The President Muhammadu Buhari-led government has been called upon to give priority attention to issues of culture as well as deploy basic cultural strategies in fixing Nigeria from the ills that have befallen the nation.
Chief Executive Officer of Bush House Group, Mr. Michael Bush, aka, “The Boss”, who is currently a Postgraduate Diploma student in Cultural Administration at the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) Training School, Abuja Study Centre, made this call in Abuja on Thursday, 3rd August, 2016, saying unless Nigeria places importance on culture, as a tool for development, the quest for growth will remain a mirage.
In a speech, delivered on his behalf by Ms Onyinyechi Agua at an event to mark the end of first semester and awards ceremony, organised by the Class 2016 of the Postgraduate Diploma programme with the theme: “Fixing Nigeria: A Cultural Perspective”, Michael Bush, who is also the Class Governor and Initiator of the ceremony, said there are immense gains in doing so and a sure way of achieving it is by empowering NICO and other allied organs of government to carry out sustained reorientation activities.
His words: “When Nigeria is ready to fix herself, culture would come to her rescue as the single most important, multifunctional tool with no good second. We therefore call on President Muhammadu Buhari and indeed State Governors and Local Government Chairmen to use their good offices and bring some executive courage to this matter of culture as the talismanic, all-round trouble-shooter”.
Maintaining that government at every level and indeed the people need to agree that Nigeria is a country united by God, Bush regretted that it is ignorance and failure to accept that we are one that has kept Nigeria where she is all these years saying culture is not just an agent of social cohesion and integration but one time employer of labour, revenue earner, promoter of peace and love, teacher of values, among others.
Further speaking on the reason for the awards, Bush had this to say: “The awards have been deliberately programmed by Class 2016 as our own way of demonstrating our collective strength while simultaneously celebrating our individual excellence. Coming from the six geopolitical zones where the issue of unity in diversity has received only lip service for quite an age, it is a thing of joy and pride that our class, a perfect Nigeria in miniature, would sit on our own, without any conflict nor support by the authorities of the Institute, to vote for these award winners from among us. We congratulate them, and enjoin the rest of us to work harder. But, even more importantly, we hope that what our Class has achieved standing together, in spite of and despite so-called sharp religious and cultural differences would send a message to leaders nationwide that to fix Nigeria is a task that can be achieved by deploying basic cultural strategies”.
He therefore commended the Management of NICO for engaging in activities geared towards reorienting Nigerians towards a culture-friendly lifestyle, charging the Institute to seek more ways of decentralizing its training programmes to allow more access and nationwide impact.
Dignitaries present at the event were the Senior Special Assistant to President Buhari on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang; Managing Director, Rainbow Workstation Services Ltd and President of Demonstration Chapel International, Rev. Joshua Iboro; Executive Secretary of NICO, Associate Prof. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma; NICO’s Acting Director of Administration and Human Resources, Alhaji Ibrahim Husseini; Special Assistant to ES, NICO, Mr. Law Ezeh; NICO’s Head of Finance and Accounts, Mr. Ogbe Herbert; and the Coordinator, NICO Training School, Abuja Study Centre, Dr. Regina Onuoha, among others.
Corporate Affairs Unit