Lagos endorses ‘go Culture Festival 2021’, says initiative will promote arts, cultural sustainability

Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture has endorsed ‘Go Culture Festival 2021’, describing the initiative as a step in the right direction towards cultural renaissance and preservation of Nigeria cultural heritage.
The Director of Creative Arts Department, Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr. Idowu Johnson with the Convener of Go Culture Festival 2021, Idris Coker, at the ‘Go Culture Festival’ event held recently in Lagos.

Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture has endorsed ‘Go Culture Festival 2021’, describing the initiative as a step in the right direction towards cultural renaissance and preservation of Nigeria cultural heritage.

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The Director of Creative Arts Department, Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr. Idowu Johnson inspecting the Arts Exhibition stand at the ‘Go Culture Festival’ event held recently in Lagos.

The Special Adviser to the Governor on Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr. Solomon Bonu, while speaking at the event held recently in Lagos, extolled the resilience of the organiser of the event and his passion for cultural preservation.

He said that the theme for the 2021 edition of the annual event ‘Unleashing African Potential – Own Your Culture’, will no doubt reflect the current cultural diversity of the Nigerian culture and also establish a revival of the country’s cultural heritage.

Bonu, who was represented at the event by the Director of Creative Arts Department in the Ministry, Mr. Idowu Johnson, expressed the hope that the culmination of the country’s cultural practices under the Go Culture Festival will have ripple effects on the State’s economy and also across the country.

In his message at the event, the convener of Go Culture Festival 2021, Idris Coker, stated that ‘Go Culture Festival’ is Africa’s most prestigious Mega African multicultural display, exhibition, award and performances organised annually by Carnival and Cultural Pride Limited.

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One of the cultural performances at the ‘Go Culture Festival’ event held recently in Lagos.

According to him, “Culture has been elevated in scope and operations as government at Local, State and Federal levels have over the years deliberately got themselves involved by setting up Ministries and Departments of Culture”.

He maintained that the Nigerian Government, apart from investing in cultural infrastructure across the country, has set up the national troupe comprising of dancers, drummers, singers, acrobats, choreographers, writers, poets and artistes.

Coker, however, called for more contribution from all relevant stakeholders and Nigerians as a whole in ensuring that the nation’s culture did not go into extinction but instead, make deliberate efforts to preserve the nation’s rich cultural heritage.

His words: “My message at this gathering is that we must all join hands in upholding and uplifting our culture, language and tradition. That is something that we have that no one can take from us. It is our natural wealth that we can’t compromise or overlook”.

The event, which witnessed exciting cultural display, indigenous parade, Arts and Crafts, Dance drama and Arts Exhibition, among others, was organised in collaboration with different cultural agencies like National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), National Art Gallery (NGA), National Institute for Cultural Orientations (NICO), Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) and Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization (CBAAC).

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The Commander, U.S. Africa Command, U General Stephen Townsend, wrapped up a three-day West African visit February 22-25, 2021, with a stopover in Nigeria to meet with the nation’s leaders and further the long-standing partnership and security cooperation between the two countries.

A press statement by the Embassy on Friday, said: “During the visit, Townsend met with the Nigerian President’s Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari, and National Security Adviser, Babagan Monguno, to discuss regional security issues and to express the command’s gratitude for the assistance provided during a hostage rescue operation last year.

“When we asked for their help, the Nigerian government answered the call. Our hostage recovery mission in October would have been impossible without their support.

“They quickly provided assistance that helped the U.S. military to save an American life. That is a strong example of our partnership with Nigeria.”

Townsend also met with senior military officials, including the Minister of Defence, Bashir Salihi Magash, and the Chief of Defence Staff, General Leo Irabor, to talk about on-going cooperation in the region and greater maritime security and threat mitigation.

Nigeria is a key partner in countering violent extremist organizations throughout the Lake Chad Basin.

Townsend said furthermore: “The bilateral relationship between Nigeria and the U.S. is built on several pillars including security cooperation.

“U.S. Africa Command will do our part to advance the security cooperation pillar, so that Nigerians can enjoy the more secure future they all deserve.”

As close partners, the U.S. and Nigeria have worked at ensuring the collaborative relationship continues to grow to include a commitment to interoperability. Nigeria purchased 12 A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft, which will be delivered later this year.

“Nigeria’s purchase of A-29 Super Tucano aircraft is another example of their commitment to interoperability and security in the region,” he added. “Our economic relationship with Nigeria is already strong, and we look forward to the continued strengthening of security relationships. Nigeria’s leaders understand the importance of a collaborative approach to ensuring stability in West Africa and partnering on areas of mutual interest.”

The Commander also met with the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard.

Leonard said: “General Townsend’s visit to Nigeria demonstrates the strategic importance the United States places on our bilateral relationship with Nigeria.

“Our security cooperation partnership with Nigeria’s military will strengthen the country’s capabilities to secure land and sea borders, enhance overall security, and combat terrorism in the North East.”

As part of the visit, Townsend participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Nigeria Military National Cemetery to honour those who have given their lives in the service of their nation.

During the visit, the delegation expressed their condolences for the seven service men killed in the crash of a Nigerian Air Force aircraft in Abuja.