The National Council for Arts and Culture in Nigeria has unveiled state that would host the 2019 National Festival.
It could be recalled that Kaduna state in North west Nigeria and Rivers state in South-South Nigeria hosted the 2018 edition of the National Festival.
While briefing journalists in Abuja, Nigeria, the Director General of the National Council for Arts and Culture, Mr Otunba Olusegun said that, Edo state government will host the 2019 edition of the NAFEST.
The NCAC DG noted that the event which is scheduled to hold in Benin City, Edo state from 19th to 26th October, 2019 has the theme “Our Royalty, Our Pride”.
Mr Olusegun noted that NAFEST has over the years become a truly national unity forum since 1970 after the Nigerian Civil War as a platform for healing the wounds of the war in line with the policy of Reconciliation, Reconstruction and Rehabilitation of the Gowon Administration.
“As a foremost annual national festival that brings Nigerians from all the states of the federation together in the same arena for socio cultural exchanges, NAFEST is a clear demonstration of the critical relevance of culture in forging national unity, peace, mutual understanding and for building bridges of love and friendship across the different ethnic religious divides in Nigeria”, he stated.
He added that since his assumption of office at the Council, he have made concerted efforts in repositioning NAFEST, not only as a platform for propagating peace and National cohesion, but also as a means of impacting on the life of the people.
The DG explained that he was able to achieve this by expanding the scope, content and reach of the festival.
“ For example, free skill acquisition training, waste to wealth and free medical screening are some of the new components I have introduced to the festival to add value to NAFEST and empower the people, while fulfilling our corporate social responsibility”, said Mr Olusegun.
While revealing that, the Executive Governor of Edo State Mr Godwin Obaseki has affirmed his commitment towards making Edo 2019 a most historic moment for NAFEST, Mr Olusegun also remarked that the Council is determined to build on the gains of the last two years.
Mr Olusegun further disclosed that one of the distinctive features of NAFEST 2019 would be A Day of Royal Splendor. He emphasized that the event will be in collaboration with the revered Oba’s Palace in furtherance of the centrality of Benin Monarchy to the socio cultural activities of the state.
Also speaking the Edo State Commissioner for Arts, Culture, Tourism and Diaspora Affairs, Mr Osaze Osemwegie-Ero said that Edo is ever ready to host the 2019 festival in the state.
The Commissioner who stressed that the state has all it takes to make the festival a unique one, he added that culture brings corporation and unity amongst people.
Commenting on the security safety of the visiting states he guarantee all participating states of their safety throughout the festival period.
Mr Osemwegie-Ero hinted that the state government under the leadership of governor Obaseki has has being doing alot to curb insecurity in state since his assumption into office.