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Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, says his administration will exploit the hosting of the 2019 National Festival for Arts and Culture (NAFEST) to showcase the state’s rich, innovative cultural products to the world.
The governor gave the assurance in commemoration of the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, marked every May 21, by the United Nations and its various organs.
The 2019 National Festival for Art and Culture will be hosted by Edo State from October 19 to 26, 2019.
According to Obaseki, “As we mark the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, we assure of plans to showcase the glamorous heritage of Edo people and promote our world-renowned cultural products during the 2019 NAFEST.
There is no denying that Edo State occupies a pride of place in the cultural map of the world as a result of our peculiar heritage in arts, culture and remarkable footprint in human civilisation.
“All of these and the modern incarnations will be on display at the 2019 NAFEST, which will serve as an opportunity for us to show how through innovative approaches, we have continued to preserve our rich cultural heritage bequeathed to us by our forefathers.”
The governor reiterated the state government’s commitment to building institutions as well as leveraging multilateral partnerships to preserve and promote its cultural assets, noting, “Our cultural artefacts and expressions hold unique features which speak to and amplifies our identity as a people. We have set modalities for the building of institutions to showcase, promote, conserve and preserve our cultural assets for future generations.”
According to the United Nations, “In 2001, UNESCO adopted the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity and in December 2002, the UN General Assembly, in its resolution 57/249, declared May 21 to be the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development.
“The day provides us with an opportunity to deepen our understanding of the values of cultural diversity and to advance the four goals of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions adopted on 20 October 2005 to support sustainable systems of governance for culture.”
Meanwhile, the state government has urged the Edo people and Nigerians to disregard the schemes of a few greedy individuals who have been angling to corner the state’s resources for themselves through the dissemination of fake news and rumours in the media.
In a statement, Crusoe Osagie, special adviser to the Edo State Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, said those behind the rumours were a few individuals with an insatiable appetite for the people’s collective patrimony and should be disregarded by members of the public.
He said, “They have whipped up sentiments and thrown up a false sense of crisis in the state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC). All Edo people know there is peace in the state. Roads are being constructed, teachers are being trained, industries are springing up and the people are happy. The real politicians are happy with the government, which has been confirmed through statements in several fora.”
He noted that the state government is consolidating on the legacies of the immediate past administration by deepening reforms in education, infrastructure, healthcare, workers’ welfare, industrialisation, among others.
According to Osagie, “Edo people should expect more of the propaganda by these mischief makers but should disregard them. These persons are sycophants, angling for political patronage, hoping to get favours from the National leadership of the party and the National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. They think that if they ingratiate themselves as the small pool of people loyal to and supporting the National Chairman, they will be the ones to get the benefits accruing to the state at the national level.
“We make bold to say that the relationship between the state and the national leadership of the party is rock solid, so also is that of the governor and his predecessor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, our party’s National Chairman. We know that the National Chairman is experienced and can decipher the antics of those scheming and throwing tantrums just to win unmerited favours.
He called on the people to disregard the rumours by these individuals and be assured of government’s unfailing commitment to continue to work for their interest, deliver on its mandate and consolidate on the progress being made across different sectors of the state’s economy.