The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has told Nigerians to elect leaders that will unify the country in the 2023 general elections.
He stated this on Wednesday while declaring open the 35th edition of the National Festival of Arts and Culture, tagged “EKO NAFEST 2022” in Lagos.
Governor Sanwo-oluwho opened a calabash filled with significant cultural items, including kola nuts, bitter kola and alligator peppers explained that Lagos’s decision to host this year’s edition was borne out of the desire to further strengthen the cultural heritage and promote unity in the country.
“As we celebrate Nigeria’s cultural heritage and diversity here today, my clarion call is that we take this as an opportunity to elect leaders who will recognize and take advantage of our rich culture, multi-cultural heritage, our language, to unify us as a people and as a nation which was the intentions of our founding fathers”
“Rather than see the differences in our language or our culture as a dividing force, I implore us to see it as one of our greatest resource to be embraced to celebrate one another and to be used for our collective advantage” the Governor stated
In her welcome address, the Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf, noted that NAFEST had over the years proven to be a unifying platform for all tribes in the country.
“Lagos prides itself as a peaceful State, known for co-habiting and co-existing in unity, despite the differences in ethnicity and languages, Lagos remains a reference point for what an ideal State exemplifies. I want to implore everyone here present especially our contingents from other States across the country to use the opportunity of this festival to explore the abundant tourism potentials in different parts of Lagos State.
Here in Lagos, our nightlife activities remains top-notch, being a 21st century economy. You have heard of the popular phrase “Eko for Show” which echoes creativity, pomp and pageantry peculiar to Lagosians. This cultural festival, however, presents an opportunity for you to experience different entertainment shows in this city of excellence”, she said
The NAFEST activities, which kicked off on Monday this week continues at the National Sports Institute within the National Stadium, Surulere and will be rounded off with a closing ceremony at Onikan on Sunday.
Reporting by Omolara Omosanya; Editing by Oluwaseyi and Annabel Nwachukwu