The United Nations and the Enugu State Government have commended the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) for its efforts in the documentation of Nigerian cultural heritages
The encomiums came from the Director/Country Representative, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Abuja an arm of the United Nations, Dr. Joseph Ngu and Executive Governor of Enugu State, His Excellency Sullivan Iheanacho Chime. The duo described the Executive Secretary of NICO, Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma as a man making history in the area of cultural orientation in Nigeria.
Stating this at the opening ceremony of a 3-Day Capacity-Building Workshop on the Domestication of the 2003 UNESCO Convention on Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) in Nigeria Dr. Ngu said: “The workshop is an important step to realize UNESCO’s strategy of strengthening national capacities for safeguarding of ICH and wholesome implementation of the Convention in Nigeria. I give special thanks to NICO for its efforts in the process of protection of ancestral traditions. NICO is a hardworking Institute. They are devoted to harnessing Nigerian culture. We cherish their cooperation with UNESCO. I thank the Enugu state for hosting the workshop. I thank all the culture oriented agencies too.’’
On his part, Gov. Chime who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Enugu State, Sir Ferdinand Anikwe lamented the situation where Nigerian cultures were not documented in the pre-colonial era. He expressed his joy for NICO in its effort in bringing back these cultural values of the past to this present time.
He noted that the efforts have brought back culture of respect which he posited was reflected in the just concluded general elections which the whole world applauded its transparency.
He Said: “The Government of Enugu State is culture friendly. I must commend NICO for this all important workshop. Culture is a veritable aspect of our national development. It is a pity that most of our traditions in the pre-colonial period were not documented. There was culture of respect among all the tribes in Nigeria. But unethical behaviour crept in after the war and brought disorder. I am so happy at the efforts being made to restore and document them which NICO is leading. That was what we witnessed in the just concluded elections. Nigeria earned respect in the whole world for peaceful, fair and free elections. That is why I welcome your choice of Enugu for the workshop. Enugu is gifted in cultural matters, especially in the area of intangible culture which is the basis of the workshop. There is need for the continuity of this workshop.”
In his remarks, Dr. Ayakoroma who is renowned Playwright vowed that he will never relent in his efforts in the pursuit of the goals that will encourage the training of stakeholders to acquire necessary knowledge to achieve the purpose of ICH in Nigeria.
The Workshop which is a collaboration between UNESCO and NICO in Bridge-Water Hotels, Enugu, Enugu State has dignitaries in attendance. They are; Executive Secretary, NICO, Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, Director/Country Representative, UNESCO Abuja, Dr. Joseph Ngu, Enugu State Governor, His Excellency Sullivan Iheanacho Chime represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Enugu State, Sir Ferdinand Anikwe, Dr. Casmir Ani, President Nigerian Civil Society Platform on Intangible Cultural Heritage, Mr. Silverse Lisamula Anami from Kenya and a facilitator, Izueke Okoro, the Executive Secretary Enugu State Council for Arts and Culture, Denja Abdullahi, NCAC and Resource person from Nigeria, Mr. Festus Ihenetu, Director, Research and Documentation, NICO, Mr. Nelson Ebi Campbell, SA to ES, NICO, Mrs. Margaret Okonkwo, Curator NCMM, top management staff of NICO, Enugu State Government, UNESCO, arts, culture journalists and stakeholders in the culture sector etc.