The Executive Secretary, National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, has expressed optimism that the Nzeh Mada Cultural Festival of Nasarawa State holds enormous potentials and that if it is properly harnessed and sustained, it will remain a platform for unity and peace in Mada land.
Ayakoroma made this known in a goodwill message on Saturday, April 19, 2014 at the Grand Finale of Nzeh Mada 2014 Cultural Festival, which took place at the Central Primary School, Akwanga, Nasarawa State, with the theme, “Festival of Peace and Re-union.”
According to him, he was not surprised with the array of cultural displays from different cultural groups at the festival, considering the fact that Nasarawa State had always been a force to reckon with in cultural activities at the national level in the country in the past few years.
Expressing pleasure over the opportunity to attend the festival, the ES said he could not afford to miss the event for certain reasons, beginning from the fact that Professor Emmanuel Dandaura, who is the chairman of the Festival Planning Committee, happens to be his Head of Department at the Nasarawa State University, Keffi (NSUK), where he is currently a Visiting Senior Lecturer at the Department of Theatre and Cultural Studies.
He also disclosed that, NICO organises National Conference for Traditional Rulers with the theme: “Culture, Peace and National Security” that debuted two years ago, and that plans are already in top gear to organize the second edition this year, adding that he reasoned that traditional rulers in the state would attend the programme in their numbers and it was a rare opportunity to meet them ahead of one of the Institute’s core programmes.
Again Ayakoroma said that the festival is a cultural event and as he happens to be in the culture sector, he needed to be in attendance because he had the conviction that much will be happening and of course there will also be much to take back to the parent ministry by way of advice to see how there could be synergy between the Festival Organizing Committee and the Federal Ministry of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, stressing that everything he had witnessed at the festival will be duly reported to the Honourable Minister, High Chief Edem Duke.
“One thing I will say is that there is a lot of promise for this programme; and I am not surprised that Professor Emmanuel Dandaura is in charge here because for the past years, Nasarawa State has always been a force to reckon with in cultural activities. It is our belief that Professor Dandaura will take it up with NICO and the Federal Ministry to see how the festival can be taken to the next level,” Ayakoroma said.
Cultural troupes that performed at the festival included the Tsarbe Dance Troupe, Mbembe Mada Dance Troupe, Kokona Dance Troupe, Anza Mochu, Female Cultural Troupe, Akwanga and the Mada Ceremonial Masquerade; other districts from Akwanga Local Government like Akwanga, Andaha, Agyaga, Bohar/Ningo, Gwanje, Nunkun Chun and Anta Mochu, including the Mada people in Kaduna State, also featured their various cultural performances in the festival.
Among dignitaries present at the festival were HRH Samson Gamu Yaren (the Chun Mada); HRH Alhaji Usman Adamu Anwe (the Chun Ngah); the Executive Governor of Nasarawa State, Alhaji Tanko Al-Makura who was represented by his wife, Hajiya Mairo Tanko Al-Makura; the Deputy Governor of Nasarawa State, Hon. Luka Damishi; Honourable Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku; and former Governor of Plateau State, Chief Joshua Dariye, who was chairman to the occasion and represented by Senator John Danboyi.
Also in attendance were the former Minister of Employment and Labour, Alhaji H. Z. Akwanga Zanwa; former Deputy Governor, Nasarawa State, Chief Mike Abdul; Senator John Tanko; former Deputy Governor of Plateau State, Alhaji Haliru Bala Usman; Member, Nasarawa State House of Assembly, Hon. Peter Mboto; and Honourable Commissioner, Tourism and Culture, Nasarawa State, Hon. Samuel Neshin.