President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (GCFR) has paid tribute to Nigerians affected by the recent flood disaster in various states of the country and also eulogized the late cultural icon, Ambassador Segun Olusola, whom he said contributed immensely to the cultural sector and the National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST), in particular, over the years.
President Jonathan, who made this statement, while declaring open, the 26th Edition of National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST 2012), on Tuesday, October 16, 2012, at Metropolitan Square, Ilorin, Kwara State, also commended the programme (NAFEST), as a platform contributing to the growth and development of the nation’s culture, as well as being a panacea for unity among the various ethnic groups.
The President, represented by the Honourable Minister for Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, High Chief Edem Duke, called for a minute silence for the souls of the victims of the recent unprecedented flood disaster that swept the nation and also for the late Ambassador Olusola.
He, however, called on Nigerians to embrace the theme of this year’s event, “Culture, Peace and Economic Empowerment,” which, he said, expressed optimism that it will bring lasting solutions to the social unrest in the country and violent clashes between various communities.
President Jonathan further wished the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) participating in the festival a peaceful festival, expressing hoped that the forum will foster unity and stability in the country, as well as enhance the various investment opportunities in our diverse cultural heritage.