Eko NAFEST: Sanwo-Olu, Urged Nigerians To Elect Leaders That Would Ensure The Unity And Peaceful Co-Existence Of The Country

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sanwoluLagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu urged Nigerians to elect leaders that would ensure the unity and peaceful co-existence of the country ahead of the 2023 general elections.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 35th edition of the festival titled Eko NAFEST 2022 at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena, formerly Onikan Stadium, the governor said the founding fathers of the festival intended to use it to unite the country and preach peaceful co-existence after the end of the civil war in 1970.

He said, “As we celebrate the Nigerian heritage and cultural diversity here today, my clarion call is that we take this an opportunity to elect leaders who will recognize and take advantage of our rich, multi-cultural heritage and language to unify us as a people and as a nation which was the intention of our founding fathers.”

Sanwo-Olu urged Nigerians to take advantage of the differences in language and culture as well as its plurality for the unification and peace of the country, saying “NAFEST offers Nigeria the best hope for unification and peaceful existence.

“As political office holders continue to engage the electorates at this period, it is important to re-echo the message of unity and peaceful co-existence which the NAFEST platform provides. Rather than seeing the differences in our language and culture as a dividing factor, I implore us to see it as one of our greatest resources to be embraced, celebrated and used to our collective advantage.”

He welcomes various state contingents to Lagos, advising them to explore the warmth and hospitality of the state, noting that the state government has made efforts to make the festival a success and memorable one.

Earlier, Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf, expressed delight that the state is hosting the cultural tourism event even as she implores the participants to take advantage of the various offerings made available for them to explore the state tourism potential.

The Director General of the National Council for Arts and Culture, Otunba Segun Runsewe, has said that this year’s National Festival of Arts & Culture, NAFEST, is designed strategically as a lubricator of renewed synergy by the Council and Lagos State Government for the special purpose of reuniting Nigerians for greater tomorrow.

Runsewe made this statement today, November 9, 2022, at Mobolaji Johnson Arena, formerly Onikan Stadium, shortly before the official opening ceremony of the 2022 NAFEST titled Eko NAFEST 2022.

Runsewe said the media have been talking about the need for Nigerians to remain united for the good of all, but unfortunately, no one seems to heed the advice.

“For a long time we have been discussing what divides us as a people, but the Nigerian media have been stressing the need for us to unite and celebrate what binds us together. Unfortunately, we have not been listening and acting upon these patriotic messages of unity. Interestingly, we do not have another country other than Nigeria.

Runsewe said, “this year’s National Festival of Arts & Culture, NAFEST, is designed strategically as a lubricator of renewed synergy by the Council and Lagos State Government for the special purpose of reuniting Nigerians for greater tomorrow.”

Runsewe said “the media have been talking about the need for Nigerians to remain united for the good of all, but unfortunately, no one seems to heed the advice.

“For a long time we have been discussing what divides us as a people, but the Nigerian media have been stressing the need for us to unite and celebrate what binds us together. Unfortunately, we have not been listening and acting upon these patriotic messages of unity. Interestingly, we do not have another country other than Nigeria.

“So this year’s NAFEST is to open up a new synergy to unite Nigeria. We must not allow other people to tell our stories for us.”

 


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