By Prisca Sam-Duru
When “The Bombers” stormed the stage with a most exhilarating performance, the entire audience comprising the honourable Minister of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke; representatives of Centre for Black Art and Africa Civilisation (CBAAC), National Troupe of Nigeria (NTN), National Theatre, Ministry of Education, Professors from different universities across the federation, etc, knew the afternoon was that of super entertainment.
The occasion was the maiden convocation of the National Institute for Cultural Affairs (NICO) Training School where the Director of Bauchi State Arts/Culture and 216 students were awarded the Diploma and Post Graduate Diploma in Cultural Administration. The event also doubled as the 20th anniversary of the institute which took place last week at the Cinema Hall, National Theatre, Lagos.
Starting from the drummers who opened the floor, with melodious sounds, the exotic dancers whose dance steps and stunning choreography, took the audience on a trip round the three major tribes of the nation and beyond, as well as their colourful costume, the performance was simply an art for cultural integration.
An excited Chairman, House Committee on Culture and Tourism, Ben Nwankwo praised the performers for integrating all the tribes of Nigeria in their cultural dance adding that the entire event was an advancement in the culture sector.
Nwankwo who proposed that every Local Government Area should have a cultural officer who should oversea cultural monuments and general affairs relating to the nation’s culture, advised the graduates to be good ambassadors of Nigeria. He also stated that “NICO should design a curriculum with content that must be Nigeria culture, submit it to the Minister of Culture and canvas it at the Senate Committee and then, make it compulsory at the Culture Institute.”
The Honourable Minister, Edem Duke while commending the executive Secretary of the Institute, Dr Barclays Anyakoroma and every NICO staff for putting together the colourful event, declared that NICO will not be merged with any other parastatal.
Duke also noted that henceforth, all training programmes for officers in the ministry must be directed to NICO for execution.
In his goodwill message, the Vice Chancellor of the Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Prof. Aminu Makailu expressed joy that the graduates have been adequately prepared to support Nigeria’s drive toward cultural re-orientation, soft diplomacy and good governance.