The Oba of Benin, Eheneden Erediauwa, Ewuare ll, said he would be celebrating his 4th anniversary on the throne during the 2019 National Festival of Arts and Culture holding from October 19 to October 26 in Benin.
Erediauwa, a former diplomat, disclosed this while receiving Olusegun Runsewe, the Director-General of the National Council for Arts and Culture and his team, in his palace on Wednesday in Benin.
This is contained in a statement issued by Frank Meke, the Media Consultant to the NCAC director-general.
The monarch said his desire to celebrate the 4th coronation anniversary with NAFEST would be to make the festival serve as a source of promoting national unity among the diverse cultures in the country.
It is also give it a royal touch deserving of a national cultural and tourism offering, the monarch said.
According to the royal father, NAFEST 2019 in Benin will be given more than a royal touch.
He assured the NCAC management team that Benin Kingdom and the Palace would mobilise fully to give the event both national and international exposures.
The traditional ruler lauded the cultural agency for finding Edo and the Palace worthy of hosting the national festival.
He said: “We shall support and encourage Runsewe’s passion and desire for the promotion and preservation of Nigeria’s culture, which every lover of Nigeria’s culture must join hands to sustain.”
The monarch also commended Runsewe for the display of uncommon passion for the promotion of Nigeria’s culture.
He said: “Your passion for culture is overwhelming, and I’m highly impressed at your work rate and efforts to re-position Nigeria’s culture among the comity of nations.”
Earlier, the NCAC Director -General, Olusegun Runsewe, had informed the Oba that the purpose of his visit in company with his entourage was to brief the Palace about the forthcoming festival slated to hold in Benin.
The D-G also said that it was to obtain the Oba’s royal blessings as demanded by the African culture and tradition.
He said that NAFEST, also called “Unity Forum”, started during Gen. Yakubu Gowon’s administration in 1970, as a platform to initiate a post-civil war national reconciliation.
He noted that it had been proved beyond doubts that culture was the best vehicle to advance national unity, peace and development.
According to the director-general, “A Day of Royal Splendour’’ will be part of NAFEST in the state.
He said it would help to exhibit and celebrate the very rich cultural endowment of the ancient Benin royalty.