through the heritage. He maintained that the museum through various exhibitions would project the culture of Igbos to the whole world and attract the attention of the UNESCO.
The chairman of Agbadana Village, Nri, Mr. Alex Okika, among other community stakeholders such as Dr. Gabriel Onyejimuo, Prof. Osita Aguolu, among others, affirmed the importance of the museum to the community.