By Joshua Olomu
Igbariam Heritage Group, an Igbo cultural organisation, has called on cultural enthusiasts to promote Nigeria’s diverse arts and culture to foster national unity and integration.
Mr Ikechukwu Kabakwu, founder of the group, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja.
According to him, arts and culture are veritable tools to promote tolerance and understanding among Nigerians irrespective of tribal and religious divides.
He lamented that increasing insecurity across the country and the agitations for secession in some parts of the country have created disaffection among many Nigerians.
He said, however, that wrong perception of one another can be erased through the promotion and acceptance of the various arts and cultural heritage that abound in the country.
Kabakwu said despite the call for secession by some people in the South East, the wrong perception of ‘Ndigbo’ by the rest of the country can be changed through the promotion of Igbo arts and culture.
He said: “People don’t really know much about our culture, and so they have a misunderstanding of who we are.
“These days, people only get to know about the activities of IPOB, MASSOB and other secessionists but we want to change all that through the promotion of Igbo cultural arts and entertainment.
“We want to show the world that there’s something very impressive about Ndigbo, and it’s not just because our people are hard working and industrious.
“We are also trying to identify with the culture and tradition of the people,” he said.
Kabakwu explained that the group will embark on an aggressive campaign to change any negative narrative and image created by the secession agitators in the South East.
Also speaking, the Executive Director of the group, Mr Samson Obiora, disclosed that the campaign will be flagged off in Igbariam town, in Anambra state, in collaboration with leading Igbo artistes.
According to him, the initiative will create jobs for local craftsmen and artists as well as provide an avenue for Igbo entertainers and content producers to reach a wider audience with positive messages.
“God has endowed the Igbo people with special qualities and a rich material culture that we must leverage to serve our country if we genuinely desire to see a united Nigeria.
“That’s why, we believe that engagement with culture can be a veritable tool for changing how the world perceives our people,” he added. (NAN)