IMG 4604The Director-General, National Gallery of Art (NGA), Mr. Abdullahi Muku has called on the Nasarawa State government to restructure the yearly Nzeh Mada Festival, organized by the Akwanga people of the state, in order to tap into its economic potentials.

Muku was speaking as Chairman at the official reception of “Bwar Carnival” component of the 2015 edition of Nzeh Mada Annual Festival, which took place at the Central Primary School, Akwanga, Nasarawa State, on Saturday, 4th April, 2015.

The NGA DG, who said that the Annual Nzeh Mada Festival is rich, appealing and sustainable, expressed optimism that the festival had all it takes to be packaged in order to elicit collaborations and sponsorships from well-meaning Nigerians, especially sons and daughters of Mada land and the private sector, so as to extend the reach of the festival.

His words: “Festivals and carnivals are platforms for cultural preservation, renaissance, reawakening and exposition. They are a means of showcasing deep cultural manifestations inherent in a community and Nasarawa State is endowed with many of such cultural festivals and tourist sites that the state can develop to the desired standard for economic benefits.”

According to him, the theme of this year’s festival: “Festival of Reconciliation and Consolidation,” was also reflective of the mood of a nation that is going through elections and was apt and timely for all and sundry to embrace peace and reconciliation, especially for political parties to work together for the common good of the state and country in general.

IMG 4590Further stressing the economic benefits of festivals to the country, Muku urged that with the global oil recession and its great impact on our national economy, there was the need to explore alternative sources of income that can engender economic re-awakening and revenue generation, which culture is one of such products.

Nineteen districts participated in this year’s “Bwar Carnival” component of Nzeh Mada festival, which included, Andaha, Lafia, Akwanga, Karu, Abuja, Keffi, Kokona, Ningo/Boher, Agyaga, Gwanje, Rinze, Gudi, Ancho, Nunku, Panda, Mochu and Anjida, as packaged by the Festival Management Committee, had Professor Emmanuel Samu Dandaura of Nasarawa State University, Keffi (NSUK), as Festival Director.

Also present at the event were the Executive Governor of Nasarawa State, His Excellency, Alhaji Umaru Tanko Al-Makura; immediate past Deputy Governor, Dr. John Michael Abdul; the Chun Mada and President, Akwanga Traditional Council, His Highness, Samson Gamu Yare; Executive Secretary/CEO, National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, who is also a Visiting Associate Professor, Nasarawa State University, Keffi (NSUK); APGA Gubernatorial Candidate in Nasarawa State, Mr. Labaran Maku; his ADC and Labour Party counterparts, Grp. Capt. Rabo Zaggi (rtd) and Hajiya Aisha Mbaka, respectively; and the Chairman, Akwanga Local Government Council, Hon. Abashi Koto, amongst others.

Caleb Nor

Corporate Affairs Unit

NICO, Abuja.