Emulate Benin heroes, - Rev Ogbonmwan
By OSAZUWA AKONEDO


BENIN CITY - Nigerians, most especially those who aspire to lead the people have been called upon to emulate the heroes of Benin culture who at the risk of their lives stood and defended the Benin rich cultural heritage.

Speaking on Sunday at the Maiden Annual Lecture and Cultural Merit Award, organised by the Pearl Friends Club of Nigeria, Reverend Father Festus Ogbonmwan, the Parish Priest of Holy Spirit Catholic Church, Benin City, stated that at this auspicious time of rebranding, Benin Culture should be exposed to the outside world as a model because the Benin Culture is renowned and provides strong ethical framework for cohesion, growth and harmonious living among people.

Rev. Fr. Ogbonmwan who spoke on the topic: “ Differentiating Between Religion, Culture and Tradition- The Benin Perspective”, said Nigerians should strive to distinguish between culture and idol worship as the latter is just an insignificant aspect of Benin culture.

“ Culture refers to the commulative deposit of knowledge, experience, beliefs, values, attitudes, meaning of hierarchies, religion, notion of time, roles, concepts of the universe and material objects and possessions acquired by a group of people in the course of generations through individual and groups striving.

Culture is essentially mutable, volatile, man-made and easily modifiable and ever subject to circumstantial changes and expediencies:, Rev. Fr. Ogbonmwan asserted.

The cleric who was represented at the occasion by Reverend Father Charles Osasogie Omogiate, said “Religion deals with man’s relationship with God.

All religions have external and internal common features and unity. Benin give their highest submission to God and when faced with difficult and perplexing situations, they surrender to the will of God. Their religious beliefs forbid them to harm unjustly their neighbours and the innocent.

Earlier, the Chancellor of the Pearl Friends Club, Mr. Usiobaifo Henschel said the Benins have allowed western culture to infiltrate into their culture, tradition, language and even their salutation, hence the need for Pearl Friends Club to organise the maiden annual lecture and cultural merit award ceremony.

Edo State Deputy Governor, Dr. Pius Odubu, the Vice Chancellor of University of Benin, Professor Osayuki Oshodin, the Vice-Chancellor of Igbinedion University, Professor Eghosa Osaghae, former Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Chairman, Hon. Itohan Osahon, and Barrister Emmanuel Enagbonamuna were conferred with cultural merit award for their contributions to the development of the society.

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