Lagos state Governor Babajide Sanwo-Oulu has urged Nigerians on the need to vote Leaders who will take advantage of the cultural and ethnic diversity of the country in unifying the country.
He was speaking at the opening ceremony of the 35th Edition of the National Festival of Arts and Culture which held at the Onikan Stadium Lagos on Wednesday.
According to him Nigeria’s ethnic diversity was designed to bind us together as a force rather than as a weakness.
”As we all know, this is the campaign season as our nation’s general elections has been scheduled to hold within the first quarter of 2023.
”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.
”As we celebrate the Nigerian heritage and cultural diversity here today, my clarion call is that we take this as an opportunity to elect leaders who will recognise and take advantage of our rich, multi-cultural heritage and language to unify us as a people and as a nation,” Sanwo-Olu said.
According to him, it is the intention of the founding fathers of the country that Nigerians shall remain united. He also described NAFEST as a festival that aimed to unite and showcase the rich and diverse culture of Nigeria. According to him, the decision to host this year’s edition was borne out of the desire to further support and showcase arts, crafts, entertainment, people, disposition, and the aquatic splendor of Lagos state.
“A lot of effort has gone into the preparation of this national event including a major facelift of the National Institute for Sports, a venue which was carefully picked for its historical value and importance. Equally, this Stadium, the Mobolaji Johnson Arena, formerly known as Onikan Stadium, the venue for the opening and closing ceremonies, is the oldest stadium in Nigeria.
“Furthermore, the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture co-opt other relevant sister Agencies to ensure the event goes on without a hitch: LASAMBUS, LASEMA, our combined Security apparatus made up of LNSC and the Armed forces Force, our Traffic officials, and Safety Commission were all engaged to ensure a successful event.
“Our efforts ensured that the state met and surpassed the criteria set by the National Council for Arts and Culture for hosting this event. We have put our own delegates through rigorous rehearsals to ensure that we not only host, but host to win in the competitive events, including the just concluded parade in which our contingent, glamorously dressed in our typical ‘Eko for show’ manner, paraded with so much pomp and pageantry.