Special Adviser on Culture to Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, Mr Solomon Bonu, has urged Nigerians to leverage on the enormous potential in culture to promotion national unity.
Bonu told the journalists on Wednesday in Lagos that the nation’s diverse culture should be a vehicle for social integration rather than separatist agitation.
According to him, cultural events such as NAFEST had further united the nation over the years, adding that the nation needed more of such cultural festivals to continue to unite Nigerians.
“God has a purpose for creating people with diverse culture, languages and all, so calling for separation is not the issue now.
“We need to come together in harmony to live together and move the country forward.
“The three ethnic groups do not need to separate, all we need to do is to table our differences and speak on them.
“Nigerians should work on organising more cultural festivals like NAFEST and tap from the potential of culture; this will go a long way in uniting us as a nation.
“Lagos state will be hosting NAFEST for 2022, we are going to add more glamour to it,” he said.
Bonu said that Nigeria had a unique and diverse culture that could be converted to wealth, adding that much needed to be done.
He commended the National Council for Arts and Culture and the Ekiti state government for hosting the 34th edition of NAFEST, which he described as very successful.
“The festival was well organised, kudos to the Director-General, NCAC it is not easy bringing people together and celebrating our unity,” he said.
Also speaking, Mr Tonye Briggs-Oniyide, Rivers state Commissioner for Tourism and Culture said the culture sector had the potential to unite the country.
Briggs-Oniyide said such festival should be encouraged and improved on, to be organised more frequently to enable Nigerians from different ethnic groups to relate more effectively with one another.
According to her, when Nigerians understand one another well enough, there would be fewer kiosks, agitations for separation will equally be quelled.
“This is the sector that can unite the nation, the festival made people of different culture come together, eating, dancing and playing together.
“This is the platform where we can regain our unity and understand one another better. Each state should invest more in cultural festivals.
“NCAC has tried with a performing DG, likewise Ekiti has done well, bringing people from different states together to mingle,” she said.