The Director-General, Abuja Carnival Management Committee, Professor Bakare Ojo Rasaki has appealed to State Governments to commit more funds to the culture sector in their various States in order to accommodate cultural events like the annual Abuja Carnival.
Speaking in a chat with Nico News at the Eagle Square after the Street Carnival at the Opening Ceremony of Abuja National Carnival 2013, he said this was necessary because creativity is improving so much from the participating States of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the Carnival.
Describing the various cultural performances as great and highly creative, Rasaki said: “If the tempo we have now should be maintained, I call on the State Governments to commit more funds to this Carnival. The artists have improved tremendously because we continue to insist on standard. They have added more creative energy to their cultural performances. You can see how contemporary issues surface in the costumes, dances, and music. The Federal Government is trying so much by sustaining the Carnival. I mean, it is one event that showcases Nigerian culture and tourism to the international community. If the participants are encouraged by their State Governments, they will do better.”
He continued: “You can also see that the Carnival is attracting more countries as participants. It is an evidence of how they cherish our culture. Their participation is a serious evidence of cultural diplomacy. We can also learn a lot from their culture while they learn from ours. Look at the kind of performances Egypt, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Trinidad &Tobago, and China had put up. Also, look at the aesthetics in the costumes of all the States that joined the Street Carnival. We are richly blessed in Nigeria culturally. The theme of the carnival, A People for a Century: A People Forever, is very strategic to show how a people can co-exist with multiple cultures for 100 years and forever. I thank President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan for his efforts in trying to transform this country and realizing the power of culture to the Transformation Agenda. I also thank the Honourable Minister for Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke for his dynamic and innovative approach to matters of culture and tourism in Nigeria.”
IThe Honourable Minister for Culture, Chief Edem Duke, had in his remarks said that the Carnival and its activities will show the whole world that culture has been a source of unity and peace in Nigeria in her 100 years of existence as a nation; and that people should embrace culture and tourism for national unity.
The carnival continues with Masquerade display at the Eagle Square and Boat Regatta at the Jabi lake.
Nwagbo Pat Obi