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Buhari launches Independence photo exhibition on unity

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[FILE PHOTO] Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari will on Monday declare open a photo exhibition to showcase the untold stories of the country’s unity since pre-Independence.

The photo exhibition scheduled to coincide with the Nigeria’s 58th Independence anniversary, the organisers said, is a bold response to the ethnic and religious agitations bedevilling the country since the First Republic.

It is to awaken the sense of togetherness in Nigerians, especially among the younger generation.

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The initiative tagged ANISZA, is a visual art project aimed at promoting unity among Nigerians, especially young citizens, according to the organisers.

ANISZA is an acronym derived from the first two letters of the three major indigenous Nigerian languages depicting unity – Anuko Onu (Igbo phrase for togetherness), Ikokan (Yoruba word for unity) and Zaman Tare (Hausa phrase for (one tribe).

Coordinator of the initiative and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s chief photographer, Lillian Isioro, explained in Abuja yesterday that “the exhibition will use visuals, specifically pictures, to tell stories in a powerful and compelling way.”

The idea, she added, is to address the menace of disunity and the disparity among the different religions, ethnic groups, states, among others in the country.

According to Isioro, Nigerians have seen contestation among adherents of the various religious and ethnic groups in the country.

“There have been tensions generated by our differences. But I think that this diversity should be celebrated and not be a problem.

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“So I just thought about this tendency towards disunity, and as a visual artist, I understand how image tells the story more than words.

So, I thought that we should use pictures to tell the stories of strength in diversity.

“The idea is to use pictures to speak to the people to stop the agitations, the drama, the hate speeches, division and instead work together.

This is practically focused on young people. I realised that most people, especially the young ones, really don’t understand our history.”

Speaking on the sustainability of the initiative, Miss Isioro said: “We are using a mobile gallery, so we can take it to the 36 states and focus on schools.

“We are collaborating with state governments and federal ministries to take this gallery to schools in their domains to get as many children as possible to benefit from the project.

But we are also having an online platform that we will use to keep the message alive.”


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