By Mashe Umaru Gwamna
The Director General of the National Council for Arts and Culture and the President of the World Crafts Council African Region, Otunba Runsewe,said culture will bring sustainable peace and national development in Nigeria.
He said his ultimate goal is to use culture to enhance unity in diversity.
Runsewe stated this at the opening of a 3 day meeting of the National Technical Stakeholders’ meeting of the National Festival of Arts and Culture, held in Ekiti State recently.
The Director General, disclosed that, time has come for Nigeria stakeholders to change the narratives of culture in Nigeria.
He said, “it is time for all hands to be on deck to take our good hands, good ideas and good culture to other parts of the world”.
Runsewe commended the EKiti State Cultural Troupe for their wonderful performances and promised to give them more exposure to the outside world.
Speaking at the meeting,Ekiti State Governor,Dr. Kayode Fayemi,expressed his excitement that Ekiti State will be hosting 52nd edition of NAFEST later this year.
He reiterated that the readiness of Ekiti State to host this year’s NAFEST saying that NAFEST will present a good opportunity to showcase the rich cultural heritage of Ekiti State for the world to see and to tap into its economic potentials.
Fayemi who was represented by the Deputy Governor of Ekiti State,Otunba Egbeyemi, said any state that fails to take into account the need to situate culture as a creative capacity of its people within its developmental plan is bound to face serious social, political and economic crisis in the long run.
According to him,”iam hoping that the forth coming NAFEST will promote national unity, social integration, redirect cultural activities, revenue generation .
“And also create windows of investment opportunities for the economic growth of not only Ekiti State but Nigeria in general.
The Ekiti State Commissioner for Arts, Culture and Tourism, Prof. Rasaki Bakare in his opening speech said that the essence of the meeting was a reminder to the stakeholders of the Iconic American President, Abraham Lincoln quote who said and I quote “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four hours sharpening the axe”.
According to him, this collective interface among all the principal implementers of the National Festival of Arts and Culture 2021 project has become and will continue to be a major success factor in every successful edition of the NAFEST.