The Federal Government has called on Nigerians from all works of life to maximize the opportunities presented by their cultural diversity towards strengthening national unity and integration.
Honourable Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed made this call at a Public Lecture, organised by the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) in Kano on Thursday, October 7, 2021 with the theme: “Cultural Variables in Managing Diversity in Nigeria”.
Represented by the Kano State Director, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mallam Lawal Haruna, Lai Mohammed who appealed to Nigerians to always embrace peace and eschew divisive tendencies which are detrimental to our national development objectives, said the negative manipulation of our diversity will definitely not be in our national interest.
He said the present administration of His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, appreciates the delicate relationship between national unity and national development and will continue to make concerted efforts to collaborate with civil societies, traditional and religious institutions towards addressing issues arising from our multi-ethnic and multi-religious composition as a nation.
Earlier in a welcome address, the Executive Secretary of NICO, Mallam Ado Muhammed Yahuza, who expressed worry over the continued failure to use our multi-cultural diversity as a driving force to develop the country, said until Nigerians come to terms with the reality of what has befallen them and seek for deliberate ways to correct the unfortunate trend, the nation’s quest for development will remain a mirage.
His words “It is worrisome that instead of using our multi-cultural diversity as a driving force for national development, stability and economic growth, we have failed to uphold, value and respect our diverse cultural identities.
“We must therefore learn to recognise, respect, encourage, value and celebrate our cultural diversities with a clear understanding that Nigeria is for all of us and irrespective of where we come from, our strength as a nation is in our diversity”, he said.
He maintained that the Institute will not rest on its oars to continually draft and implement programmes that are aimed at encouraging and promoting mutual understanding of our differences.
To him, if we manage our cultural diversity as a sovereign nation through the understanding of each other’s culture, embrace and tolerate same, Nigeria will not only be placed on the pathway of building a national culture of peace, love and unity but will also help in channelling our national resources towards the development of the country.
Other dignitaries present at the event were; the General Manager, National Theatre of Nigeria, Professor Sunnie Ododo; Director General, National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism, Alhaji Nura Sani Kangiwa; Director General, Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution, Dr. Bakut Bakut; Executive Director, National Film and Video Censors Board, Alhaji Adedayo Thomas; Director General, Legal Aid Council of Nigeria, Aliyu Bagudu Abubakar; and the Guest Lecturer, Professor Mohammed Sanni Abdulkardir of History Department, Bayero University, Kano amongst others.
Meanwhile, Management Staff of NICO who attended the lecture were; Director, Orientation and Cultural Affairs, Mr. Alex Omijie; Director, Research and Documentation, Mr. Michael Ekoko; Zonal Director, NICO Zonal Office, Katsina, Barr. Musa Kakamba; and Assistant Director, Human Resource Management, Alhaji Ndaman.
Media Assistant to ES