By Cecilia Ijuo
The Director-General of the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, has cautioned Nigerians against blowing the country’s problems out of proportion.
The NCAC boss made the appeal in an interview with correspondents of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Sunday.
He said that blowing the country’s problems out of proportion was capable of hampering the progress and development of the country.
According to him, while the issue of insecurity for instance is a challenge, the best thing to do is to keep pushing as citizens, while relevant agencies work to tackle the problems.
“There is no country in the world that is 100 per cent free of insecurity and there is no country in the world that does not have its own Boko Haram (insurgents).
“Also, there is no country in the world that would wait until the entire security network becomes 100 per cent before they start protecting what they have.
“For instance, NCAC held a programme recently in Abuja and we had over 54 countries in attendance and over 42 ambassadors.
“What does that tell us, it tells us that yes, we have challenges but we do not have to wait until the last day of our challenges before we move Nigeria forward.”
Runsewe called for concerted effort by Nigerians to help the country navigate through its challenges.
“The Northerners have a proverb that says no matter how pretty someone is, the person will have to continue bathing to maintain the beauty.
“So, Nigeria is a beautiful country and we should continue to bath it to maintain it, in spite of the challenges and in no time by the grace of God, we will overcome the problems.
“We sincerely hope that we overcome some of these challenges because no country can become a champion, if it does not overcome its challenges.”
The director-general also called for respect for one another’s culture, saying it was a panacea to peaceful co-existence in the country.
Runsewe said the different cultures in Nigeria had different ways of doing things, noting that every culture should be respected.
“An Igbo man would break kola nut and pour libation to celebrate and someone gets angry and asks why he should break kola nut. Well, that is his culture.
“Again, you go to the Hausa man’s house and he asks you to remove your shoes because he prays there and you pick offence, saying what rubbish.
“Then you go to the Yoruba man’s house and you meet him eating with his hands with smoke of the amala (yam meal) coming out of every part of his hands and you say it is local.
“With all these scenarios, I have painted, definitely we will have disagreements. So, we should respect one another’s culture for peace to reign.”
Runsewe, however, expressed his optimism that Nigeria would eventually overcome its challenges and take its pride of place in the comity of nations. (NAN)