The Kwara State Director of National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mr. Felix Olowo-Okere, has advised members of newly-inaugurated NICO Cultural Clubs of the National Institute for cultural Orientation in the North-Central Zone, to remain conscious of their culture and distance themselves from drug abuse, as they are future leaders of Nigeria.

Mr. Olowo-Okere, who stating this while delivering a lecture, titled, “Moral Decadence among Youths,” on the occasion of the Inauguration of NICO Cultural Clubs in 20 Primary Schools and 10 Secondary Schools, Wednesday, 4th December, 2013, also told the members that Africans are guided by cultural values to the envy of everyone who has anything to do with the people.

He noted that, drug abuse was not only a deviation from the cherished African culture, but “a total destruction of self by self,” thereby denying the country the cultural values that would have been factors in national development and peaceful co-existence.

Earlier, while welcoming guests and participants, the Coordinator, NICO North-Central Zone, Mallam Ibrahim Lawal, said the Institute’s initiative, which brought together the large number of young future leaders to discuss their participation in cultural life, is a preventive measure against situations that could cause social-cultural disharmony.

Lawal added that the renewed and reinvigorating attention by the leadership of Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma to cultural issues and traditions is increasingly becoming visible, the establishing and extending NICO Cultural Clubs to Primary Schools being a case in point.

He therefore called on the new NICO Cultural Clubs not to hesitate to contact the NICO Zonal Office for necessary assistance concerning their schools’ cultural activities as the zonal office could call on them when necessary to participate in its programmes and that they should always keep the African flag flying because, “Black is beautiful.”

The inauguration of NICO Cultural Clubs attracted traditional dances, drama, and fashion parade by the participating schools depicting the various languages spoken in the North-Central zone, while Indomie, apart from entertaining guest with indomie foods, added colour to the event when they organised eating competition among eight participants chosen by indomie; the 1st and 2nd position winners went home with a carton of indomie noodles each and the 3rd position winner got a few packs of the indomie.

Though it was not a competitive event, Federal Staff Secondary School, Adewole, Government Day Secondary School, Odo-okun, Ilorin, Sheik Abdulkadir College, Ilorin, received prizes for their outstanding performances, while Federal Staff School (Primary), Adewole and Barakat LGEA School, were the recipients for the primary category.

The occasion was graced by the Permanent Secretary, Kwara State Ministry of Education, represented by represented by the Director, School Services, Mrs. Comfort T. Adeoti, State Director, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mr. Felix Olowo-Okere, Assistant Director, State Ministry of Education, Mr. Yahaya Arowona, as well as principals and cultural officers of the participating schools.

Naseer Saeed Ategba