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Runsewe gets support in battle over NCAC’s permanent site

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The Director General, National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Otunba Segun Runsewe, has continued to receive commendation for his doggedness towards recovering the council’s piece of land from alleged intruders.

Just last week, the DG played host to the leadership of National Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners (NANTAP).The delegation, which was led by the president of the association, Mr. Israel Eboh, said its mission was to support the efforts of the DG and the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, in the lingering battle over ownership of the plot situated adjacent to Abuja Sheraton Hotel and Towers, popularly known as Abuja Art and Crafts village.

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The plot, which was procured by NCAC as its permanent site has been a subject of litigation since Otunba assumed office.His move to recover the plot, which served as both residence and sales outlet for arts and cultural products, has been resisted by the occupants of the plot. Yet, the unperturbed D.G has remained resolute in ensuring that the plot is sanitized and judiciously utilized for its original purpose.

Only recently, members of the National Assembly on oversight function on the Council reiterated support in ensuring that the plot is fully recovered.

Speaking during the visit, Eboh said NANTAP was not ignorant of efforts put in changing the face of the controversial land.

“We are aware of all the things you have been doing to ensure Nigerians benefit from government assets and for standing firm against all odds in protecting a national monument like the Art and Crafts village owned by the council.”

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“Unfortunately, the permanent site has been in the news for some time owing to its occupation by intruders who were using the property for nefarious activities.

“But we must thank you for your tireless efforts in resisting them and repositioning the culture industry. Mr. Eboh therefore charged the D.G not to relent in ensuring the purpose for which the village was created is accomplished.

Concerning the relationship between the association and NCAC, Eboh sought closer synergy, stressing that the association was deeply involved in programmes and activities of NCAC including drafting of NAFEST syllabus until members were gradually sidelined by successive chief executives of the Council.

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According to him, the body is readily available for any role that would be assigned to them towards the development of the culture sector.Narrating his efforts at securing the NCAC Cultural Village, Otunba Runsewe observed that he believed he was divinely called to serve in the culture sector. He insisted that he would remain resolute in his commitment to ensuring the advancement of the sector. He also pledged support for NANTAP while reminding his guests that he was a board member in the 80s and has maintained close ties with the body since then.

Meanwhile, the D.G has charged the National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA) on cultural promotion.

The DG made the call when members paid him a visit to invite him to its 44th Annual General Meeting slated between March 25 and 27 in Kano State.

He charged the body to think beyond sales of tickets join in marketing Nigeria’s cultural products, sites and destinations to both local and foreign tourists.

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Runsewe observed that some cultural products have remained relatively unpopular or even unknown due to lack of awareness about them.He therefore pledged commitment to work with the association in the interest of national growth.

Speaking earlier, the Deputy President of NANTA, Abuja Branch, Mrs. Susan Akporiaye, commended the DG for his commitment and zeal in promoting the nation’s cultural heritage.

She also used the opportunity to campaigning for the position of the President of the National Chapter of the association in the next election, noting that if elected, she will use her office to ensure that the nation’s culture was projected locally and internationally.

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