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Osinbajo commends Benin monarch for strengthening nation’s cultural diversity

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Osinbajo courtesy visit to the Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Ewuare II and toured the National Museum in Benin with school students. Photo: TWITTER/NIGERIAGOV

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday, commended the Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, for strengthening the country’s cultural diversity through the ongoing National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST) being hosted by Edo State. 

Osinbajo stated this when he paid a courtesy visit to the Oba to felicitate with him on his birthday, third coronation anniversary and ongoing NAFEST.

Addressing the monarch, Osinbajo extended the felicitation of President Muhammadu Buhari to the Oba on his birthday and coronation anniversary, saying the choice of the state to host the national event has further reaffirmed its position as the cradle of cultural civilisation.

Receiving the presidential delegation, the Oba commended Buhari for choosing the state to host the festival for the first time. 

He also appreciated the Edo State Government for structuring the festival to coincide with his birthday and coronation anniversary, assuring that the palace was doing its best to protect and preserve the Benin culture. 

He commended Buhari for approving two ministerial slots for the state and appointments into the Board of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and appealled for more support from the Presidency to boost the stance of the palace in upholding the Benin culture in the face of threats by western culture and civilisation.

Osinbajo and his entourage were also at the National Museum in Benin City, where they inspected various artworks before proceeding to the Oba Akenzua Cultural Centre, venue of the festival. 

The vice president, speaking later at a town hall meeting, assured Nigerians of better times ahead.   

Reacting to question on hunger in the land by market women association in Benin, Osinbajo assured them that very soon, pains would turn to gains, adding that government was doing all within its power to encourage local production of foodstuff and make food available and affordable.    

He explained that Nigeria’s land borders were shut not only to stop smugglers but also get the attention of the country’s neighbours to properly police them.   

“We must also encourage our local farmers; there is need to know there must be pains to gain. Smuggling discourages local production. What smuggling, especially the smuggling if rice and fish, discouraged local production, as lots of farmers wanted to have their market. If we allow foreign countries to bring in rice, it will kill local production and most people will not be employed.

“Sometimes, there might be some pains in order to gain. Most countries bringing those smuggled rice into the country do not allow foods from other countries; they grow what they eat.

“I can assure you very soon, you will see more of our local commodities in the market.”   

He Governor Godwin Obaseki for repositioning Edo State as a destination for investment in the country, beyond the direction of generating revenue from oil.  

In his opening remark while welcoming the vice president to his state, Obaseki said he was delighted to receive Osinbajo, saying it is no coincidence that he was coming to the state at a time when it was hosting the nation for the ongoing festival.   

“We believe that within our tradition, we possess a culture of tools with which to positively change our future for better.”

Obaseki said his administration was committed to using culture to drive tourism and hopes to transform culture into a part of sustainable growth and development.


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