In a deft move to showcase the region’s rich cultural heritage and boost its tourism potentials, the Middle Belt Traditional Council (MBTC) in the South West plans to host its cultural festival in Lagos.

Chief Ochi Emmanuel Ode, the MBTC Chairman and the Oji Kpururu 1 of Ibilla, who disclosed this to SUNDAY INDEPENDENT, said the event, scheduled for Saturday May 6, 2018 at the National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos, by 10.am, would attract every ethnic nationality in the Middle Belt region.

He said: “The festival is about the Middle Belt region of Nigeria. It is intended to showcase the rich cultural attributes of the Middle Belt region. It is about what makes the Middle Belt tick, what makes the Middle Belt the centre of unity in Nigeria.”

Ode said the festival would provide opportunity for the people of the Middle Belt to acquit the young ones of the history of their land of birth and acquit the world with the depth of the heritage embedded in the region.

He said: “There will be dancing competition, forum to showcase the art and culture of the different ethnic groups, wrestling competition and artistic displays of warriors from the region.

“We are expecting in attendance the good people of the Middle Belt. The ‘Who is Who’ and opinion leaders from the region. We are also expecting some friendly governors of region, traditional rulers from the region, foreign nationals and members of the diplomatic corps as we intend to use the event to sell the Middle Belt even to the international world.”

The MBTC chairman said that some side attractions like awards to some individuals, private and public officers, would also be featured at the festival. This, he added, would be for those who had excelled in their various careers of endeavour, which the Middle Belt Traditional Council felt strongly that they had to be rewarded.

Ode stressed: “The MBTC is an established forum. The occasion is a decision of the people. The people are not just invited, they are part of the programme. It is a decision of the totality of the ethnic nationalities of the region. There will therefore be a huge turn-out of the ethnic nationalities from the states that make up the region.

“The traditional rulers from all the ethnic groups in the Middle Belt will be around to grace the occasion. The target audience is from the region and friendly neighbouring states, who will grace the occasion.”

Ode stated that since the turn-out would be great, “we have put in place adequate security measures to ensure that the event is held under conducive atmosphere. Indeed, it will be a grand congregation of the people of the Middle Belt.”

source: Sunday Independent


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