Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has urged Nigerians to elect leaders who would take advantage of the country’s rich, multi-cultural heritage and language to unify them.
Sanwo-Olu gave the advice on Wednesday at the opening ceremony of the 35th Edition of the National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST), held at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Onikan.
He said that rather than seeing the differences in language and culture as a dividing factor, Nigerians should see it as one of the greatest resources to be embraced, celebrated and used for collective advantage.
“As we all know, this is the campaign season as our nation’s general elections have been scheduled to be held within the first quarter of 2023.
“As political office holders continue to engage the electorate at this period, it is important to re-echo the message of unity and peaceful co-existence which the NAFEST platform provides.
“As we celebrate the Nigerian heritage and cultural diversity here today, my clarion call is that we take this as an opportunity to elect leaders who will recognise and take advantage of our rich, multi-cultural heritage and language to unify us as a people and as a nation,” Sanwo-Olu said.
According to him, it is the intention of the founding fathers of the country that Nigerians shall remain united.
” Right after the Nigerian Civil War, culture and sports were identified as major unifying factors for a country healing from the throes of war.
“This decision birthed the establishment of the National Arts for Festival (which later became the National Festival for Arts and Culture) and the National Sports Festival,” Sanwo-Olu said.
Reports that the presidential candidates for Nigeria’s general elections in 2023 include: Asiwaju Bola Tinubu of All Progressives Congress (APC); Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); Peter Obi of Labour Party (LP); Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP); and Professor Peter Umeadi of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
Others are Omoyele Sowore of Africa Action Congress (AAC); Prince Malik Ado-Ibrahim of Young Progressive Party (YPP); Professor Christopher Imumulen of Accord Party (AP); Kola Abiola of Peoples Redemption Party (PRP); Prince Adewole Adebayo of Social Democratic Party (SDP); Yusuf Mamman Dan Talle of Allied Peoples Movement (APM) and Dumebi Kachikwu of African Democratic Congress (ADC).