The Director General of the National Council for Arts and Culture, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe (OON) who is also the President of the World Crafts Council, African Region, has said that his ultimate goal is to use Culture to unite Nigeria and bring about sustainable peace and national development.
Runsewe said this at the opening of a 3-day meeting of the National Technical Stakeholders of the National Festival of Arts and Culture held in Ado Ekiti from August 3-5, 2021.
The Ekiti State Governor who was represented by his deputy Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi expressed his excitement that the State will be hosting 52-edition of NAFEST for this year with the theme ‘Celebrating Unity In Diversity’ scheduled for November 13-20, 2021. He said this year’s NAFEST would present a good opportunity to showcase the rich cultural heritage of Ekiti State for the world to see and to tap into its economic potential. He added that any State that fails to take into account the need to situate culture as well as the creative capacity of its people within its developmental plan is bound to face serious social, political and economic crisis in the long run.
“The forthcoming NAFEST will promote national unity, social integration, redirect cultural activities, revenue generation and create windows of investment opportunities for the economic growth of not only Ekiti State but also Nigeria”.
The Ekiti State Commissioner for Arts, Culture and Tourism, Professor Rasaki Ojo Bakare in his remark also said that the essence of the meeting was a reminder to the stakeholders of the Iconic American President, Abraham Lincoln quote that “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four hours sharpening the axe” Bakare said the quote underscores the importance of proper planning towards having satisfactory NAFEST. He said: “This collective interface among all the principal implementers of the National Festival of Arts and Culture 2021 project will continue to be a major success factor in every successful edition of the NAFEST.”
The first lady of Ekiti State, Erelu Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi, whose presence added colour to the Technical Stakeholders meeting, was decorated as “Mama NAFEST 2021”. She appreciated the Director General of National Council for Arts and Culture, for giving her the award of Mama NAFEST 2021. She however urged the delegates and stakeholders to explore all the good experiences that Ekiti State has to offer during the forthcoming NAFEST.
The meeting was attended by over 30 State Commissioners of Culture and other stakeholders in the Culture and Tourism sector of the country.