Posted by JUSTOURS
The National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST) organised by the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) attracted representatives of 22 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) who came together in Jos, Plateau State capital to promote national unity through sufficed with arts, music and dance.
According to NCAC, Nigeria’s iconic cultural diversity was on display during the 33rd edition of the NAFEST, pandemics or not. NAFEST was organised in full compliance of the COVID- 19 protocols guidelines.
They said “NAFEST 2020 Jos proved beyond measures that culture holds the tripod for national unity and development.”
NAFEST organisers also said NAFEST proud partners including Plateau State Government made it possible for AFEST to promote diversity and peace. One of them said Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong did his best to welcome visitors which is key to Plateau’s recovery.
“Major highlight of the over four-hour duration heralding the opening ceremony of NAFEST was Governor Simon Lalong’s testimony that Plateau has returned to winning peaceful ways.
“Peace has returned to the Plateau nation. We have invested on security and welfare of our people, we cherish our culture and unity, and today we are here to show to the world that plateau is the place to be.” he said.
Launching a book on Nigeria at 60, in company of Otunba Segun Runsewe, the Director General National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Gov. Lalong noted that Nigeria must take cultural tourism very seriously and use it as veritable platform to promote rural development and empower women. The book was written by journalist Lanre Alfred.
Senate Committee Chairman on Culture and Tourism and former governor of Imo State, Owelle Rochas Okorocha noted that any nation without culture and history will struggle with national identify among the comity of nations.
He commended Governor Simon Lalong for hosting NAFEST and using the platform to tell the peaceful story of the Plateau nation.
“Governor Lalong has done well despite the challenges of COVID- 19 to the economy and I must also appreciate the DG NCAC, Otunba Segun Runsewe for making this happen. Runsewe deserves our support and encouragement and that is why I had to be here today. NAFEST must be used to market Nigeria, so next time, I will want to see all the foreign diplomatic communities attend this cultural programme.” Okorocha further explained.
Women Affairs Minister, Dame Pauline Tallen, was also excited about Nafest impact on the Jos plateau tourism economy, stating that governor Simon Lalong has returned peace to the Plateau, making it once again the heartbeat of Nigeria’s Cultural tourism destination.
“A look at the map of Nigeria shows the unique place plateau occupies in the heart of the nation and am proud of what we are seeing here again in Jos. We are ready to occupy our rightful place in all areas of national development and credit today goes to the governor, the people of plateau state,” she emphasized.
Runsewe, in his opening remarks noted that Jos, Plateau cannot be ignored in the cultural agenda to rebuild Nigeria, noting that all COVID protocols will be observed to the letter even though as Nigeria prepares for a post COVID cultural tourism economy.
“We are conscious of the impact and challenges posed by the pandemic , and so we are ready to observe all its protocols but we must prepare and engage our people and investors on the post COVID-19 outlook in order not to completely lose focus on the market” he further explained.