President Muhammadu Buhari says that the Abuja Carnival has continued to provide a credible platform for national unity, peaceful co-existence and understanding of our ethnically and culturally diverse nation.
Buhari said this at the opening of the 2016 Abuja Carnival, with the theme; “The Creative Industry: A Pivot to Economic Growth” in Abuja on Saturday.
According to him, the present quest for authentic and homegrown approach to national security, peace and harmony, as well as the lessons of cultural carnival cannot be ignored.
“The 11th edition of the Abuja Carnival is not just another theme, but a declaration of one of the cardinal principles that we have consciously identified to bail out our nation from the grim of economic challenges that we face today.
“The robust contribution of the creative sector, particularly the performing musicians and Nollywood extraction to the Nation’s GDP are not only heart-warming but phenomenal.’’
Buhari said the sector was fast transforming the Nation into a cultural capital of the Sub-Saharan Africa.
“In this era of search for non-oil alternative, creativity no doubt is key and this government will accord it the priority it deserves.
“This is in line with the UNESCO dictum, since wars began in the heart of men, it is the hearts of men that the defences of peace would begin’’.
The FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello said that the Abuja Carnival, a multi-cultural event, started 11 years ago with the aim of preserving and promoting the rich cultural heritage of Nigeria to the International community.
According to him, the Abuja Carnival has in the last decade emerged as a very viable and practical means of building bridges across borders, tribes, religion and enhancing friendship.
Bello said that this year’s team demonstrated government’s determination to use the creative ingenuity of Nigerians to boost the nation’s economy at this period of economic downturn.