(Taiye Olayemi, NAN)
Some delegates from the states participating in the ongoing 33rd National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST) in Jos, Plateau, say it will help to restore peace among Nigerians after the #EndSARS protests.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the festival which began on Nov 22, with the theme, “COVID-19 and Cultural Dynamism” will end on Nov 28.
Alhaji Ganiyu Ibrahim, Permanent Secretary, Ekiti State Ministry of Arts and Culture, said he was optimistic that the nation would be united again after the disruption caused by the #EndSARS protests which had torn many apart.
Ibrahim said the festival would further create a sense of unity among delegates from different states as they amicably display their cultures at the same venue.
He said that Ekiti State had 98 delegates who would be participating in over nine different cultural competitions.
He noted that the State would leave no stone unturned in trying to showcase its rich culture to the entire nation in order to woo tourists.
‘We thank God that the hosting of NAFEST 2020 has been made possible in spite of the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic; I want to appreciate the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) and Plateau State for this.
‘We hope to get the golden crown at the end of the various competitions, we will participate in fashion parade, traditional cuisine, quiz, essay competitions and more.’
Also, Mr Patrick Clark, Director, Delta Council for Arts and Culture, said the major aim of the State in featuring in the festival was to woo investors and tourists to the State.
Clark said the State would also participate in nine cultural competitions in the course of the festival.
Mr Kayode Aiyegbusi, Deputy Director, Performing Arts of the Federal Capital Territory, said that NAFEST was a viable platform to ensure cultural integration in spite of the nation’s multi-cultural dynamism.
Aiyegbusi said the platform would also encourage different forms of collaborations among states which would in turn breed unity.
He urged Nigerians not to be carried away by merriment during the various cultural exhibitions and competitions but work on making every unique culture economically viable.
‘This is an avenue to learn from one another, I urge every Nigerian to learn from one another’s culture and stay united without undermining any aspect of other peoples culture,’ he said.
The states present are: Benue, Cross River, Delta, Ekiti, Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Lagos, Kano, Nasarawa, Yobe, Rivers, Zamfara, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Enugu and the Federal Capital Territory.
Some of the local governments in Plateau showcased their culture and cultural dances during the opening ceremony at Rwang Pam Township Stadium, Jos.