The Wife to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dame Patience Jonathan, has said that the beauty of Nigerian culture is that it has the potentials of unity and peace, and that this beauty lies in the diversity of the cultures that have boosted the tourism potentials of Nigeria to Africa and the rest of the world.
The First Lady, who stated this while declaring open the Abuja National Carnival 2012. at the Eagle Square, Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, said that informed why the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory came together in Abuja to showcase the diverse cultures in the country.
Dame Jonathan said: “The tourism potential of Nigeria is embedded in our multiple and beautiful culture. I am very glad that these multiple cultures are used to express Nigerian unity and peace. You can see that the whole country gathered here to celebrate culture. I am happy we appreciate the cultures of one another from our various ethnic groups. Many countries in Africa, Ambassadors of various countries, as well as tourists from many countries, are here to admire Nigerian rich culture.’’
Calling on Nigerians to embrace the theme of the Carnival, as their guiding principle, she told well meaning Nigerians to give adequate and desired support to the Carnival, so that it will be a huge success.
The Wife of Mr. President also pledged her support to the event saying that there is need for Nigerians to support the Carnival: “I call on the private sector to recognize the Carnival. I will give my full support and work with the Carnival to make sure that it continues to be a huge a success.”
Earlier in his remarks, the Minister for Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke, expressed his appreciation to all those, who were at the event, saying: “Nigeria has really expressed to the whole world through Abuja National Carnival that culture can take pre-eminence in Africa, in the boosting of the economy of any nation. Our Cultures have used this Carnival to define their place in the socio-economic development of Nigeria. We have shown that we are proud of our culture. The cultures we have expressed cannot be found in any other place in Africa, other than in Nigeria. That is why the theme of the Carnival was carefully chosen as, ‘Carnival of Peace and Unity.’”
The opening ceremony attracted many states of the federation that paraded the city of Abuja, showcasing their cultures, in the dances, costumes, accessories, drums, flutes, metal gongs, and so on, from Area 1 to Eagle Square.
The event also featured the participation of foreign countries like China, South Korea, Namibia, Egypt, Cuba, and Trinidad and Tobago.