By Osa Mbonu-Amadi
The Director General of National Council for Arts and Culture, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, OON, has promised to put the council’s botanical garden located at Ekwulumili, Nnewi South Local Government of Anambra State into a better use as a veritable platform for engaging the youths of the area to contribute meaningfully towards the economic and sociocultural development of the area.
The D.G made this pledge in Abuja when a delegation of the Traditional Rulers from Igbo-speaking States of the country paid him a thank-you visit in his office recently.
Otunba Runsewe, who holds the traditional title of “Obiagu of Ndi Igbo”, expressed delight over the visit of the royal fathers. He said the royal fathers have a greater role to play in uniting the country, using good cultural values and preaching the gospel of peace even beyond their domains, of which the D.G believes will rekindle the hope of Nigerians to remain together as one.
Otunba Runsewe, who doubles as the President of the World Crafts Council (Africa Region) expressed appreciation to the delegation for the construction and unveiling of a Lifesize effigy of him at the National Yam House, Etuti village which he built during his leadership of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, NTDC. The statue was constructed and unveiled to mark the 2021 National New Yam Festival which held in August 2021. Runsewe said as a firm believer in the Nigerian project, he is ready, though tribe and tongue may differ, to use culture to reposition Nigeria and curb moral decadence.
Earlier in his address, the leader of the delegation, HRH Eze Sylvanus Ibe, the Vice Chairman of Oji River Council of Elders, Enugu State, said they were on a thank-you visit to Otunba Runsewe for honouring their invitation to this year’s National New Yam Festival which held from August 24 to 28, 2021.
Eze Sylvanus Ibe said that Otunba Runsewe made it possible for the New Yam Festival to gain international recognition and that the entire Igbo land is pleased to associate with Runsewe as the icon of culture and desires to tap from his wealth of experience.
Eze Sylvanus Ibe therefore solicited the D. G’s assistance in resuscitating the NCAC botanical garden located at Ekwulumili in Nnewi South Local Government of Anambra State.
He also used the occasion to inform the D.G of the International New Yam Festival of the community while praying for his fatherly input to make next year’s event more colourful.
Highlight of the visit was the presentation of gifts to the royal fathers.