The best of arts, culture, dances and glamour of the 53 ethnic groups in Plateau State will be on display as the Plateau State Festival of Arts and Culture (PLAFEST 2022) kicks off at the Rwang Pam Township Stadium Jos.
Dr. Makut Simon Macham , Director of Press and Public Affairs to the Governor of Plateau State, in a statement on Tuesday, 29th November 2022, while declaring the event open, Plateau State Governor Simon Bako Lalong said although the State is not yet an oil producing state, it is however blessed with abundant human and natural resources much more than oil which are yet to be harnessed.
He said “Our captivating and scenic environment, the undulating hills and mountains within the shere hills, Basalt rocks, Wase Rock tourism corridor, the lush vegetation, the rivers, several awe inspiring mountain ranges, the gullies and path ways are fantastic and endearing elements incomparable to any other weather in the world”.
The Governor said the clement weather, unique only to Plateau State, is a tourists’ delight and the people must seek to maximally utilize the entirety of the potentials God has endowed them with.
He said the State government is always poised to tap into these potentials to strengthen the economic activities of the people. He assured that the Government will continue to develop all the identified monuments, historical and heritage sites to a standard that could meet UNESCO’s enlistment for recognition as a world heritage sites.
The Governor who commended the theme of the Festival which is “Cultural Heritage: A tool for curbing insecurity” said under the State’s Tourism Policy, a lot of activities for cultural heritage and reawakening will come up including the setting up of Jos Carnival commission.
In a keynote address, Director General of the National Council for Arts and Culture Otunba Segun Runsewe said the Governor’s passion for culture and Tourism has upscaled the potentials of the State in taking its rightful place as Nigeria’s home of peace, tourism and hospitality.
He recalled the hosting of the National Festival for Arts and Culture NAFEST 2020 which has become a reference point for not only Africa but the world in hosting large events successfully.
Commissioner for Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Hon. Cecilia Yilkora said the festival is another window of opportunity guaranteed to showcase the State’s cultural potentials in terms of traditional dances, traditional music, games, cuisines and exhibitions of diverse forms.
She said the festival will equally showcase exhibition of Arts, crafts, artifacts and antiquities of various cultures. Products of cultural industries like the traditional farm implements, farm produces, etc will also be on display.
Chairman of the Plateau Council of Traditional Rulers Da Jacob Gyang Buba described the event as a landmark and long overdue which gives an opportunity for people to see Plateau State from a wholistic perspective and be able to appreciate the diversity of the people and the State.
He said for the next edition, it is desirable for all the Local Governments to host their cultural festivals which will now provide the platform for the PLAFEST.
Other speakers including ALGON Chairman Alex Naantuam, Veteran Producer Peter Igho, Chairman House Committee on Culture Hon. Nanbol Listic, Ratawu representative among other all appreciated Governor Lalong for hosting the event describing it as a display of the rich heritage of Plateau State.