IMG 0877The Executive Secretary of the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, has expressed sadness over negligence on the part of government and even the private sector to fund brilliant initiatives by Nigerians, who have the country at heart, saying he was undaunted over frustrations and will continue to do the little he can, believing that one day, people would realize that what he was invaluable doing programmes.

Ayakoroma, who was fielding questions on “Bush House Nigeria,” hosted by Michael Bush on Kapital FM, 92.9 Abuja, on Monday, 12th May, 2014, to discuss culture and the forthcoming NICO National Conference on Culture, Peace and National Security for Traditional Rulers, said it was unfortunate that Nigerians with great ideas for the country were made to face the challenge of funding, while others who were bent on making the country combustible find easy access to funding.

His words: “It is quite unfortunate that most times, it is as if honesty and hard work do not pay. But if you love what you are doing, you will continue to do the right thing, knowing that God, who sees everything, will reward you accordingly. It saddens my heart when you come up with programmes that should really help this country but don’t get the funding while others walk in and you see some governors dolling out money to sponsor such programmes.”

Continuing, Ayakoroma said, “I know the doors I have knocked for the second edition of the NICO National Conference on Culture, Peace and National Security scheduled to take place in Kaduna State, from 26th-27th May, 2014. Doors that have remained shut at my face. You know it is quite unfortunate; but then, we are undaunted. We will still do the little we can.”

According to the NICO boss, he sees himself as a Nigerian, who is what he is today because of what he has got from Nigeria as his country and will continue to work towards leaving the country better than the way he met it, saying Nigeria is all we have.

He maintained that it was the responsibility of Nigerians to make the country better by the day: “It is not only the responsibility of government. It is for everybody. If you in your own little way improve yourself, your community or your state, of course, you are improving the country. It is not for the President or the Vice President or the Ministers, who have the sole mandate of improving the lot of Nigeria. All of us have a stake to make Nigeria better,” he said.

Further speaking on the forthcoming National Conference with the theme, “Culture, Peace and National Security: The Role of Traditional Rulers in Nigeria’s Democracy,” after the maiden edition in 2012, Ayakoroma said the programme was a series the Institute wants to solidly put in place, despite the challenges of inadequate funding because traditional rulers were the primary peace agents.

“We have traditional rulers as our primary target because they are the custodians of our cultures, just as they are the chief security officers in their domains. So, we need to meaningfully engage them from time to time to underscore the importance of the culture of peace and security to national development, and promote a culture of peace and non-violence among the citizenry. This time around, we are looking at their role in Nigeria’s democracy. Elections are coming next year so there is need to sensitize them on the need for them to re-appraise the efforts they are putting in place as far as peace and security issues are concerned,” he stated.

Earlier, a co-guest on the programme, the Executive Director, Administration & Finance at GreatWaves Global Energy Limited (GWGE), Ibrahim Muhammed Rufai, had said for Nigeria to ameliorate the security situation in the country, both government and the citizens must be involved in combating the perpetrators.

His words: “The basic thing we need to do should not just be on the aspect of the government alone, even the people and it is very simple. We need to act as security to ourselves which is very important. The security agencies need information to work with. It has got to the point where people are scared; but we need to re-orientate them to make them see the need for a change of mindset. We need working policy. We don’t have a working policy and when our policy is not working, we have bad attitudes and cannot move forward. We must learn to stop calling on government all times but in our own little ways try to change your mindsets, and mind our language.”

Caleb Nor & Njideka Dimgba

Corporate Affairs

NICO, Abuja