The Executive Governor of Rivers state, Chief Nyesom Wike and the Director-General, National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) have agreed that culture remains Nigeria’s biggest asset in enthroning sustainable peace and unity among all Nigerians irrespective of ethnic, religious or political divides.
Wike and Runsewe highlighted this position during their respective remarks at the closing ceremony of the 31st edition of the National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST) held in Port Harcourt.
At the cultural fiesta, Rivers State emerged first overall while Bayelsa and Ondo came 2nd and 3rd respectively. The Rivers State Chief Executive Officer urged Nigerians to use culture as a rallying point promote peace and unity in all parts of the country
He noted that every state is blessed with very rich art and culture and that the state has the capacity to host NAFEST yearly.
Wike commended the DG NCAC, adding that Runsewe and his team have done exceedingly well by organizing fiesta and that his wife, Justice Eberechi Nyesom Wike, who hosted 500 children at the government house was extremely impressed with the numerous components of this year’s edition.
He maintained that the successful hosting of NAFEST by Rivers State buttress the fact that the state is peaceful and the people are culture friendly. Flowing from the successful hosting of the just concluded NAFEST, the governor promised to support the NCAC in its mandate to continue to unite Nigerians using culture.
Responding, Runsewe who was excited at the success of the event thanked the governor and the people of Rivers for the massive support, adding that he was impressed at the high level of peace and security in the state compared to the falsehood propagated in some quarters that Rivers state is unsafe.
The 2018 edition featured several components like free skill acquisition, indigenous games, traditional cuisines, children’s essay-writing competition, traditional wrestling, cultural market, free medical services, command performances featuring breathtaking music and dance among others.
Presenting awards in several categories to the winning states, Runsewe said this has been the best NAFEST in recent times expressing hope that the next edition slated for Benin City in 2019 will live up to the standard set by Rivers state.