Home Art NAFEST 2019 starts in Benin, as Runsewe urges Nigerians to embrace unity

NAFEST 2019 starts in Benin, as Runsewe urges Nigerians to embrace unity

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By Peterson Ibi/Benin

The Director-General of National Council of Arts and Culture, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe on Monday affirmed that Nigerians have no reason not to live together.

Runsewe made the remark in Benin, Edo State, during the opening ceremony of the 2019 National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST).

The festival has as its theme: “Our Royalty, Our Pride.”

He noted that with the display at the opening ceremony, “there is no reason for us to disagree, we will all live together as one nation.

“If you look at this festival today, it brought all tribe in the country together to celebrate culture in unity. This portend that Nigeria will be great again.”

On his part, the Chief host of the event, Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, described the festival as a “veritable tool for uniting the country as exemplified by the participating States.”

He added; “With this Festival, Edo is celebrating culture today because after 40 years the festival started, it has come to the home of culture.”

The Governor who assured the participating States of a memorable festival, called on the States to ensure that the festival is accorded priority.

Chairman, House Committee on Arts and Culture, Mr. Ogbeide Ihama, commended Governor Obaseki for supporting the hosting of NAFEST in the States​ after 40 years of its existence.

Ihama assured that the National Assembly is determined and committed to supporting arts, culture and tourism in its bid to foist unity in the country.

Also speaking, the State Commissioner for Arts and Culture, Osemwingie Ero, noted that the festival has given the State the opportunity to showcase its rich cultural heritage.

He said the Governor has made culture the cardinal principle of his administration, hence the reactivation of the cultural heritage in the State.

Earlier, the 36 participating states staged a march past to the delight of the spectators.

Music maestro, Prof. Victor Uwaifo and TuFace Idibia also thrilled their fans to melodious tunes.

Also present were the Nigerian Army Women Corps and the Presidential Guard who displayed calisthenics skills and martial art.

Highlights of the event was the opening of a native calabash as a sign of traditional and cultural way of declaring the festival open.