ABAKALIKI – Mrs Josephine Elechi, wife of Gov. Martin Elechi of Ebonyi State, on Saturday in Abakaliki called for more participation by children in the National Festival for Arts and Culture (NAFEST).
Elechi, who said this when children participating in the festival paid her a courtesy visit, said this would allow for better understanding and unity.
“The inclusion of more children in the festival will deepen and foster unity among children from various ethnic groups and make them appreciate the cultural values of others,’’ she said.
The governor’s wife said the fiesta was established to promote the nation’s cultural heritage and showcase its natural endowments to the entire world.
“We need to preach culture, respect and better understanding, and at the same time appreciate our various ethnic group settings and practices in order to foster unity among us.
“So, children should, as they go home to their other peer groups, enlighten them with their experiences and lessons so far,” she said.
Also, Mrs Dayo Keshi, the Director-General, National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), said the integration of children into NAFEST 2014 was to engage them in educative research.
She said the programme would also enlighten them to understand the components of where they are coming from as future leaders.
“We must invest in children because they are the future custodians of our culture.
“They should understand the components of where they are coming from as worthy children of tomorrow,” Keshi said.
She said children’s essay-writing, drawing, painting and traditional story-telling competitions were introduced into the festival to enlarge students’ participation.
The NCAC director-general said this would also deepen their involvement in the transmission of cultural activities at NAFEST.
NAN reports that Niger took the first position, followed by Ebonyi and Bayelsa in second and third positions, in children’s competitions.(NAN)