By Martha Agas
Plateau Government has urged youths in the state to exhibit proper conduct during the forthcoming National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST) to be hosted by the State from Nov. 22 to Nov. 28.
The State Commissioner for Information and Communication, Mr Dan Manjang, made the call in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Jos.
Manjang said the youths, being the Ambassadors of the state, should showcase the hospitality and good image the state was known for.
“Youths should conduct themselves in a manner that will give us the image we are known for as the Home of Peace and Tourism,”he said.
He also called on them to use the opportunity of the NAFEST platform to showcase their talents and skills to the world.
“The youths should try to involve themselves in commercial activities; art works can be sold which would benefit them and the state,”he said.
He said preparations for the hosting of the event had reached advanced state, adding the sub-committees on Health, Security , Entertainment and Accommodation, among others, were all committed to ensuring the success of the event.
” We assure Nigerians of a hitch-free event.There is a sub-committee on security because to bring people from all over the country and security is not taken care of would be a disaster.
“We have taken security issue with all seriousness in the state,even without NAFEST, It is on the front burner agenda in the state,” he said.
The commissioner said security was a partnership between individuals and government, saying the state was engaging communities, traditional leaders and security agencies to ensure safety of the guests.
” We want to assure the world , they should be free to come to Plateau, as everything humanly possible has been put in place; we have Operation Rainbow and we are involving the community for vigilante and community policing,” he said.
He said the cultural heritage of the state’s 53 ethnic groups would be showcased through their cuisines, fabrics and dances, during the event, saying this would boost economic activities in the state.
He said the hospitality sector, food and transportation sectors would generate more revenue for the development of the state, adding that all these would have multiplier effects on households.
Manjang also said that COVID-19 safety protocols would be observed at the festival to prevent the spread of the disease, adding that the sub-committee on health would handle emergencies on COVID-19 and other ailments.
NAN reports that NAFEST 2020 which is the 33rd edition will feature events that include traditional board game, archery, indigenous fabrics competition, children’s essay competition and cultural quiz competition.
Other events are: choral music competition, traditional cuisine, children’s indigenous instrumental competition, children’s craft and command performance.
The theme of the festival is: “Cultural Dynamism and Post COVID-19”.
Plateau had hosted the event in 1996.(NAN)