The General Manager of the National Arts Theatre, Prof. Sunday Ododo, has urged Nigerians to continue to use cultural diversity to promote unity and peace in the country.
Ododo said this on Saturday at the 2022 World Cultural Day, organised by the Lagos council of Radio, Television, Theartre and Arts Workers Union (RATTAWU), with a symposium titled: “Unity In Diversity”, held at the Lagos State Council for Arts and Culture, Ikeja, Lagos.
“There is strength in diversity of culture and if we go our different ways, we will lose that strength in diversity that we have.
“But, when the strength and uniqueness of our cultural diversity is harnessed together, we would have a better deal for nation building and suitable development.
“When there is dialogue and engagement of cultures, then, there will be better condition for cultural understanding and emancipation for our cognitive thoughts as a nation,” he said.
Ododo said that strength could be harnessed by tolerating and living together in peace with one another as good neighbours.
“The strength of a people depends on the ability to interact with other communities in a complex multidimensional manner in order to compete favourably with the global environment,” he said.
Ododo said that ignorance of each other’s ways and lives had been a common cause of suspicion and mistrust, from which differences had often broken into war.
“However, the benefits of diversity are multifaceted. It can be seen in the introduction of liberating ideas and cross fertilisation of ideas to the indigenous society,” he said.
Mr Komolafe Oladusi, Director, Lagos State Council for Arts and Culture, bemoaned the level of morale degradation in the society among the youths and even some elderly.
“Our language, way of dressing, morals are all down, but I believe the situation can still be rescued if we go back to the ways of our forefathers.
“Everything that has to do with the reawakening of our culture and the way we live should be held dear and cherished,” he said.
Oladusi said that he was worried about the youths, who he said were more endangered because of western civilisation and modern-day gadget that had distracted them.
In his remarks, Chairman, RATTAWU, Lagos council, Mr Isiaka Adejumo, said that Nigerian must continue to practice the concept of unity in diversity.
“We must continue as a union and more especially as a people to preserve our culture or else, we may lose our unique identities.
“We are all culture, and our culture is us. This is our major way of contributing our quota to the preservation and promotion of culture in general,” Adejumo said.
The Director, National Troupe of Nigeria, Mr Ahmed Mohammed, said that dance could be used as a tool to bring about peace and development in Nigeria.
He said that cultural dance which depicts our culture, ethics and values must be improved upon and encouraged among youths as a way to build a better nation for economic prosperity.
“Youths are the vanguard and backbone of any society, so, the need for us to imbibe beautiful culture in them is necessary for a better tomorrow.
“If we thoroughly harness our potential in culture, it will translate to nation building and also strengthen partnership as entities from different sections of Nigeria,” Mohammed said. (NAN)