The Ona of Abaji and Chairman, FCT Council of Traditional Rulers, His Royal Majesty, Alhaji (Dr.) Adamu Baba Yunusa has called on government at all levels to increase budgetary allocations and support to the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) so that the Institute can, in line with its statutory mandate, restore Nigeria back to her lost glory.

The Ona made this call in a goodwill message at the recent NICO Quarterly Public Lecture, delivered the Vice Chancellor, Nasarawa State University, Keffi (NSUK), Professor Muhammad Akaro Mainoma, on the theme: “Culture, Accountability and National Development”.

Represented by Barrister Musa Salihu, the Asu Meya of Abaji, the monarch, who expressed displeasure over the way culture has disintegrated in Nigeria, regretted that Nigeria today is bedevilled by many vices that hitherto were not part of our culture; and that the only way to correct such ills was for organs of government like NICO to be fully empowered to carry out the cultural orientation mandate.

His words: “I am not particularly happy with the way our culture has disintegrated. The issue is very disheartening. I recall those days when Nigerians were living together peacefully, there were inter-ethnic marriages; people could move freely from North to South and vis-versa and there was religious tolerance among Nigerians.

“Today, these good cultures for which Nigeria was highly reputed have given way to foreign untoward cultures, which includes; killing; kidnapping; robbery; and even suicide bombings. These things were never known to us”.

His Royal Majesty, while advocating for proper funding of NICO by the government, called on the Institute to also brace up and work harder in orer to restore Nigeria to her lost glory, stressing that without NICO, the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture may be handicapped in selling our good cultures to the outside world.

While commending NICO for the theme of the lecture, which, he said, was very apt, the Monarch said considering the rate at which corruption has taken the centre stage in Nigeria, if there is no proper return to our culture through orientation, the war against corruption may just be fought half way.

Caleb Nor

Media Assistant to ES