The Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke, on Monday called for dialogue among diverse cultures to address current security challenges confronting the country.
Duke said this at the 2012 World Culture Day celebration organised by the ministry in collaboration with United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) on Monday in Abuja.
He said that it was only through dialogue that pains of aggrieved persons could be assuaged.
According to him, ``let those who espouse hate, promote destruction and conflicts realise that it is only through dialogue and dialogue alone that their pains and grievances can be assuaged’’.
``They should therefore engage government in meaningful dialogue and rapprochement for sustainable peace in our nation,’’ Duke added.
He stressed the need to promote the country’s cultural diversity, saying that it promotes interdependence and serves as a platform for tolerance and in-depth understanding of other people’s values.
``We must therefore strive harder to respect our cultural diversity from which we derive our identity as a nation.
``We must cohere and co-exist together by embracing one another with the knowledge that we have come too far as a people to break up now.
``We must therefore as a people highlight those things that unite us and minimise those that tear us apart so as to develop our nation as well as safeguard the global cultural diversity,’’ Duke said.
Earlier, Mrs Ananthasia Daniel-Nwaobia, Permanent Secretary in the ministry, said the significance of cultural diversity was meant to cement the bond of friendship among peoples of diverse culture.
Daniel-Nwaobia said Nigeria should borrow UNESCO’s platform for peace and development in the world so as to address the challenges of ethnic and religious upheavals currently faced by the country.
``We must recognize our social and political differences as a vehicle for cementing the unity in diversity that has become our strength.
``We are a people of one nation, one resolve and one destiny,’’ she said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that World Day Cultural celebration was a universal declaration of cultural diversity, unanimously adopted by UNESCO member states in its 31st general conference in 2001.
The theme of the 2012 World Culture Day Celebration is ``Promoting the culture of peace in Nigeria”.
The event featured cultural performances, interactive sessions and exhibitions. (NAN)