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Museum Staff Lament Losses, Accuse Mgt for Late Notice

National Commission for Museums and Monuments

Some National Museum of Unity, Enugu, personnel have accused the National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM) of planning to demolish their Enugu homes without due notice.

Some of them told journalists on Saturday that they required appropriate warning before the demolition.

According to a correspondent who visited the scene, the workers stayed in an empty plot within the museum grounds in Enugu, and caterpillars had begun clearing the area.

Many have lived there for 15 to 20 years with the permission of the administration and pay rent to them, while others have begun to leave.

Patrick Mmuolokwu, a driver, claimed he retired from service a few months ago and that his pension had not been paid, and that he had been surviving with the help of his wife and friends.

“What are they expecting me to do? “They should pay me my pension so that I can hunt for alternative housing,” he remarked.

Another employee, who requested anonymity, stated that they did not simply stroll into the premises.

“Our concern is not that they intend to demolish our homes, but that they should have given us notice so that we could prepare,” he explained.

According to the personnel, the contractor instructed them to depart the premises by January 23.

“Does the contractor work for us? The office should have notified us that they planned to execute a project in which we built dwellings.”

In response, Aloysius Duru, curator of the Enugu Museum, stated that the federal government began the initiative to construct a theatre, museum kitchen, craft center, auditorium, and children’s park, among other things.

He explained that the project was a deal struck between the federal government and a private investor in which some plots of land would be transferred to the investor to build and manage for 25 years before being returned to the museum.

“We are not undertaking the demolition currently but clearing the space for development, and we will only demolish where the workforce is leaving and stores later.

“I ordered the engineer to give them some time to relocate, and on January 6, we started taking down trees and clearing grass,” Mr Duru explained.

The curator said that the workers who lived there had been duly notified, and that when the renovation was completed, guest houses will be created where some of them would be relocated.

Mr Duru stated that the project would last one year and eight months before being handed over to the museum to administer.

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