The 2020 edition of the National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST), was on Monday, declared opened in Jos, the Plateau State.
Declaring the event opened, the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum and Governor of Plateau State, Simon Bako Lalong, said Plateau State was honoured to host the event especially, at this critical time that nation is still recovering from the Corona virus pandemic.
While welcoming delegates to the 2020 edition of the event, the governor said the choice of the state as the host was never a mistake, saying Plateau is home to all Nigerians.
In his words, “You will agree with me that the choice of Plateau State to host the 33rd edition NAFEST was not a mistake as we can confidently say that the festival has actually come home. Plateau State remains the miniature Nigeria as people from every part of the country reside here and consider it their first home.
“Hosting this event in Plateau State is also another confirmation of the restored confidence that people have in our State with the Restoration of Peace. Before we came into office, many were skeptical of coming to the State because of the crises that occurred.”
According to the governor, the theme for this year’s NAFEST, “Post Covid-19 and Cultural Dynamism” is very apt because it draws our attention to the current situation we have found ourselves and how to make the best of it. In many ways, the pandemic has affected our lifestyles, making it necessary for us to seek ways of adapting to daily living.
A statement by the Director of Press & Public Affairs to governor Lalong, Dr. Makut Simon Macham, said the governor had further charged the practitioners of Arts and Culture to step-up to the challenges of the COVID-19 new normal by being proactive, creative, and resourceful in deploying the vast and untapped resources to reposition the industry in the quest for a better Nigeria.
In his welcome remark, the Chairman Senate Committee on Tourism and Culture Rochas Okorocha, said NAFEST is another great opportunity for Nigeria to reinforce unity peace and progress despite its current challenges.
Also speaking, the Minister of Women Affairs and a former deputy governor of Plateau State, Hon. Mrs. Paullen Tallen, commended the Government of Plateau State and the Management of the National Council for Arts and Culture for staging the 2020 edition of NAFEST despite the pandemic.
In his welcome address, the DG National Coucil for Arts and Culture, Segun Runsewe, emphasised that arts and culture remain the key ingredients for the promotion of tourism and development in a COVID-19 era and such must be embraced by all and promoted.
The 2020 edition of the event has contingents from all the 36 states and FCT, whom showcased their cultural presentations during the parade at the opening ceremony which took place at the Rwang Pam Stadium, Jos the Plateau State capital.