Bayelsa Wins 33rd NAFEST

2020-12-29
THE GUARDIAN Newspaper

BAYELSA State, yesterday, emerged the overall winner of the 33rd edition of the National Festival of Arts and Culture ( NAFEST 2020), which ended in Jos, the Plateau State Capital.

The one- week cultural fiesta, which opened on November 23, had in attendance, 26 states of the federation.

The second position went to Ekiti and River states while the host state, Plateau, settled for the third place position, while Kano and Enugu states, were tied in the fourth position. Delta, Federal Capital Territory ( FCT) and Kaduna states finished in fifth place.

Declaring the festival closed, the Plateau State Governor, Simon B. Lalong, commended the resilience of the organisers, the National Council for Arts and Culture ( NCAC), and its Director General, Otunba Segun Runsewe, for the resilience in ensuring that the festival held in spite of challenges posed by COVID- 19 pandemic.

The elated governor also reassured prospective investors and tourists of lasting peace in the state.

According to him, it was a great honour to host the festival 20 years after it held in the state, stressing that he has been vindicated for saying that the state will host a memorable event.

For states who could not win any gong, Governor Lalong urged them not to worry as, “NAFEST is not all about winning competitions, but more of fellowship and a display of arts and culture.”

He added that the ability to host such a great event at a challenging moment in the nation’s history was a reflection of “our resilience and the fact that we can use our arts and culture to revamp the economy.”

The governor particularly commended the active participation of children from across the nation, stressing that the seed of culture sown in their hearts will grow and bear fruits that would sustain the nation’s cultural heritage.

According to him, the friendship exhibited by participating states was a demonstration of a united nation.

The governor stated with nostalgia that the government and the people of Plateau State would, for a long time, reflect on the glamour and friendship that characterised the festival.

As state contingents departed, Ekiti State, led by its Commissioner of Culture and Tourism, Prof. Ojo Rasak Bakare, received the gong on behalf of the state as a symbol of hosting right for NAFEST 2021.

Earlier, DG of NCAC, Runsewe described the state as safe, peaceful, and an opposite of what is read in the social media.

He made a case for the state to be made the medical tourism destination for Africa due to its friendly weather and variety of foods and vegetables that are therapeutic.

 

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