CULTURAL DIVERSITY IN NIGERIA SHOULD BE SEEN AS AN ASSET NOT A BURDEN – Queen Tessy Okoh
By Kennedy Eberechi
Queen Tessy Okoh; the current holder of the Miss Peace Nigeria (Culture) has continued to take more proactive steps in demonstrating her commitments to galvanizing the interest of the youths and strategically re-channel them to national pursuits that will culminate in development and cultural recovery in a bid to address the burning issue of segregation and fundamentalism. This was evident on Tuesday in Abuja during a working visit to the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA).
Queen Tessy who spoke passionately on the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16, which comprises of Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, noted the complementarities between culture, peace and human rights. “To build peace that leads to development, it is necessary to have mutual understanding and tolerance between cultures. If people accept cultural diversity and understand cultures other than their own, it will contribute to the prevention of conflict, building of peace and development. Hence, cultural diversity in Nigeria should be seen as an asset rather than a burden,” miss Okoh said.
Continuing, the Benue-born beauty queen observed that with an estimated population of about 130 million and over 250 ethnic nationalities, Nigeria ranks the most populous country in black Africa. Accordingly the important part of human rights and sustainable peace is cultural diversity. “The emergence of differing culture and maintenance of cultural diversity has raised the possibility of the human race to adapt to environmental change in the future. Furthermore, in order for culture itself to retain its creativity and vitality, the existence of other cultures is a must. New ideas are born from other cultures, and the source of cultural creativity lies within constant encounters between different cultures,” she added.
In his remarks, the National Coordinator of Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA); Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko congratulated the 500 level Water Resources Aquaculture and Fisheries Technology student of the Federal University of Technology, Minna on her emergence as the Miss Peace Nigeria (Culture), while noting the strategic importance of her position especially now that the country is undergoing series of orchestrated violence.
While advising her to make use of the media of mass communication as instruments of social mobilization and enlightenment to able to galvanize large army of Nigerian youths, he opined: “the moment the youths of Nigeria are sufficiently educated about the essence of and the philosophy behind Nigeria’s rich cultural diversity, it is easier for the different segments of the complexity that Nigeria is, to now unify and decide to live in peace, harmony, equality and respect for equity, social justice and practice democracy the way it should be.”
Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko concluded by asserting that one of the fundamental objectives of state policy is to promote our cultural values. According to him, to promote cultural values one has to create the enabling environment for the proper promotions of the different cultural activities that we find Nigeria”.
Among the Queen Tessy Okoh’s delegation was her Media Relations Manager; Mr. Kennedy Onyegbado of Ken-Gbados Concepts Limited.