The National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), South-South Zonal Office in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, in collaboration with Teto Schools, on Thursday, 21st May, 2015, celebrated the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development in a grand style.

The event, which took place at Teto Schools Campus 2, off Ebis Road, Amarata, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, was with the theme, “Shared Culture for a Shared Security.”

In an opening remark, the chairman of the occasion, His Royal Highness Chief Goodnews Sokari Amanimefa, welcomed guests and urged parents to value their children, admire them and inculcate good morals in them.

He commended Teto Schools, which runs nursery, primary and secondary schools, for their long standing reputation in bringing up good and intelligent children, and appreciated the role NICO was playing as the intellectual arm of the Federal Ministry of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation.

In a lecture, titled, “Shared Culture for a Shared Security: Training the Youths for a Peaceful Tomorrow,” NICO South-South Zonal Coordinator, Mr. James Imohiosen, described culture as the totality of the way of life of a people, and a creative potential of a community or society, adding that arts and crafts were the most important facets of culture, and part of the significance of World Culture Day celebration.     
He emphasized that the annual celebration of culture will no doubt help to promote the incorporation of the objectives of the Cultural Policy for Nigeria and that of UNESCO’s cultural diversity vision centred on creating avenues that will foster the exchange of knowledge, cultural heritage, and best practices to promote peace and security among nations.

According to Imohiosen, our cultural co-existence, diversity and intellect were key agents of promoting peace and security in the country, stressing that peace and harmony can only exist where people of different backgrounds understand themselves and respect one another’s cultural views, knowing full well that no culture is more superior to the other.

He noted that cultural diversity is the shared heritage and the greatest opportunity before humanity that promotes discovery, cooperation, innovation and creative expressions; noting that the culture is strategic in shaping the society, and that the youths as instruments in this process need to be re-oriented on our positive cultural practices because they are our hope and future leaders.

The Zonal Coordinator explained that the creative potentials of our traditions, languages and ways of life strengthen us as a people instead of dividing us, and should be our gateway to promoting peace and security among us, which is the essence of the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, urging parents and teachers to train the youths in line with the provisions of the societal norms and values because tomorrow belongs to them.   

In her speech, the Proprietress of the School, Mrs. J. T. Timi, lamented that the youths of today cannot show respect for those of the older generation, charging the older generation comprising parents and those in authority as well as churches, schools and mosques, never to relent in the business of training the younger generation to be better leaders of tomorrow.

Guests at the occasion were thrilled with colourful cultural presentations, which included indigenous dress fashion parade, traditional dances/drama, traditional wrestling, and indigenous food exhibition.    

Egiobu Rex-Ogbuku & Esther Ziprekumor
Corporate Affairs