The Chairman, Bayelsa State Traditional Rulers Council, His Royal Majesty, King Alfred Diete-Spiff, the Amanyanabo of Twon Brass, has called on the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) South-South Zonal Office in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, to research and document cultural festivals and other cultural activities in the State, ranging from fishing and masquerade festivals as well as traditional wrestling, for international consumption.
The chairman stated this in his office at the Bayelsa State Traditional Rulers Council complex, Yenagoa, Wednesday, 22nd April, 2015, during a courtesy visit on him by a delegation of NICO South-South Zonal Office led by the Zonal Coordinator, Mr. James Imohieson.
King Diete-Spiff noted that our traditional festivals and ways of life are interesting and unique; therefore, as a cultural orientation institute, NICO should as part of its mandate document these activates in pictures, and images on CDs and sell to the international community to enable them know who we are and what we do and how our culture looks like, just as Nollywood has been communicating to the international community.
He remarked that the mandate of NICO is an important to his office, and that his office will support the Institute in all its programmes and activities to make sure that our culture does not fade away.
He however expressed displeasure with the non-existence of the Institute’s State Office in Bayelsa State and prayed the Management of NICO to established one to work hand in hand with the Zonal Office, remarking that their support and assistance to NICO programmes would be best realized in the State Office, while NICO in turn should create employment opportunities for indigenes.
Responding, the Coordinator, NICO South-South Zonal Office, Mr. James Imohiosen, first congratulated His Royal Majesty, King Alfred Diete-Spiff, who was the first Military Governor of the Old Rivers State, on the structural changes in he has brought to the Council and his moving into a magnificent and befitting office.
Imohieson stressed that the culture of our people has being bastardized, particularly our indigenous languages, dress culture, food culture, as well as respect for elders and those in authority, adding that NICO’s mandate, among other things, is to sensitize the citizenry towards adopting culture-oriented lifestyles.
He said that it was against this backdrop that NICO had the mandate and vision to promoting and sustaining our core positive cultural values, using programmes like the Nigerian Indigenous Language Programme (NILP), which holds in the month of August annually as well as its Weekend version, both aimed at making Nigerians speak at least one indigenous language other than their mother tongue.
According to him, the Promoting Nigerian Dress Culture programme, aimed at bringing our people back on track in patronising indigenous attires, is gaining acceptability in MDAs around the country, just as the establishment of NICO Cultural Clubs in Secondary Schools, to ‘catch them young,’ is inculcating positive cultural values in our children as they are grow up.
While presenting a portrait of NICO logo to the Council, which the Chairman promised to display in the office, to mark NICO’s visit to the council, Imohieson further appealed to the Council to be always part of NICO’s programmes in the State and also continue to be part of the National Workshop on Culture, Peace and National Security for Traditional Rulers, which is one of the Institute’s flagship programmes.
Among those in attendance at the courtesy visit from the South-South Zonal Office of NICO were the Head of Admin & Human Resources, Mr. Ebi Asene; Head of Orientation & Cultural Affairs, Miss Gloria Ephraim; Head of Research & Documentation, Miss Orusoso Opokuma; Head of Finance & Accounts, Mr. Obi James; and Head of Corporate Affairs, Mr. Clifford Ugwu.