Sadly, the Nigerian society nowadays has been plagued by a heavy traffic of moral decadence in almost every aspects of social norms and core values. The reason for which has been due to adoption of strange cultures and habits due to modernization.
This has been the submissions of most of the participants at the at an art exhibition organised by TNY Gallery with the theme: ‘The rebirth’ in Abuja recently in commemoration of the country’s 55th year anniversary.
The exhibition drew participants from the countries law-makers, politicians, cultural groups as well art and culture enthusiasts from all works of life to the Bolingo Hotels and Towers, Abuja recently.
In his remark, the speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, Hon Dogara charged all Nigerians to preserve and promote our cultural heritage for the benefit of our future generation.
Hon. Dogara who was represented by the Deputy minority leader, Federal House of Representatives, Hon Binta Bello said: “We need to reactivate our culture back. Lets tell our young ones that are growing up that our culture should not be let down. So I therefore urge Nigerian youths to stand firm, and make our culture first and make it our priority.” He said
He noted that if we allow our culture extinct, then we will fail our generations yet unborn.
Dogara noted that our culture is our identity, saying: “If we let our culture down it is equivalent to letting Nigeria Down.”
Also, Hon. Dogara promised to come up with a bill that will make our culture stand firm in the eye of the world. He said: “In our own part as Legislators, we will do everything possible to see that we come up with a bill that will make our culture stand firm in the eye of the world, a bill that will make us proud of ourselves as Nigerians, a bill that will write Dogara’s name in a golden pen.”
Speaking on the theme: A rebirth, the founder of TNY Arts Gallary, who was the Chief Facilitator at the exhibition, Hon. Patty Etete Ineme stated that the rebirth is an expression of the direction which the core values, customs, beliefs, and ethics of our forefathers could be accommodated within the context of an ever changing and fast developing world for a better Nigerian society.
He added that the exhibition intended to offer its own contribution by displaying relics, antiques, crafts, arts and paintings that represents this glarious past with the hope that “society can be reminded and act fast lest posperity hold us accountable.”
According to him, the preservation of our culture and arts must not be left for government alone, rather it should be a collective responsibility of all, therefore calling on the government, private individuals and corporations to embrace arts and culture as the only way to preserve our past.
Similarly, he also appealed to the Federal government to include Nigerian architectural studies in the school curriculum to teach the young Nigerians the best aspects of Nigerian architecture.
“We appeal to the academia to include Nigerian architectural studies in the school curriculum to teach the young Nigerians the best aspects of Nigerian architect just like we have the Turkish architecture, Malian architecture, English architecture, Italian architecture etc.
He explained that Nigerian architectural studies would inculcate the best forms of local Nigerian cultural and historical landmarks as another means for preservation of our culture.
“Culture provides tourism potentials and economic contribution to the GDP through employment and export potentials. If the right government policies are put in place, it could also serve as a major source of revenue to the government and communities alike.” He said
Ettete, who made reference to some artworks such as the Benin culture, Nok culture, Annang crafts mask, “Ekpo’’ mask, among others, said that such assets could sell the nation’s culture internationally.
According to him, “when these cultural heritage are properly managed and necessary value and importance placed on them, it will lead to prosperity, love, unity and stability of Nigerian people.’’
“There can be foreign preservation of our culture through our artworks by exporting and creating an environment where people come and watch and perhaps buy.
“ Let us bring cultural renaissance into our attitude and toward one another because it has a way of correcting the society. These artworks bind us together because they came as a result of different various cultures.
“The effort will also help to correct mental approach to societal values and norms which have been twisted,’’ he said.
In his own part, the President, Annang community in Abuja, Mr Ephraim Okon, has urge Nigerians to adopt the theme of the exhibition ‘Rebirth’ in all their endeavours, stressing that we should make honesty a top priority as it is embedded in our culture and tradition in the past.
He further urge Nigerians to use this period of ‘Rebirth and Change’ to make Nigeria proud and portray Nigeria in good light.
“With the new administration of President Buhari, change has come. I urge every Nigerians in all levels of government to be honesty in all their dealings.
Arts connoisseur and a former House of Representative member who is also the founder of TNY Arts and Gallery, Hon Patty Etete Ineme is a descendant of the Royal Family of Nto Nnem, one of the ten family members of the progenitors of the Ekpene family of famous ancient Ikot –Ekpene clan. A philosophy graduate from the University of Uyo, MBA holder Unical, he is a former member of the Federal House of Representatives (2007 – 2011).
He is the facilitator of the construction of Annang Museum Ikot Ekpene by the National Commission for Museums and Monuments. He is also the facilitator of the construction of Raffia Arts and Crafts skills acquisition and research centre Ikot- Inyang, Ikot – Ekpene by the NDDC, alongside co-authoring a Compendium of Annang Culture with Dr. Udo Ndatah. His unpublished works include Ikot – Ekpene Dynasty.

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