The National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST) held in Jos, the Plateau State capital came to a close today with great Performances at the Rwang Pam Township Stadium, Jos.
While addressing the Contingents and other dignitaries present, Governor Simon Lalong said he is excited that Plateau State has hosted one of the best Arts and Cultural festival in the country this year.
He urged participants, having come together and exchanged ideas as well as displayed their cultural and artistic varieties, to use NAFEST 2020 as a point of unity.
This statement is contained in a speech presented by the Governor at the Rwang Pam Township Stadium.
The Governor’s Speech.
“ I am once again delighted to be here for the closing ceremony of the 33rd Edition of National Festival for Arts and Culture (NAFEST) which took place here in the City of Jos, Plateau State.Indeed it has been a great honour for people of the Home of Peace and Tourism to host this great cultural fiesta almost after 20 years since it last hosted it.Right from the opening ceremony, no one was left in doubt that Nigerians were in for an experience that they have never had as far as NAFEST is concerned.After a week of exciting and refreshing performances, competitions and talent display, I have been vindicated for boasting that Plateau State will stage a memorable event.
Let me therefore congratulate all the contingents for staging excellent performances and participating in the various competitions that took place.
For those who have won prizes in the competitions, I congratulate you. For others who did not win, there is nothing to worry about because you performed very well. Without you, the event would not have been complete. After all, NAFEST is not about winners and losers, but about fellowship and display of the best of Nigerian arts and culture.
Hosting this event within the COVID-19 era has shown our resilience as a people to rise above our challenges and also show how we can use our arts and culture to rebound.I am delighted to note that during this NAFEST, a lot has been done by the organisers to highlight entrepreneurship and empowerment leveraging on our vast cultural and artistic endowments.
Of particular interest has been the involvement of children and youths in all the activities of NAFEST 2020 which is meant to revive our diminishing cultures and also enable our youths appreciate what we have.I am sure the seed that this event has sown in the hearts of our children will germinate and grow to create great icons of arts and culture in the future.Having again come together and exchanged ideas as well as displayed our cultural and artistic varieties, there is no doubt that NAFEST 2020 has united the contingents from across the country to demonstrate that we are a united people.I urge you all to go back to your various States with greater zeal to reinforce and propagate this message as we promote peaceful coexistence and understanding among our people.We in Plateau State will continue to reflect on this fantastic event and cherish the privilege to host the entire nation at this particular time in our history.
Earlier today, we staged a historic golf tournament to commemorate NAFEST 2020 at the oldest golf club in Nigeria, Rayfield Gold Club 1913. We did it in style by adorning attires made from local fabrics which again speak of the benefits we stand to gain from being proud of our endowments and patronizing it.Like I said at the opening ceremony, those of you who have been attracted by our irresistible weather, hospitality and beauty are welcome to stay back. We have enough room for you in the Home of Peace and Tourism.
I want to appreciate President Muhammadu Buhari for providing the necessary support to the Ministry of Information and Culture through the NCAC to sustain NAFEST over the years. My colleagues Governors have also played a great role in sustaining NAFEST by hosting it. I specifically thank my brother and friend the Governor of Yobe State Mai Mala Buni, Chairman of the APC Caretaker and Extraordinary Convention Committee for personally joining us for this great event.I also thank Members of the National Assembly particularly the Chairman Senate Committee on Arts and Culture His Excellency Rochas Okorocha who was personally here for the opening ceremony. His counterpart in the House of Representatives Hon. Ogbeide-Ihama Omoregie is also well appreciated.We are grateful to the Minister of Information and Culture Alh. Lai Mohammed for making sure that this event is hosted in Plateau. His counterpart in Women Affairs Dame Paullen Tallen was also personally here to support this event. My friend and brother the Honourable Minister of Sports had to leave all schedules to ensure that he personally attends this event. We are grateful and look forward to you also cheering Plateau United to victory against Simba SC of Tanzania tomorrow here at the Jos International Stadium. As for the DG National Council for Arts and Culture Otunba Segun Runsewe, we do not have enough words to describe you. Indeed you are an Ambassador of Plateau State and we shall continue to work with you for the promotion of our cultural heritage.
As you depart Plateau State, I wish you God’s protection and pray that you will have a Merry Christmas and prosperous New Year. I look forward to seeing you again in our beautiful state now that you have tasted our love and hospitality.God bless Plateau State and the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Thank you.”
From our interactions with participants across the country, this festival stands out because of how colourful it was and the line of events that took place.