|The minister has promised to punish those who punished the monument|
Nigeria's government will not tolerate the destruction of national monuments, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said. He gave the assurance when he visited the site of a monument, a 190-year-old Brazilian-styled building built by returning slaves, destroyed by private developers in the commercial capital, Lagos.
In a statement, he said the government would fight in court to regain the site with the aim of rebuilding the monument :
Because they wanted to develop this place, they have broken so many laws. Fortunately, this is a country of laws and we are ready to meet them in court...
It is like a living monument of our past. It was a monument that exhibited the Brazilian architecture of that time, which is rare to come by anywhere in the world.
It is a remembrance of what our ancestors went through in slavery and how they triumphed, came back and showed that they were well-to-do.
The important thing is that a people without history will perish very fast. This building was worth billions of dollars because it symbolised our past.
No amount of skyscrapers can replace this history and all important monument that has been demolished, and I want to assure you that nobody can profit from his crime.
I want to assure Nigerians that we are going to pursue whoever has destroyed this place. It may take time, but the hand of the law is long and the wheel of justice grinds slowly but surely."
- via BBC