From Desmond Mgboh, Kano
Senator Rochas Okorocha has appealed to Nigerians to engage, promote and support inter-ethnic marriages among other Nigerians as a means of promoting peace, unity and understanding in the country.
The former Imo State governor, who was the chairman of an annual public lecture organised on Culture and the Management of Diversity in Nigeria by the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), explained that inter-tribal marriage was a sure means of building cross-cultural understanding among Nigerians.
Sen Rochas’s paper at the event which took place on Thursday in Kano was presented by Professor Sunny Ododo, the General Manager, National Theatre.
He argued that with over 400 languages and over 200 ethnic groups, Nigerian’s cultural diversity was certainly an asset which if put to proper use, would translate to benefits in the form of enduring peace and unity among Nigerians.
Citing the establishment of the National Youth Service Corps, the Senate Committee Chairman on Culture and Tourism insisted that the Federal Government has been embarking on measures aimed at promoting intercultural understanding.
In his remarks, Minister of Information Lai Mohammed observed that ‘unless we maximise the opportunities presented by our cultural diversities to strengthen national unity and national integration, our national development agenda will be a mirage.’
The minister, who was represented by the Chairman of the National Orientation Agency, Lawal Haruna, regretted that the negative manipulation of the national diversity has been unhelpful to the national interest.
He appealed to Nigerians to embrace peace and eschew divisive tendencies which are detrimental to national the national development objectives