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Ebonyi emerge winners of NAFEST 2014

27 October 2014, 13:36

Abakaliki- Host state, Ebonyi,  has emerged the winner  of this year's  edition of the National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST).

Ebonyi emerged  tops at the  28th edition of the festival by winning six events-- Arts and craft, documentary, traditional cuisine, essay writing, traditional storytelling and traditional wrestling.

A total of  19 states participated in the festival, with Niger and Akwa Ibom placed second and third respectively while Benue, Bauchi and Anambra were joint fourth place winners.

 Ebonyi also won the hosting state gong award as it replicated Bayelsa’s feat in 2013 when it hosted and won the festival.

Governor  Martin Elechi said at the closing ceremony on Saturday at the Abakaliki Township Stadium that the event lived up to the  billing.

“It is gratifying that the festival was a huge success despite the teething problems and uncertainty surrounding its exact date of commencement after the Ebola-induced postponement. Abakaliki has been a beehive of activities in  the past one week as the contingents jostled for honours in various events. Our state and its people were witnesses to creativity and history.  I declare that all participants are winners in their own right though winners of competitive events would savour their victory," he said.

Also read:Black Heritage festival to be held in Yenagoa

Elechi said that like the International Olympic Movement which places premium on participation above laurels, NAFEST provides a unique platform for the celebration and renewal of the nation's rich cultural heritage.

"Nigerians of diverse geo-cultural areas have come together in unity and brotherhood to celebrate our culture, as the emblem of our identity and the showpiece of our tourist endowments," he said.

He congratulated the  participants from various states for being part of the historic celebration.

The Minister of Culture and Tourism, Chief Edem Duke, represented by Dayo Keshi, the Director  General,  National Council for Arts and Culture,  thanked the government and people of Ebonyi for hosting a successful festival.

"This festival ranks among the best in the festival's history  as it justified its tag of  being a symbol of national unity, " he said.


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