The North-East Zonal Office of National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Yola Adamawa State, on Thursday, 21st May, joined in the celebration of the 2015 edition of the World Day for Cultural Diversity, with the theme: “Sharing Culture for a Shared Security,” at the Conference Hall of Government Girls’ Secondary School, Yola, Adamawa State.

Speaking at the event, the Zonal Coordinator, Mallam Isma’ila M. Ahmad, represented by the Head of Orientation and Cultural Affairs, Mr. Hamman Abdul-Rahman, stated that the World Culture Day celebration will enhance people’s understanding of the values of cultural diversity and learn to live together based on our common humanity.

He stated that the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) had, over the years, been at the forefront of organizing enlightenment/sensitization programmes for all strata of the society aimed at providing value orientation and placing culture within the context of development; hence, all hands must be on deck to ensure that Nigeria’s cultural values were preserved and diversified.

Mallam Isma’ila concluded that the 2015 UNESCO-declared World Culture Day celebration organized by the North-East Zonal Office of the Institute would raise awareness about the importance of sharing culture among different ethnic groups to enhance peace and security, and to build a world community of individuals committed to supporting cultural diversity for peace, unity and national development.

Also speaking, Mr. Yusuf Naguto of Corporate Affairs Unit of the Institute’s Zonal Office, informed the gathering that cultural rights constitute an integral part of human rights, which were universal, indivisible and interdependent, adding that all persons had the right to express themselves, participate in cultural lives of their choice, and conduct their own cultural practices, subject to respect for human rights and fundamental freedom.

The Principal of Government Girls Secondary School, Mrs. Pwonedo Ekwonye, in her address, commended National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) North-East Zone, for organizing the very important event at this time of our critical security situation.

She advised that sharing culture among different ethnic groups in the Nigerian society would bring mutual understanding and give individuals confidence to provide information on suspicious activities to the security agents for proper action, so as to eliminate all forms of insurgency in country.

In an interview with Adamawa Television Authority (ATV), Yola after the event, Mr. Hamman Abdul-Rahman spoke extensively on the role played by National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) in implementing UNESCO’s resolutions on cultural diversity through programmes like seminars, workshops and the establishment of NICO Cultural Club in schools and Annual Round Table on Cultural Orientation (ARTCCO), and so on.

Similarly, the NICO North-East Zonal Coordinator, Malam Isma’ila Ahmad, in a separate interview with Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Yola in his office, reiterated the need for Nigerians to go back to our cherished cultural values of communal life of the past, where every member of the community was respected base on his/her integrity and contribution to the wellbeing of the entire community.

Mallam Isma’ila lamented that due to the fading away of our cultural values, landlords do not even know their tenants today because they use agents to bring in just anybody who can afford to pay for their houses, including criminals and terrorists, a situation that could be said to be aggravating the security problem in the country.

The NICO Zonal Coordination therefore advocated that Nigerians needed to return to those good, cherished cultural values of being your brothers’ keepers, in order to checkmate the ugly trend.

Hamman Abdul-Rahman
NICO North-East, Yola