By Ifeanyi Nwoko
In its continued quest to unite Nigerians using historic pictures depicting unity, the Aniza Foundation, an NGO, has deployed virtual reality to show its pictures across Nigeria.
At an event held to commemorate Nigeria’s 61st independence anniversary, the foundation also awarded prizes to Nigerian students who participated in its online essay competition on Nigerian history.
Speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja, Mr Maxwell Ufuoma, Operations Manager of the foundation, said its pictures depicted the unity which the nation enjoyed in its early years.
Some of the pictures also displayed the dangers of disunity, he said.
Ufuoma said the foundation strives to get and archive such pictures to be viewed by Nigerians, especially school children as a way of reminding them of the history of Nigeria which was characterised by peace and unity.
He said if young people learnt to emulate historic leaders like Nnamdi Azikiwe, Obafemi Awolowo and Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Nigeria would surely be a better place.
“To further that peace move, what we did was to encourage the incorporation of history into schools curricular because we realise the importance of history to national development.
“We are trying to duplicate many Awolowos, many Azikiwes and many Tafawa Balewas by using history and the only way we could have done that was to start a history competition where young ones could participate and win prizes.
“Sunday’s event was basically to unveil the winners of that competition. Winners were awarded prices so that other youths would see reason why we should remain united and why we should understand our past.
“A people who do not understand their past will not know how to build their future,’’ Ufuoma said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the history competition had 1.800 participants with three persons emerging as winners.
The foundation awarded a cash prize of N350,000 to the overall winner, N250,000 to the first runner-up, while the second runner-up got N100,000.
They also got laptops and telephones.
Ufuoma also told NAN that the virtual exhibition of the foundation’s pictures ensured that more people within Nigeria and abroad had access to them.
He explained that besides, the virtual model saves cost and makes it less cumbersome when compared to taking the pictures around Nigeria in container galleries.
“The initial idea was to have a gallery in a container and make it mobile, taking it to Lagos, and other parts of the country for exhibition.
“It is expensive to carry containers all over the country; we had to do the virtual reality model where the gallery was converted into 3-D video and put in the virtual reality lens.
“Viewers can access the gallery anywhere in the world and will still feel they are viewing them live in Abuja,’’ he said.
Ufuoma stressed that the foundation is a centre for peace, seeking to end disunity among Nigerians.
He added that since 2018, the foundation had designed programmes focusing on peaceful coexistence. (NAN)