It was indeed a show of shame and disappointment as the much talked about and much anticipated 2016 National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST ) slated to begin in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, began yesterday without any promise as only eleven states out of the 36 States of the federation were in attendance.
The festival which was earlier scheduled to hold at Chief Godswill Akpabio International stadium was however shifted to Uyo Township Stadium without any tangible explanation.
Meanwhile, the chief host, Governor Udom Emmanuel and the host, Alhaji Lai Muhammed who is the minister of information, Culture and tourism, did not attend the event. Representatives of the two most important people that would have given the event a good and colourful start were however on hand to present their addresses at the opening ceremony.
It was however observed that even the near-by States of Rivers and Cross Rivers distanced themselves from the event. It would be recalled that prior to this event, series of meetings were held by stakeholders in the tourism and Culture sector to decide on the appropriate state and venue for the festival and Akwa Ibom state was chosen, assessed and accepted. This according to them was based on the tranquil attribute of the state. Regrettably, even the traditional rulers in and out the state also avoided the festival.