Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau on Saturday declared the 2020 edition of the National Festival for Arts and Culture (NAFEST) closed, saying that the festival had revived the nation’s diminishing cultures.
Lalong made the remark in Jos at the closing ceremony of the festival at Rwang Pam Stadium.
“This festival, which is meant to revive our diminishing cultures and also enable our youths to appreciate what we have, has achieved its purpose and even beyond.
“I am sure the seed which 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 to exchange ideas and display our cultural as well as 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,” he said.
The governor urged the contingents to go back to their various states with greater zeal to reinforce and propagate the message, while promoting peaceful coexistence and understanding among the people.
In a vote of thanks, the Director-General, National Council for Arts and Culture, (NCAC), Chief Olusegun Runsewe, advised the Plateau State Government to encourage potential investors to invest in the state’s tourism sector.
Runsewe said that Plateau had all it took to attract national and international tourists that could change the economic fortunes of the state.
Also speaking, the Minister of Youths and Sports, Mr Sunday Dare, said that sports and culture were good tools of achieving peace and unity.
Dare said sports had been a unifying factor worldwide, adding that what happened in Jos showed that when sports and culture were mixed, Nigeria would be indivisible and remain the giant of Africa.
He said that the Ministry of Youths and Sports was ready to collaborate with the state government to foster peace and development through sports.
Highlights of the event included the declaration of winners of the festival, which saw Bayelsa State emerging as the overall winner, with Ekiti and Rivers states placing second, while Plateau State, the host, came third.