By Kolawole Olayinka, Abeokuta
Out of over 27 States that participated at the weeklong National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST), in Benin City, Edo State, Ogun State has won the first position in drama, one out of the eight competitive events it participated and 2nd as the overall winning state, while River state emerged overall winner of the festival for 2019.
Announcing the result at the official closing ceremony of the event, held at the University of Benin Sports Complex, Ugbowo, Benin City, Ogun State also came third in the Children Arts and Crafts Cultural Exhibition and Children’s Poetry competitions, as well as fourth position in the ‘Indigenous Fabrics in Royal Apparel’.
In his closing remark, the Host Governor, Godwin Obaseki said the festival was a huge success and has broadened the knowledge of all participants on diverse cultures of the country, saying it has created an avenue to display the rich cultural heritage of participated states.
Represented by his deputy, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu, Obaseki urged everyone to take back to their various States, the knowledge acquired and improved more on it, to promote sustainable peace and unity, provide employment opportunities and improve the economic development of Nigeria.
Speaking with the press after the presentation of awards, the Ogun State House of Assembly Chairman, House Committee on Information, Culture and Tourism, Hon. Yussuf Adejojo, thanked Edo State Government for hosting the festival of unity and commended Governor Dapo Abiodun, for his kind gestures to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, saying his support made the State standout among its contemporaries.
Adejojo lauded the Ministry for making the Gateway State proud, assuring of the government’s continued support in promoting the State’s culture. Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Alhaja Selimot Ottun, thanked God for the success of the event, while expressing gratitude to Governor Abiodun for his moral and financial supports towards the festival.
She appreciated all the state’s contingents, who had in one way or the other, contributed immensely to the success, saying, “this has brought fame to the State and the Governor would be proud of this”.
Also, the Director Ministry of Culture, Mr. Oluwaseye Adeyemo, on his part, enjoined every participant to continue in the spirit of oneness, which he said, was the secret behind the recorded successes, noting that, “united we stand, divided we fall”.
While the closing ceremony had the presentation of awards and certificates to all participating states and winners in various categories, with a colourful display of diverse cultures from all states and performances from various artists and comedians.