Oba Of Benin to celebrate ascension anniversary with NAFEST
The revered Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku’ Akpolokpolo Ewuare II, has disclosed plans to celebrate his fourth anniversary on the throne of ancient Benin Kingdom during the National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST) slated for October this year.
A former diplomat and accomplished culture influencer, Oba Ewuare II noted that his desire and intention to celebrate his fourth anniversary, which coincides with NAFEST, would give the festival of national unity a royal touch deserving of a national cultural and tourism offering.
The Oba of Benin who is not known for wild and extravagant submissions on either institutions or persons in Nigeria, however, commended the Director General, National Council for Arts Culture, Otunba Segun Runsewe’s passion for Nigeria’s cultural promotion, noting “your (Runsewe) passion for culture is overwhelming and I’m highly impressed at your work rate and efforts to reposition Nigeria culture.”
The Oba of Benin said NAFEST 2019 in Benin would be given more than a royal touch and assured NCAC and the administration of governor Godwin Obaseki that the entire Benin Kingdom and the Palace would mobilise fully to give the event both national and international exposure, expressing gratitude to the federal cultural agency for finding Edo State and the Palace worthy of hosting the national festival.
“We shall support and encourage Runsewe’s passion and desire for the promotion and preservation of Nigeria’s culture which every lover of Nigeria’s culture must join hands to sustain,” Oba Ewuare II said.
Earlier, in his opening remarks, Runsewe informed the Oba that the purpose of his visit with his entourage was to brief His Royal majesty of about the festival and to also obtain his blessing as African culture and tradition demands.
The NCAC boss noted that NAFEST also called “Unity Forum” was started during General Yakubu Gowon’s administration in 1970 as a platform to initiate a post-civil war national reconciliation, adding that it has been proved beyond doubt that culture is the best vehicle to advance national unity, peace and development.
Runsewe told the Oba that a day of Royal splendor would form part of NAFEST in Edo State to help showcase and celebrate the very rich cultural endowment of the ancient Benin Royalty.
This is the second visit by Runsewe in less than four months after the January 24 visit to Edo governor to present national instrument of hosting the event and to ensure that both the political and traditional power base of Edo State are carried along in to give NAFEST 2019 the deserving attention and support.