The 35th meeting of Chief Executives of Culture of the Federation (CEC) has opened in the Redemption Hall of Imo Concorde Hotel, Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria on Tuesday, March 29, 2011 with the theme: Culture As A Tool For Sustainable Development.

In his opening remarks, the Executive Director of National Council for Arts and Culture, Mr. M. M. Maidugu, at whose instance the 3-day meeting is held, stated that the choice of Imo State to host the first meeting in the year, was informed by a careful consideration of the government’s achievement and the peaceful disposition of the people of the state.

The 35th edition of CEC according to Maidugu was to challenge culture practitioners to initiate and articulate strategies that would address the present predicament of unemployment, crime and youth restiveness, emphasising that, “our culture abhors all vices, but encourage peaceful co-existence, creativity, integrity, honesty and hardwork, he added.

He therefore urged participants to draw from the abundant resources of our cultural heritage towards mitigating some of the peace challenges the nation is facing today.

Speaking in a similar vein, the Hon. Commissioner, Imo State Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Dr. Amanze Obi observed that in the eyes of the world, “Nigeria is great in potentials, but small in achievement and that the culture sector is one of the surest ways of recovering this negative trend.”

The commissioner who was represented by a former Chief Executive of Culture, Mr. Ash Okoro, therefore challenged culture managers to look into “our ways of life and identify those tendencies that tend to limit us”.

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