Talthe National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST 2012) that was officially opened on 16th October, 2012, officially closed on Saturday, 20th October, 2012, with the emergence of Rivers State, lifting the Presidential Trophy, as new the NAFEST champions, beating Nasarawa State that had been NAFEST winners for four consecutive years.

The overall results show that Nasarawa and Benue States, who are close neighbours, took the overall second position, Niger State got the Bronze gong for the third position, just as the overall fourth position for NAFEST 2012 went to Ogun State, “the Gateway State.”

The six competitive events at NAFEST 2012 were traditional dance drama, moonlight games, traditional wrestling, traditional furnished apartment, Art and Crafts exhibition, and children component (painting and essay writing competition).

altIn the traditional dance drama, Bayelsa State came first, Nasarawa State took second position, Ogun State bagged the third position, while the fourth position went to Cross River State.

In the moonlight games, Rivers State, the overall winner, took the first position and the Golden gong, the second position went to Akwa Ibom State, Cross River State took the third position, while Nasarawa state came up in the fourth position.

Nasarawa State came fourth again in the intermediary category of traditional wrestling, the Bronze gong went to Delta State, Ogun State went home with silver gong, and Rivers State took the Golden gong for emerging first in the contest.

The traditional furnished apartment saw Nasarawa state getting a certificate again for the fourth position, Kano State got the Bronze gong, Benue state lifted the Silver gong, and the first position, the Golden gong, went to Niger state.

At the Art and Crafts exhibition, the Golden gong went to Benue State, the silver gong of the expo went to Nasarawa State, Niger State received a Bronze gong, while Borno State took the fourth position.

The children component of NAFEST 2012, which was made up of painting and drawing, and writing competition, saw Borno State and FCT Abuja taking the first position, the second position went to Lagos and Kano States, and the third position was taken jointly by Benue State, Ogun and Niger States.

Special awards were also given to some states that stood out in the various human attitudes during the period NAFEST 2012, with theme, “Culture, Peace and Economic Empowerment,” lasted, where the Minister’s Golden gong for maintaining peace went to Kwara State of harmony and the best behaved award went to Borno and Anambra States; Consistency at NAFEST Awards went to Kwara, Ogun, Akwa-Ibom and Ebony States, while the Complimentary Awards were given to Benue, Akwa-Ibom, Rivers,  Kaduna, Nasarawa and Niger States.

Kaduna State lifted the trophy for the Largest Contingents’ Award with 454 contingents at the festival, and the best Costumed State Awards went to Akwa-Ibom, Lagaltos, Rivers and Yobe States.

The Director of Culture in the Federal Ministry of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Mr. Goerge Ufot, who represented the Honourable Minister, High Chief Edem Duke, and the Honourable Commissioner for Social Development, Culture and Tourism, Kwara State, Alhaja Rahmat Adeshina Abaya, were among the dignitaries that presented the trophies and certificates to the winners at the Metropolitan Square, Ilorin, venue of the NAFEST 2012 closing ceremony, just as the hosting gong was lifted by Kwara State.

The Kwara State Deputy Governor, Elder Peter Kisira, who represented the State Governor Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, presented the giant gold trophy to Rivers State, as the overall winners in the competitive events of NAFEST 2012.

Naseer Saeed