By correspondent in Minna.
Niger state government said it will provide enabling environment for equal opportunities amongst all the non-indigenous ethnic nationalities to live peacefully with their indigenous counterparts in the state.
This, the state government said it intends to achieve by re-introducing annual cultural festival tagged, Niger State Festivals of arts and culture (NIFEST) starting from next year.
The Commissioner for Tourism and Culture, Hajiya Fati Adamu stated this at the end of the year get together/launching of maiden magazine by the Isoko and Urhobo Young Men Association (IUYMA) resident in Niger state.
The Commissioner who spoke through the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr. Idris Legbo told guests at the Abdulsalam Youth centre, venue for the event of the administration’s preparedness to promote cultural cohesion between indigenous and non-indigenous ethnic groups in Niger state through the NIFEST.
“The state government has created an enabling environment for the success of the people of Delta state resident in Niger state and to further foster oneness, we will ensure the Isoko and Urhobo people participate in the anticipated NIFEST coming up in April, 2024”.
Also speaking, Delta State Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Chief Darlington Ijeh encouraged Deltans living in Niger state and other parts of northern states to continue to live in peace and harmony with their host communities and as well, ensure they teach their children the cultural norms and values of the Isoko and Urhobo people.
Represented by Ambassador Yunusa Musa, the Commissioner encourage the Deltans to learn to cohabit with their host but they should ensure they do not lost touch with their cherished cultural values.
President of the IUYMA, Mr. Wilson Atujiyor had earlier enjoined sons and daughters of Isoko and Urhobo extraction in Niger state to identify with the IUYMA for the promotion of the cultural values of Deltans.
He said, “Wherever you reside try to identify and associate with your people, because they are your family either in good or bad times. By getting closer to the people, you will understand their culture better.”
In their separate goodwill messages, the Patrons of IUYMA Mr. Albert Ukale and Alhaji Shaka Adaba explained that the Isoko and Urhobo people are people with deep respect and attachment to their culture and tradition.
They, therefore, encouraged members of the two ethnic groups to always teach their children the mother tongue as the only way not to allow the Ijaw and Urhobo language and culture go into extinction.
Highlights of the occasion which featured the review of the magazine by Daniel Atori included special thanksgiving service at the St. Luke Military Church, TRADOC, Minna, cultural displays by the IUYMA members and the launching of the maiden magazine.
Edited by Dada Ahmed.
By correspondent in Minna.