Lagos State emerged as the overall winner of the 2022 National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST) tagged, ‘Eko NAFEST 2022’ held in Lagos state.
Speaking at the closing ceremony of the Festival and the unveiling of the 37 Cultural Wonders of Nigeria, which showcases the strength in the cultural diversity and ethnicity of the country, at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Onikan, Lagos, Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu urged Nigerians to follow the path of dialogue and other non-violent approaches in resolving potential issues capable of igniting violence in the country.
Mr. Sanwo–Olu was represented at the event by his Deputy, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat.
“While it is almost impossible not to have our differences, considering the multiplicity of our culture and languages as Nigerians, we must always follow the path of dialogue and other non-violent approaches in resolving potential issues capable of igniting violence.
It is my belief that if we take deliberate steps to put these youths on the right path through positive orientation and meaningful engagements, the rate of youth-related crime and violence will gradually reduce and the whole society will be better for it.”
Speaking further, the Governor noted that Nigerians should pay attention to harnessing the difference in our culture, adding that it will assist in building consensus and bonds of friendship towards genuine reconciliation that will promote the much-needed unity and reduce tribal conflicts in the country.
He appealed to all participants to continue to imbibe the good values learned through NAFEST and share the lessons with their kinsmen in their respective states.
Commending the organisers of the event, the National Council for Arts and Culture for carrying school children along in the cultural event, he described the Festival as the best way the nation can sustain, protect and preserve her culture for posterity,
Earlier in his remarks, the Director-General, National Council for Arts and Culture, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe expressed appreciation to Governor Sanwo-Olu and the State Government for hosting the festival and the hospitality extended to all participants by the good people and government of the State.
The Director-General added that, with the hosting of the 2022 National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST), the spirit of Lagos has changed the narratives and further strengthened the unity among Nigerians.
He declared that there should be no more fighting among citizens but instead we need to celebrate our unity and come together to make Nigeria great.