The National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM) unveiled the first Dental museum in Africa amid beautiful display by friends and well-wishers.
The specialized museum which is owned by the Dema Foundation Dental Museum is located at the ancestral home of Yoruba land, Ile-Ife in Osun State.
The dental museum which houses the first dental chair used in Nigeria, assorted dental laboratory equipment and clinical instruments is also entrusted with the mandate of documenting, propagating, investigating and preservation of the histories of dentistry in Africa and the world.
Also, materials depicting the evolution of general and dental education from the early 20th century till present, a hall of fame with photographs and other essential information on early dental practitioners was also on display at the gallery.
Declaring the event open, the Director-General of NCMM, Mallam Yusuf Abdallah Usman commended the founder, Prof Eyitope Ogunbodede for the giant stride and commitment in carrying out research on the history of dentistry in Nigeria.
He said the dental museum was established as a non-profit organization, with the mission of promoting oral and general health with special emphasis on the history and education of dentistry in Nigeria.
Usman enjoined all unregistered museums and galleries operating in the county to regularize their establishments to avoid severe penalties noting that other professionals should take a cue from Dema foundation in establishing similar museums to aid educational research in Nigeria.
Also speaking, the Founder of the museum, Prof Eyitope Ogunbodede said the museum is the result of several years of painstaking research into the history and development of dentistry in Nigeria from the earliest introduction of modern dentistry till date.
He revealed that adequate plans have been put in place to ensure the sustainability of the museum even as he commended various institutions, organizations, friends and associates for providing useful research materials.
While appreciating the management of NCMM for their support and provision of technical and professional expertise, he also made a public presentation of his book, History of Dentistry in Nigeria’.
On his part, the Chairman of the occasion, Emeritus Prof David Ijalaye (SAN), extolled the virtues of the founder of the museum just as he described him as a man of enviable character and credibility.
Earlier, the Director-General NCMM Mallam Yusuf Abdallah Usman led his management team on a condolence visit to the palace of late Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade Olubuse II who died on 28th July at St Marys hospital Paddington London, United Kingdom at age 85.
Recall that in 1954, the Ife ruling class donated a land for the construction of National Museum Ile-Ife which is located beside the Ooni’s place.
He recalled that the late Ooni was not just a father figure to Yoruba people but a cultural icon and traditional trailblazer who epitomized African culture beyond the shores of Nigeria and Africa at large.
While recounting the support of late Ooni towards the development of the culture sectors, he said the Ooni was an active participant at the opening of the International exhibitions in Spain in 2009 and British museum in 2010.