Posted by News Express | 17 June 2013 | 5,720 times
Hundreds of thousands of people are set to converge on Benue for the 2013 Akata Fishing and Cultural Festival.
The festival is a formidable forum for the Tiv people, both at home and in the Diaspora to express solidarity in their collective quest for economic empowerment as well as for individuals and corporate entities within and outside the country to expand the scope of their businesses by taking advantage of the economic opportunities in Benue State, North-Central Nigeria.
“This year’s event promises to be unique because it is coming against the backdrop of a heightened cultural consciousness among the Tiv people, towards a reassertion of their ethnic and cultural identity and an unequivocal re-definition of their positioning within the political landscape of the Nigerian nation state,” a statement by Mrs. Rosemary Duamlong, principal consultant of Gren Business Dimensions, organisers of the three-day festival, said.
“Benue has a long history with fishing and cultural festival,” Mrs. Duamlong said, stressing that they have expanded the festival to include Business Conference, Made in Benue Ekpo, Cultural and Award Night, wresting, power bike racing, traditional dances, boat racing, beauty pageant and arrow shooting.
“The government and people of Benue State are leaving no stone unturned to ensure that this year’s festival will be a memorable one. Steps have been taken to ensure that visitors from within and outside the country have a secure and conducive atmosphere within which to assess the economic opportunities of the state,” Mrs. Duamlong promised.
The festival, which has its theme “Food Basket of the Nation: Untapped Benue” keeps getting bigger every year. The festival has really grown,” she said.
Her words: “Already, there are feelers that top business men in Nigeria, members of the diplomatic corps and key actors in government across the country are looking forward to converging on Benue beginning from 25th June, 2013.
“They are excited by the prospect of experiencing the hospitality for which the government and good people of Benue are known for.”
Last year, officials estimated that over a million people came to the festival, and this year it looked like that number might well be surpassed.
•Photo shows Tiv dancers. More of such dancing will be witnessed at Akata Festival.
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