Otunba Biodun Ajiboye, Executive Secretary/CEO of the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) has said his major responsibility as the helmsman of the apex cultural training institute in the country is to give Nigerians the kind of orientation that will revive our cultural values towards achieving national identity.
Speaking in Abuja on his vision for NICO, Ajiboye who was recently appointed to head the Institute said he will soon roll out plans to show Nigerians that there is need to go back and appreciate our cultural values.
He emphasised that as much as culture is not something that any race can abandon, many Nigerians have already truncated their culture to a large extent and replaced it with some other kinds of cultures and are suffering the backlash of that replacement or displacement.
In his words “I have come to make Nigerians understand that we have every reason to appreciate our culture for us to recognize who we are and for us to be able to define what we want to be. You cannot leave culture behind and think you can develop. “Culture was one of the most important things China took along with them when they wanted to take that giant leap into development. Their language, cuisine, mode of dressing, way of live and even their religion. They didn’t leave anything and as we speak today, whether we like it or not, China is among the biggest world leaders in everything even technology because they realize that culture was as important as the future and development so they took it along”.
“Nigeria at this point has every reason to understand, appreciate and find a way to re-enact our culture and bring it back to the front burner because that is probably the only way, we can actually realize ourselves. Our development has been hampered. It has even hampered societal interactions and that is why today, you see young people trying to behave like Americans; you see young people trying to imbibe foreign cultures of the British and Americans because they feel that is where the goodness of life is”.
On how to correct the misinformation regarding Nigeria’s reputation abroad and our culture, especially at a time when we have a rising wave of insecurity, Otunba Ajiboye said every in the society today is as a result of the neglect of our culture and deliberate efforts must be made to orient and re-orient citizens with respect to our cultural importance.
He maintained that with the way President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led administration is going about government policies, Nigerians will soon begin to have a great respite with respect to our economic development. According to him, if Nigeria relegate culture and national orientation to the background, her development will remain a compete fluke that will not get deep or have the required benefits it should have.