The Nigerian Institute of Peace and Conflict Resolution (NIPCR) on Friday urged the citizenry to priotise the growth of culture, to promote national peace and development.
Prof Bakut Bakut, Director-General of NIPCR, made the call during the investment forum of the 15th International Arts and Craft Expo (INAC), held in Abuja.
Bakut, represented by Dr Joseph Ojogun, Director of Research (NIPCR), had a presentation on the topic “Culture, Peace and National Development”.
He said it had been observed that inadequate development of the nation’s culture contributed to some of its lingering security challenges.
The director general suggested that culture should be priotised for development while the Federal Government supports all cultural agencies with the needed fund.
This, he said, was to allow them deliver expected results in cultural development.
He noted that culture was capable of enhancing peaceful co-existence and creating enabling environment for the creative industry to contribute to the economic development of the nation.
” Arts and crafts, which are aspects of our culture, can both serve the purpose of violence and war; peace and development.
” Arts and crafts are the elixirs for joy, happiness, peace, unity, longevity, growth and development of any given society.
“The relevance you give to your arts and crafts sector will to a large extent determine the level of peace and development the society is to enjoy.
” No human society can exist without a viable arts, crafts and culture; the viability of arts and crafts is an ultimate decider for national development.
“Arts and crafts which are inherent in our culture and define the way of our lives and death should not be left with the ill-informed, roguish and conflict merchants,” he said.
According to Bakut, there is always a symbiotic relationship between culture, arts and craft, as culture informs arts and crafts.
He urged Nigerians to deliberately build the national culture of peace derived from the nation’s constitution, national anthem and national pledge to ensure national development and peace.
Bakut said this would benefit the rich and the poor, rural and urban population, reverse the increasing inequality gaps and promote equity, fairness and justice for all.
” Building the culture of peace in our society is the most viable option; peace is an investment, the peace of today not only allows for production and consumption today, but also creates expectations and culture of peace for tomorrow,” he said.
Reports have it that the 15th edition of INAC expo which had to do with marketing Nigerian crafts to the world attracted eight states and over 25 countries across the globe.
There were cultural performances from Edo, Katsina, Ogun states and some other local musical bands.
There was also one from Venezuela.
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