altBayelsa State has emerged overall best at the just concluded 27th edition of the National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST), clinching the first position in traditional storytelling, traditional wrestling, and traditional cuisine/food fair.

Bayelsa state also took second position in traditional dance and music, 4thposition in Arts and Crafts, 2nd position in traditional furnished apartment, and 4th position in essay writing.

Niger State emerged the overall second having taken first in three of the competitive events; Cross Rivers State emerged as third overall best; while Ebonyi and Rivers State emerged 4th overall bests.

It was seven good days of festivities, as Bayelsans from all works of life turned up en masse to savour the 27th National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST 2013), organized by the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), at the Gloryland Cultural Centre, Yenagoa, the Bayelsa state capital.

The festival lived up to its billing, as the diversity of the nation’s rich cultural practices were projected through dances, songs, wrestling, storytelling, costumes, arts and crafts expo, traditional furnished apartments, and cultural market, to the delight of spectators.

Speaking at the occasion, the Honourable Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke, Who was represented by the Bayelsa State Honourable Commissioner for Culture and Ijaw National Affairs, Dr. Felix Tuodulo, lauded President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan for his support, and the Government and people of Bayelsa State for successfully hosting the event.

The Governor of Bayelsa State, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson, represented by His Deputy, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah (rtd), while declaring the event closed, thanked the various contingents for participating, adding that the annual fiesta is an asset that has contributed greatly to national development and peaceful co-existence.

In his vote of thanks, the Executive Director of National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Mr. Mwajim Malgwi Maidugu, who is also the Festival Director, applauded the Bayelsa State Government for providing the necessary logistics that made the event a success.

According to the NCAC boss, throughout the duration of the event, there were no complaints of any form from participants, and also lauded the contingents, NGOs and the media for their support throughout the duration of the event.

It will be recalled that the first hosting of NAFEST by Bayelsa State in 2006 was aborted because of the ill-fated plane crash that claimed many military officers, as the event was opened and closed at the same time.

Moses Omorogbe
Corporate Affairs