Ecstasy in Bayelsa as cultural troupe wins NAFEST trophy

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Bayelsa State  is fast becoming the traditional winner of the overall best in the National Festival for Arts and Culture. Last year, the state won the long golden gong.

At this year’s edition, the state’s troupe shone again as it shrugged off other contesting states to clinch the trophy again. All the way from Kaduna State, which hosted this year’s edition of NAFEST whose theme was ”Nigerian Peace and Unity, Our Pride”, the state smiled home with victory.

Kaduna and Lagos states came second and third respectively while Delta and Ogun states were joint winners of the fourth position. The week-long programme was a showcase for the country’s diverse cultural heritage.

Undoubtedly, Bayelsa is endowed with rich cultural heritage. But credit goes to the state’s Council for Arts and Culture which knows how to interpret the state’s culture and create irresistible public appeal about it.

The Governor of the state, Mr. Seriake Dickson, is also a happy man. In his tenure, the state has won the competition back-to-back. The latest feat makes it the third time during Dickson’s administration that the Bayelsa Troupe would emerge first at the NAFEST.

The government described the feat as a true reflection of the “positive things Bayelsa is experiencing under the purposeful leadership of Governor Seriake Dickson”.

The Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, was the first to announce the state’s victory at the competition. He congratulated the contingent on its ability to maintain the prime position.

He assured them of the continuous support of government to enable them to win more national and international laurels, even as he encouraged them to always aim high.

He said: “2017 has been a successful year for the state as recently the state Cultural Troupe that represented Nigeria and Africa at the K-POP World Festival in South Korea came tops while 22-year-old Daniel Diongoli popularly known as Idyl emerged winner of this year’s edition of The Voice Nigeria.

“We are grateful to God for the success stories we are recording. It underscores the kind of leadership that His Excellency, Henry Seriake Dickson is offering the state. As a government, we are proud of our cultural troupes and we will do all that we can to continue to support them”.

But Dickson later received them formally at the Government House, Yenagoa.

The governor gave kudos to the State Cultural Troupe of the State Council for Arts and Culture for emerging overall winner of this year’s edition of the competition.

The governor said the government and people of the state were proud of their achievements, saying Bayelsa had continued to make steady progress in all spheres of human endeavour.

Dickson said the feat they achieved demonstrated to the whole country that Bayelsa was a state to reckon with in a number of areas, including education, health care delivery, infrastructural development as well as culture and tourism. He assured them of government’s continued support to enable the council to win more laurels for the state.

He said: “That is the spirit of the new Bayelsa; the spirit of excellence and the spirit of being number one in everything we are doing.

“We are number one in security, education, health care, infrastructural investment and in culture and tourism. Clearly you are undoubted Champions of Culture. On behalf of the government and people of this state, I will like to congratulate you on your victory. You have made a statement that all states in this country will not forget in a hurry.

“You have said that what happened last year was not a mistake and that you deserved this trophy last year and you have confirmed that you are number one cultural troupe in the country. This is because you people have done this to show to the rest of the country and the world, that when it comes to the area of culture and tourism, Bayelsa is number one.”

He said as part of efforts to promote culture and tourism, the government would organise a mock cultural carnival by next year. In appreciation of their remarkable performance in bringing back the Cultural Gong, the governor promised that the government would formally host the state troupe at a later date.

Presenting the gong to Dickson, Director of the State Council for Arts and Culture, Mrs. Payeboye Festus-Lukoh expressed gratitude to the governor for the support and encouragement given to the council to participate in this year’s NAFEST.

Ascribing the council’s victory to God, Mrs. Festus-Lukoh also thanked the state government for the timely approval of funds. She assured that the council would do its best to bring the cultural gong back home next year.

Culled from here

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