The Governor of Plateau State, Simon Bako Lalong, has promised to thrill guests with a world-class cultural centre during the NAFEST 2020 slated for October this year.
He made this assertion while hosting the Director-General, National Council for Arts and Culture, Otunba Segun Runsewe, during a visit to the Government House in Jos.
The Deputy Governor, Prof Sonni Tyoden, who represented Lalong, praised Runsewe for doing well at the council, “before now the council has been in existence but little was heard about the organisation but at your arrival, a lot is been done through your visionary and effective dynamic leadership’’.
He lauded the culture helmsman for giving the NAFEST 2020 hosting rights to the state.
He promised to that basic requirements to make the event a success would be put in place, assuring his guest that Plateau State, being home of hospitality, tourism and peace, will host the ‘mother’ of all NAFEST by all standards.
Acknowledging that Plateau State has been inflicted with all manner of conflicts, Lalong said: “The time to reposition the state and take our rightful place in the sands of time is now through the promotion of huge culture activities during the national event.”
Earlier, Runsewe praised the governor for agreeing to host the event before discussing it with him. He said he was not surprised having known the governor to be a man that wants the best for his people. “Your exceptional leadership can be seen visibly in all you do,” Runsewe said.
Going down memory lane, the Director-General said in 1996 when the state first hosted the festival, over six African countries participated. This time around, all the 17 local governments of the state are expected and the entire states of the federation. He added that it is one national cultural event that fosters unity among the states.
Runsewe said:”Posterity will be unfair to him if during his tenure as Director-General, Plateau State did not host the event being one of the Dubai states in Nigeria, with conducive weather, clean roads free of pot-holes and regular power supply, the state is eminently qualified to host the event. Runsewe implored the governor to complete the theatre arts being one of the edifices that will give employment to over 500 people when completed. As the world anxiously looks up to Plateau come October this year, Runsewe said all golfers, business entrepreneurs are planning to come to the state during the event.
Customised gifts such as biro, exercise books, calendar, T-shirts with various inscriptions promoting the festival were presented to the governor.
Runsewe reiterated that one veritable tool that would be used to foster unity, peace, hospitality and togetherness during the festival was cultural diplomacy .
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