altThe Honourable Minister of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke, says all is set for the 27th edition of the National Festival of Arts & Culture (NAFEST), the “Unity Forum,” with the theme, “Culture, Peace and National Transformation,” scheduled for 14th-21st September, 2013, in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, and that the festival.

He said NAFEST being organized by the National Council for Arts & Council (NCAC), a parastatal under the Ministry, had lived up to its being a platform for promoting national integration, peace and unity, as demonstrated in the level of participation, which cuts across the 36 states of the federation and the FCT, encompassing governmental and non-governmental organizations, community-based groups, professional associations, schools and institutions of higher learning.

According to Chief Duke, “Such a large gathering from the different segments of the Nigeria society would no doubt encourage healthy interaction that would lead to the building of bridges of understanding, harmony and peace, which is dearly needed, now more than before, in our quest to transform our economy.”

The Minister, therefore, urged urge all and sundry “to reflect upon and employ the virtues of our cultural heritage towards promoting understanding and peaceful co-existence as there is no alternative to peace if we must achieve the strategic plan of transforming and developing the country in the light of the expectations of the founding fathers.”

As to the preparedness to host the festival, the Honourable Commissioner for Culture and Ijaw National Affairs, Bayelsa State, Dr. Felix Tuodolo, said arrangements were all in place to ensure successful hosting, and that visitors had nothing to worry about security challenges, stating that Bayelsa State is one of the most peaceful states in the country.

He informed that renovation works at the Law Students Hostels of Niger Delta University located at Bishop Dimieari Grammar School, for the accommodation of artists, and the Gloryland Cultural Centre, the venue for the artistic performances, have been alton-going, adding that when the contingents arrive for the festival, they would be impressed with the turn-around maintenance.

In his remarks, the Executive Director, NCAC, Mr. MM Maidugu, said the festival will feature both competitive and non-competitive events, and that the finals of the children’s components, which include essay writing and art work, will be done and assessed on the spot, adding that the selection process for the finalists had been done at the states/zonal levels.

Also contributing, the Executive Secretary of National Institute for Cultural Orientation, Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, assured the Honourable Minister that the hosting right of NAFEST 2013 by Bayelsa State Government was to make up for the aborted hosting of NAFEST 2006, and that just as it was the vision of the State Government to make the earlier one the best so far, the expectation is that that vision will be realized this year.

For the text of the Presee Briefing, click:

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