Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has reiterated the significance of culture in national development, saying that culture is a means of uniting Nigerian people.
Obaseki, who spoke at the opening ceremony of this year’s National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST) with the theme, “Our royalty, our pride’, which is meant to commemorate the third coronation anniversary and birthday of the Benin monarch, Oba Ewuare II, Omo N’oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, said: “NAFEST has provided opportunity for states of the country to bond and it is a great pleasure to have states of Nigeria coming to Edo to celebrate our culture for the first time in 40 years.
“With culture, Nigeria gets better united. Edo is home of culture in Nigeria and we are happy to host everybody in the home of culture.”
Chairman of House of Representatives Committee on Culture and Tourism, Ogbeide Ihama, said: “The House is committed to always support culture and tourism across the country. The House will continue to support and drive it to the greatest height.”
However, the Director-General of National Council for Arts and Culture said: “the festival has continued to serve as a veritable platform for fostering national unity, social integration and for bringing about love, friendship, mutual understanding, and co-operation as well as cultural exchanges among Nigerians from a different ethnic and religious background.”
Meanwhile, at the opening ceremony, Prof. Victor Efosa Uwaifo and Tubaba thrilled guests with their classic songs such as One Love, African Queen, Joromi and Mammy Water. In the past, no major artists had been engaged to perform at the opening.