Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State on Tuesday hinted that the state would host delegates from Senegal, Mali, France, Ghana and other countries during 2019 National Festival for Arts and Culture holding from October 19 to 26, 2019 in Benin.
Obaseki made this known in the evening at the ongoing 49th edition of the Technical Committee Meeting of the NAFEST, which started on Monday in Benin.
The governor, who was represented at the five-day meeting by Osazee Osemwegie-Ero, the Commissioner for Arts, Culture, Tourism and Diaspora Affairs, said the state had secured the commitment of several countries in a bid to project the ancient cultural endowments of Benin.
Frank Meke, Media Aide to Olusegun Runsewe, Director-General, National Council for Arts and Culture, the organisation saddled with the responsibility of organising the event annually, quoted the governor as having said this in a statement on Wednesday in Lagos.
Obaseki said the state would be agog with festivities during the cultural fiesta.
“Edo capital will be agog with festivities come Oct. 19 to Oct. 26, as countries like Senegal, Mali, France, Ghana and many more will be on ground during the NAFEST,” he said.
Runsewe, who adorned the rich traditional regalia symbolic of Benin royalty, said the festival would not only serve as a unity forum, but also provide a major economic boost for the ancient city.
According to the NCAC chief, the platform will offer the opportunity to promote globally the rich, undiluted culture of Edo, which is at least one thousand years old.
He solicited for continuous unity among Nigerians which the festival is meant to promote for economic growth.
He said: “Dubai could be replicated here if we harness the rich culture of Edo as an economic product.”
The director-general set the ball rolling with the new name: “Otunba Edoma Runsewe,” collectively given to him by Edo stakeholders.