By OSA AMADI
National Council for Arts and Culture recently launched an initiative to mobilise three million culture-friendly supporters to cheer Nigeria’s Super Eagles at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Speaking at the unveiling ceremony at the NCAC’s auditorium, Abuja, Director-General of the council, Otunba Segun Runsewe, disclosed that the mobilisation campaign is anchored on #ISupportNIgeriaSuper Eagles, a social media platform accessible on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. Otunba Runsewe also said the campaign would be driven through phone-in television question and answers programs to create massive awareness among Nigerians both at home and abroad on the importance of the world cup to Nigeria and need to support the Eagles as a matter of patriotic obligation.
“For far too long, we have under-employed the power of football and sports generally in promoting our culture, in promoting our arts, and in promoting our heroes. The time to start doing this, and in a big way, is now. Nobody will celebrate us for us; we have to do it ourselves. We must re- awaken the spirit of promoting and projecting our arts and cultural items in such a way that even domestic football will benefit. I have strong faith that we will raise even more than three million Nigerians who are ready to project our culture and wear the green-white-green anytime Nigeria is playing. We will also distribute miniature Nigerian flags to all these supporters,” said Otunba Runsewe.
The chairman of the occasion and former Green Eagles Captain, Chief Segun Odegbami, praised NCAC for the initiative, saying that “this concept has come at the right time with the FIFA World Cup – the biggest football showpiece in the universe – just by the corner. We need to take Nigeria’s arts and culture to the world the same way we are the second highest exporter of football talents to Europe after Brazil.”
Chief Odegbami recommended that a stand should be allocated to conspicuously display Nigeria’s arts and cultural materials in every hotel that the Super Eagles will stay during the FIFA World Cup in Russia.