The revered Oba of Benin, His Royal Majesty, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Ewuare II, Oba of Benin Omo has disclosed plans to celebrate his fourth anniversary on the throne of the ancient Benin Kingdom during the National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST) slated for October this year.
A former diplomat and accomplished culture influencer, Oba Ewuare II noted that his desire and intention to celebrate his fourth anniversary which coincided with NAFEST, will give the festival of national unity a royal touch deserving of a national cultural and tourism offering.
The Oba of Benin who is not known for wild and extravagant submissions on either institutions or persons in Nigeria, however commended the uncommon passion for Nigeria’s cultural promotion by NCAC director – general Otunba Segun Runsewe, nothing “your (Runsewe) passion for culture is overwhelming and am highly impressed at your work rate and efforts to re-position Nigeria Culture among comity of nations”.
The Oba of Benin further submitted that NAFEST 2019 in Benin will be given more than a royal touch and assured NCAC and the administration of Governor Godwin Obaseki that the entire Benin Kingdom and the Palace would mobilize fully to give the event both national and international exposure, expressing gratitude to the federal cultural agency for finding Edo State and the Palace worthy of hosting the national festival.
“We shall support and encourage Runsewe’s passion and desire for the promotion and preservation of Nigeria’s culture which every lover of Nigeria’s culture must join hands to sustain” Oba Ewuare II added.
Earlier in his opening remarks, Otunba Segun Runsewe informed the Oba that the purpose of his visit with his entourage was to brief His Royal majesty about the festival and to also obtain his Royal blessing as African culture and tradition demands.
The NCAC boss noted that NAFEST also called “Unity Forum” was started during General Yakubu Gowon’s administration in 1970 as a platform to initiate a post – civil war national reconciliation, adding that it has been proved beyond doubt that culture is the best vehicle to advance national unity, peace and development.
Otunba Runsewe told the Oba that a day of Royal splendour would form part of NAFEST in Edo State to help showcase and celebrate the very rich cultural endowment of the ancient Benin Royalty.
This is the second visit by Otunba Segun Runsewe in less than four months after the January 24 visit to Edo Governor to present national instrument of hosting the event and to ensure that both the political and traditional power base of Edo State are carried along in to give NAFEST 2019 the deserving attention and support.