SAM 5443The Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Makanjuola Suleiman Ajadi, has said that an occasion like the World Culture Day celebration should not be taken only as an assembly of future leaders, lectures, and the rest of it; instead it should be thought of, as a platform for parents, community and the entire society, to do soul-searching and see if parents were still carrying out their traditional responsibilities of inculcating in their children sound cultural values.

Senator  Ajadi, who stated this, as Chairman of the Occasion, at the 2014 edition of the World Culture Day organised by the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) North-Central Zone, Ilorin, in collaboration with Kwara State Ministry of Social Development, Culture and Tourism, explained that, this year’s theme for the event, which revolves round the role of culture in entrepreneurship development, was timely, as the youths have become victims of unholy acts, being mercenaries in the hands of wicked persons.

Represented by Alhaji Abdulrahaman Oladimeji Oyinloye, a former Permanent Secretary in Kwara State, the SA to the President, while expressing sadness over the development, said, this has left questions on the lips of parents and adults, specifically: “Where did we go wrong”?; asserting that it has been the consequences of people deviating from culture or not recognising the significance of core values.

SAM 5504He said, since the sound leadership of Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, as the Executive Secretary, National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) was not in doubt, the veritable option was to excavate the significance of culture on entrepreneurship development with particular reference to culture, and called on the Federal Government to enhance the financial capacity of the NICO, so that it could fashion out ways that would effectively identify cultural factors that would influence entrepreneurship development in Nigeria.

“Not only will this country experience technical change where growth is driven by the innovative activities of entrepreneurs and appeasing entrepreneurial spirit, the activities of youths will also remain in check to prevent the erosion of our cultural values inculcated in our children, as the future leaders of this country, by foreign cultures not in conformity with our way of life,” Senator Ajadi maintained.

In his address, the Honourable Commissioner for Social Development, Culture and Tourism, Kwara State, Hon. Amos Aboyeji, who was the Special Guest of Honour at the occasion, said key players in the Tourism and Culture industry were committed to transform the sector and reposition it for a critical role in dealing with the current challenges militating against the country, and that this could only be achieved by working together.

Hon. Aboyeji, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mrs. Funmilayo Ajiboye, explained further that, in recent time, entrepreneurship has become a continuous social science investigation and it was not unconnected with its usefulness as a primary assert of any country’s economy, Nigeria not being an exception in the comity of the nations.

He added that, because of the global development this aspect had achieved, individuals, scholars, agencies and government were on the track of what the problems of its slow pace were and how to curb them, if not stagnant in Nigeria.

SAM 5482The Commissioner stressed that, the time had come not only to acknowledge but de-emphasise the differences among Nigerians and promote the uniqueness of the people, as this will help overcome those beating the drums for balkanising the country and give greater voice to those things such as the cultures that give people a stronger sense of identity as Nigerians.

In his welcome address, the Executive Secretary, National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma said the 2014 World Day for Cultural Diversity, Dialogue and Development had become a celebration with significant impact on ways to end the man-made tragedies bedevilling the country.

The address, which was read on his behalf by the North-Central Zonal Coordinator, Mallam Ibrahim Lawal, said the essence of the World Culture Day was not only to create a chance for people to celebrate diversity and harmony, but also to understand issues around cultural diversity and harmony among governments, non-governmental organizations and the public, adding that, as a multi-religious country, Nigeria, instead of enjoying speedy development as one of the advantages of unity in diversity, was battling with the unexpected tragedies threatening the country’s peaceful co-existence, and that it was not unconnected with near total negligence of core cultural values.

“Nigeria, as one of the countries of the world that embraced their varied cultural history and acknowledged the importance of embracing it, the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development is a celebration of Treasure Peace,” ES said.

Highlighting the significance of NICO programmes, including the “National Conference on Culture, Peace and National Security for Traditional Rulers,” Dr. Ayakoroma said it was based on the foregoing that the Institute wrote the Kwara State Government to sponsor some traditional rulers in the state to attend this year’s national conference.

According to him, the Institute’s National Conference on Culture, Peace And National Security for Traditional Rulers: The Role of traditional Rulers in Nigeria’s Democracy,” comes up on 26th and 27th May, 2014, at the Banquet Hall, Arewa House, in Kaduna.

He recalled the days when primary school pupils offered Arts and Crafts as a subject with practical sessions under very strict supervision, and children learnt varieties of creative works, such as pottery, basket weaving, broom making, beads and sculptures of different sizes, and many more, saying all of these really helped develop entrepreneurship and doubted if such platforms still existed.

SAM 5449While appreciating the audience for honouring the invitation, the Zonal Coordinator, North-Central Office of the Institute, Mallam Ibrahim Lawal, said occasions like the World Culture Day, which tends to enhance the advantages of cultural diversity in development, needed to be organised more frequently, so that everyone would know that Africans, Nigerians in particular, do not have cultures of any manner of destruction.

Lawal added that, the frequency will also awaken and sustain in people, the importance of the country’s cultures and deepen the understanding of cultural diversity and harmony for peaceful co-existence of the people.

In a paper, titled, “Considering Cultural Entrepreneurship for Economic Development in Nigeria,” co-presented by Dr. Lawal Ejalonibu of Department of Political Science, and Mr. Olatunji Abdulrahaman of Department of Sociology, all of University of Ilorin, highlighted the significance of this year’s theme for the celebration.

A total of twenty-seven primary and secondary schools attended the programme, out of which twelve and the Kwara State Performing Troupe entertained the audience with dances and a dance drama, titled, “The Tricks,” as well as exhibition of arts and crafts.

Guests at the occasion included, Kwara State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ambrose O. Aisabor mni, Psc, Zonal Commanding Officer, Federal Road Safety Corps, Mr. John A. Babalola, Representative of NOA Director, Mrs. Tawakaltu A. Ajadi, Controller, Federal Ministry of Land, Housing and Urban Development, Arch. Felix O. Ale, Zonal Coordinator, National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Alhaji Attahiru A. Ibrahim, Directors of Ministries and Permanent Secretaries, Principals and Head Teachers of Secondary and Primary schools, the Nupe Community, and members of the Forum of Heads of Federal Government
Establishments in Kwara State.

Naseer Saeed Ategba