• ‘We’re ready to Showcase Tourism, Export Creative Ideas to Global Market’ – Governor
Lagos State, on Wednesday, became the convergence of Nigeria’s diversity and cultures. The State literally turned the centre stage for the exhibition of local customs, arts and traditions in what appeared to be the largest cultural carnival in the country.
An array of elegantly dressed troupes from 29 states of the federation kept the guests’ attention hooked to flamboyantly rehearsed pageantry, flaunting the nation’s rich cultural heritage in the full glare of local and international audience.
The contingents are participants in the week-long festival tagged “EKO-NAFEST 2022”. The 35th National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST) is being organised by the Lagos State Government in collaboration with National Council of Arts and Culture (NCAC).
Top Government officials, foreign envoys, traditional rulers, cultural ambassadors, NGOs, and schoolchildren made the roll call of guests at the festival’s opening ceremony held Mobolaji Johnson Pavilion, Onikan.
Lagos became the fourth time host of NAFEST, a cultural fiesta initiated in 1970 to foster national integration, strengthen understanding and unity among diverse ethnic groups and promote the peaceful co-existence.
The event will feature various competitions and non-competitive activities, including excursion trips to various tourist sites in the host city.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu declared the fiesta opened, charging the participants and audience to exhibit “true spirit of Lagos”, which he explained to be the State’s “accommodating nature” towards visitors.
Sanwo-Olu said Lagos Government accepted the event’s hosting right in demonstration of its love for cultural advancement and promotion of togetherness.
As melting pot of culture and hub of commerce, the Governor said Lagos would continue to export the nation’s rich heritage and entertainment to the global market, thereby attracting foreign investment into the local creative and entertainment sector.
He said: “Lagos State Government is proud to be hosting NAFEST for the fourth time, having hosted the first edition in 1970. The foundational objectives of the festival is in line with our administration’s goals for the promotion of entertainment and tourism, which are a key pillar of the T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda. We are deliberate about promoting every aspect of tourism, arts and culture, which is why we make it a practice to support, partner and collaborate in activities that would further strengthen our cultural heritage and promote our unity in diversity.
“For the next seven days, delegates from the states across the federation will be showcasing and celebrating our country’s cultural heterogeneity. As headquarters of entertainment and foremost commercial nerve centre of Africa, Lagos will continue to represent our country globally in creativity, music, films and culture. As a State, we are committed to supporting local talents and help them to export their creative ideas to the global market where they can exchange them for values.”
Sanwo-Olu re-echoed the need to use the cultural platform to engender peaceful co-existence and promote unity. He told the cultural troupes to eschew issues that that promote division and stoke tension.
As 2023 general elections draw close, the Governor urged the participants to use the opportunity to support leaders that would leverage the multi-cultural heritage and language to unify the country and bring back the spirit of togetherness among all citizens.
Rather than allowing differences in language and culture to divide them, Sanwo-Olu told participants to see the diversity as resources to be developed for collective advantage.
He said: “We are in the campaign season as our nation’s general elections has been scheduled to hold within the first quarter of next year. As political office holders continue to engage the electorate at this period, it is important to re-echo the message of unity and peaceful co-existence which NAFEST platform provides.
While we celebrate the Nigerian heritage and cultural diversity here today, my clarion call is that we take this an opportunity to elect leaders who will recognize and take advantage of our rich, multi-cultural heritage and language to unify us as a people and as a nation which was the intention of our founding fathers.”
Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf, advised the cultural to use the opportunity of the festival to explore the tourism sites in different parts of Lagos, especially the waterway transportation system being developed by the State Government.
She said peaceful co-existence remained the catalyst for national development, urging the delegates to engage in dialogue and activities that would guarantee the peace throughout the period of the event.
NCAC Director General, Otunba Segun Runsewe, expressed appreciation of the Council to Gov. Sanwo-Olu and members of the Local Organising Committee for putting necessary facilities and logistic arrangements in place for the hosting of the event.
