Group moves to promote unity, patriotism through photo exhibition

Cyril Okonkwo, Abuja

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A photo exhibition aimed at promoting unity and patriotism among Nigerians, especially the youth, will be held on October 1 in Abuja as part of activities marking Nigeria’s 58th Independence Day anniversary.

The exhibition, tagged ANISZA, is a bold response to the ethnic and religious agitations that have bedevilled the country since it got its independence from Britain in 1960.

ANISZA is an acronym coined by combining words from Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba, and depicting unity.

“It is a Nigerian idea that is set to address the needless agitations that Nigerians are faced with, fanning the embers of disunity,” said Miss Novo Isioro, the coordinator of the project, at a press conference on Tuesday.

Miss Isioro said: “we have seen contestations among adherents of the various religious and ethnic groups in the country. 

“There have been tensions that have been generated because of our differences. But I think that this diversity should be celebrated and not be a problem.

“So I just thought about this tendency towards disunity, and as a visual artist, I understand how image tells the story more than words. So, I thought that we should use pictures to tell the stories of strength in diversity.

“The idea is to use pictures to speak to the people to stop the agitations, the drama, the hate speeches, division and instead  work together. 

“This is practically focused on young people. I realized that most people especially the young ones really don’t understand our history.”

She said the exhibtion would be taken, using a mobile gallery, to the 36 states and focus on schools.

“We are collaborating with state governments and federal ministries to take this gallery to schools in their domain to get as many children as possible to benefit from the project. But we are also having an online platform that we will use to keep the message alive.

“But for October 1, we are inviting students from schools across the country. We plan to host the students for three days during which there will be a symposium, an exhibition and a mini-tour.”

Other partners in the project said the initiative would also showcase forgotten values and the essence of maintaining Nigeria’s heritage for the purpose of promoting unity.

President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to declare the exhibition open.