By Ozolua Uhakheme, Assistant Editor (Arts)
Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong Bako has said that for the state to host the ongoing National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST 2020) confirms that peace has returned to the state.
He described Plateau State as the home of peace and tourism, which is with the best weather condition comparable to none in Nigeria. This, he said, explains why Plateau remains the destination of choice for many who desire to partake in its potentials such as rich arable soil, breathtaking tourism destination, abundant solid mineral resources, and diverse rich cultural diversity.
The Governor who spoke at the opening ceremony of the festival theme Post Covid-19 and Cultural Dynamism on Monday said: “Plateau is rich in sculpture, performing arts, and other human and material resources.
“Plateau State remains the miniature of Nigeria as every culture resides here and (many) consider the state as home…. Hosting this event in Plateau is a confirmation of the restored confidence people have in our state with the restoration of peace.
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“Before we came into office, many were skeptical (about) coming to the state because of the crisis that occurs. However, things have changed as my administration embraced all stakeholders and initiated collective dialogue and constructive engagement to get to the root of the problem. With the support of all, including the security agencies, we have succeeded in restoring substantial peace.
“My hope is that as various contingents showcase the culture and artistic endowments of their states, people will appreciate the diversity and beauty of Nigeria in a manner they have not done before. In this, technology can greatly assist us in a document and store our arts and cultural endowments.”
He also used the occasion to express his support for the regulation of social media saying ‘the misuse of technology, especially social media, can make us lose our cultural and artistic value within a twinkle of an eye.’
According to him, “This is why we must continue to advocate the responsible use of social media. Just like I said elsewhere, no one seeks to restrict, control, or muzzle social media. Rather, we must put in place a mechanism to ensure responsible usage.”