He said: The contents of EKO-NAFEST 2022 have been deliberately drawn to reflect and resonate the importance of peace across our nation. The event also emphasises the need to mobilise our collective conscience to fully embrace our diversity in the interest of progress and prosperity.”
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FINALLY!!! Tinubu Lists Conditions For Open Debate With Peter Obi
The All Progressives Congress, APC, presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, has listed conditions his counterpart from the Labour Party, LP, Peter Obi, must meet before engaging in a debate with him.
Tinubu said he would engage Obi in a debate after he released his manifesto for Nigerians to scrutinize.
Speaking through the spokesman of his campaign team, Festus Keyamo, Tinubu said Obi should also list his achievements during his tenure as governor of Anambra State before any debate can hold.
Keyamo said Obi should name any political party he formed.
He said Obi should disclose those he had mentored in politics who are still with him before asking for a debate.
“Before Obi can stand shoulder to shoulder with Asiwaju to debate, he should first release a manifesto for scrutiny; then he should list his tangible achievements as Governor of Anambra State compared to the tangible achievements of Asiwaju as Governor of Lagos State.
“Then he should list those he has mentored in politics from the days of his being Governor who is still with him now; then he should tell us any political party he has either formed or partnered to form and which he still belongs to today.”
PHOTOS: Large Turnout As Tinubu Campaign In Lagos
There was a large turnout of supporters in Lagos State on Saturday at the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential and governorship campaign rally held at Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere.
Photos posted by the official Twitter account of the APC Presidential Campaign Council show hundreds of supporters seated with banners displaying the names and images of the party’s presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu and his running mate, Kashim Shettima.
INDEPENDENT CAMPAIGN GROUP FLOATED IN LAGOS FOR TINUBU, SANWO-OLU
Tayo Ayinde, Baba Eto lead grassroots campaign for APC candidates
An Independent Campaign Group (ICG) has been floated in Lagos State for the re-election of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the actualisation of the presidential ambition of the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Frontline politician and Christian leader, Cardinal James Odunmbaku, popularly known as Baba Eto, is the chairman of the independent group whose role will be complementary to the ongoing campaign of the Lagos APC.
Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr. Tayo Ayinde, who led similar effort in 2018, is the Director General of the ICG. Ayinde will be overseeing the activities of all the directorates under the group.
The ICG was constituted purposely for the mobilisation of voters at the grassroots level towards meeting the target of five million votes for the party in the presidential candidate and to deliver votes across Lagos councils for the party’s governorship flag bearer.
Odunmbaku said the mandate of the ICG was to create a penetrating structure that would independently take the party’s campaign activities to the grassroots. He said the group’s mission was to operate from the grassroots to the top level.
He said: “Our work is a simple but technical one, because we operate from the grassroots to the top level. This Independent Campaign Group is an assembly of grassroots volunteers and mobilisers working for the actualisation of the presidential ambition of our leader, Asiwaju Tinubu, and for the re-election of our performing Governor Sanwo-Olu.
“Everyone appointed into this group has been given the charge to engage Lagosians on our message. They have shown their readiness to work and take the campaign to the voters in theirs abodes. Our operation and activities are independent of the party’s ongoing campaign but we will be working in complementary to the campaign activities of the party.”
Heads of the 60 directorates in the group were sworn in on Friday at its office in GRA, Ikeja.
Bashorun Sikiru Alabi-McFoy is the Deputy Director General. Chairman of Conference 57 in Lagos, Hon. Kolade Alabi, is the adviser to the group m.
There are four Assistant Directors-General for the ICG in the three senatorial districts, with Lagos West having two Deputy DGs to oversee the group’s activities in Badagry and Ikeja divisions.
Jubril Gawat, an influential social media user and Senior Special Assistant to Gov. Sanwo-Olu on New Media, leads the Directorate of Digital Communications.
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