The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has described cultural festivals as veritable platforms to promote peace and unity, especially in a country like Nigeria which has a rich diversity.
The Minister made the remark in Jos, Plateau State, on Friday at the 2016 Nzem Berom Festival with the theme “A Cultural Brand for Unity, Peace and Progress”.
He commended the Plateau State Government and the Gbong Gwon Jos, Da Jacob Gyang Buba, for reviving the Nzem Berom, which has not been held in the past eight years, saying it is a strong message that peace has returned to Plateau State.
“The resuscitation of the festival, which heralds the rains and a bumper harvest, is a very powerful message to the world that peace is back to the Plateau, which remains a foremost home of Culture and Tourism. Culture, of which festival is a subset, is a strong instrument of unity, especially in a country with such a rich diversity as ours. When you understand a people’s culture, you respect them more, thus reducing the areas of friction.
“I have no doubt that with the good works of the state government, the wisdom of His Royal Majesty and the commitment to peace by all the good people of Plateau, peace and tranquility will be sustained in this beautiful land,” Alhaji Mohammed said.
He expressed delight that the festival came at a time when the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, in collaborating with the British Council and the Tony Elumelu Foundation, is mapping all the creative arts and the various cultural festivals across the country, with the aim of bringing culture from the margins to the mainstream and creating a huge economy out of it.