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Enugu commences 2014 cultural festival


Enugu- The Enugu State annual cultural and tourism festival commenced on Wednesday with a pledge by the state government to ensure constant and persistent development of its tourism sector.
Gov. Sullivan Chime, who declared festival open, said the fourth edition was aimed at promoting the culture of the state.
Chime, represented by his Deputy, Raphael Nwoye, said the fiesta would also help to boost the state’s revenue base.
“It is at the forefront of this administration’s will to promote our culture and tourism potential. Culture is a train that binds people.
“Tourism has become the major income earner for many countries of the world due to cultural festivals and carnivals.
“With Nigeria working assiduously to develop alternative and sustainable sources of revenue, we as a state, are eager to be at the forefront of this move,’’ he said.
Also, the Supervising Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Mr Chuks Ugwoke, said that the fiesta would attract thousands of visitors from within and outside.
Ugwoke said the nine-day event would feature cultural dance and wrestling competitions, masquerade displays, beauty contests and children’s show to reawaken cultural values in the minds of the people.
The Chairman, Enugu State Council of Traditional Rulers, Igwe Lawrence Agubuzu, said that the festival was to instill the culture of the people of the state into the younger generation.
“Many of our children do not know our culture. This festival is meant to teach our children the culture of the people of Enugu and Igbos in general.
“We need to promote culture and tourism. This festival will be one of the legacies that Gov. Sullivan Chime will leave behind in the interest of the people,’’ Agubuzu said.
Some of the participating states, who spoke to newsmen, said they were at the festival to showcase their dances, culture and to add colour to the event.
The Troupe Manager, Benue State Council for Arts and Culture, Mrs Monica Shonha, said the event would help strengthen relationship between Enugu and Benue.
“In festivals of this magnitude, we being an internationally recognised group have been invited to come and perform here to add colour to what is going on,’’ Shonha said.
Highlight of the event was the food fair by participants from the 17 local government areas of the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Abia, Imo and Nasarawa participated at the opening ceremony of the festival. (NAN)

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