By Olawale Ajimotokan
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has stressed the importance of arts as a vehicle that will promote Nigeria’s unity.
He stated this in Abuja yesterday at the opening ceremony of the Historical Exhibition, one of the events organised for the celebration of Nigeria’s Diamond Jubilee.
“I am glad to note that our artists are not mere imitators. Rather, they work from intimate understanding, knowledge and experience of local life, which they are part of. Only in this way can Arts be meaningful and fulfill a need to identify and express ourselves as Nigerians, thus enhancing our attitudes which will help to strengthen our unity,” he said.
Speaking on the theme of the 60th Independence Anniversary, ‘Together’, Mohammed described art as a medium of interpreting society, its characteristics, and the way of life of its people, adding that the enthusiasm and the superficialities constitute a constant appeal that promotes unity in diversity.
He said the government is using the Historical Exhibition to reflect on the society, its way of life, realities, dreams and vision for the future.
“Exhibitions are a mirror of the society. They depict our way of life, realities, dreams and vision for the future. They encapsulate our creative spirit and embody our innate abilities to re-invent ourselves, especially because of this pandemic,” the he said.
The exhibition has input from agencies such the National Archives, National Gallery of Arts, National Council for Arts and Culture, National Commission for Museums and Monuments and the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism.
The Historical Exhibition showcases a rich archive of historical publications and documents, pictures of dance troupes, festivals, carnivals, Nigerian musicians, traditional musical instruments, fashion, pottery, hairstyles and Nigerian political leaders, among others.