By Golok Nanmwa ,Jos
Ngas Development Association NDA a group in Plateau state has appealed to the relevant State tourism authorities to provide a calendar for the celebration of rich culture and tradition of the people of the state.
The group further said “by doing so, it is possible to maximize these great tourism potentials by reaping the benefits therein for the economy of the state.”
President NDA Nde Gonen Gofwen at a press briefing to usher in the week-long activities for PUSDUNG 2019 at the NUJ Press Center, Jos in Jos said “I am highly honoured to brief you today on our preparations so far for the Ngas Festival of Arts and Culture PUSDUNG 2019.
For those of you who are aware, the annual festival of the Ngas nation is the foremost on the Plateau having started and held as far back as in May 14, 1988 at the beautiful Nefur Arena, Pankshin.
Since it began as an initiative of the Ngas Youth Movement, then under the leadership of Mr. Emmanuel G. Manasa, it has metamorphosed into a first class festival drawing lots of people and tourists from far and near to celebrate with the Ngas nation, its rich culture and traditions driven solely by the Ngas Development Association.
What started practically as an experiment that did not gain the acceptance of many, today, has over the years; changed the course of the organization and management of such cultural celebrations. Increasingly, the tourism potentials of the state hitherto hidden by certain bureaucratic tendencies had been unveiled by the rich celebrations by most of the tribes in the state.
PUSDUNG has, over the years, added colour and character to the calendar of the state’s quest to rise above the slogan:Home of Peace and Tourism to a truly tourist destination. We have continued to make it come to reality as well as other cultural festivals being held in the State. The PUSDUNG cultural festival has been a purveyor of all that the State needs to actualize the dream, even as we are aware of the declaration of a state of emergency on this sector by the Governor Simon Bako Lalong’s administration.
I am sure the Ngas people as well as other tribes could help stimulate this drive, as we are willing to up the tempo of the cultural extravaganza. Over the years, there has been an increase in the quantum of human traffic to Pankshin for the purpose of the festival. We are aware that businesses benefit in great deal due largely to this same number of visitors.
We are celebrating PUSDUNG 2019 with a theme: Educational Transformation in Ngasland: Imperative for Accelerated Development. Those who know our station concerning this issue may know that it is apt for our current situation, and that is why we are passionate to bring an end to the problem.
Lately, the Association noted that as people we have seen the best and the worst of the fortunes of education in our land. It is on record that several of our sons and daughters were educated to various levels and returned to be pioneers in the State. One of such persons is the late Police Commissioner Joseph Dechi Gomwalk who set a record and was awarded a first class degree in zoology from the nation’s premier University of Ibadan. There are many other examples that space and time may not permit us to recall.
However, over time, we seem to have lost that enviable and lofty position to several factors. As an Association committed to the future of our people, we cannot just seat and watch as things deteriorate to a position that we cannot revert. In an effort to make us see those glorious days and moments that made us a proud people, an Education Endowment Fund has been established to raise funds that would be used to assist indigent students whose future would be stopped if there is no one to help them with tuition fees and more funds that would enable them stay afloat with their counterparts.
This week, on Saturday, April 27, 2019 during the finale, we shall be formally launching for the endowment fund. We have invited the world to come and help us achieve this goal, and we are proud that so much ground would be covered given the caliber of those invited for the occasion. The funds so generated will be utilized for the purpose it is meant to achieve.
One of the novel interventions we have introduced and for which we are celebrating on April 24, 2019 is the Business Round-Table Meeting. The Business Committee is desirous as the Association to create the right atmosphere which will enable our young men and women to have business plans which can be translated into concrete realities that would bring development to our land.
The novel idea would no doubt stimulate development and the capacities of those who have participated. Some of the best business strategists are on the panel that would discuss the theme: The Economy of Ngas land: How do we move forward?We made the right choices knowing the value they have always added over the years. They are going to add more value to budding entrepreneurs in the land, who will tomorrow be the signposts for business development.
Also at the business roundtable meeting on the same day is the Business Pitch and Enterprise Competition, during which Ngas entrepreneurs/potential entrepreneurs especially women and the youth who have business ideas but lack the direction to sell it and or build on them are encouraged through a presentation of their unique business ideas/innovations or proposals to a panel. The best three winners will be awarded prizes.
I am happy to state that beyond the competition, the benefits derivable from the competition are indeed enormous, as they are capable of opening the women and youths to the world of business. It is our belief that when such entrepreneurs are introduced to the wider world of business, they will fly higher and higher.
One of the things, we want you to know is the fact that for us in the Ngas Development Association, our yearly gathering has never been seen as a jamboree. We believe that the gathering affords us the opportunity of understanding our diversity with those of our friends and visitors. In doing so, we are able to come to terms with what should help us maintain those diversities with a view to maintaining a balance for peace.
Talking about peace, the Ngas nation is concerned about the choices we make as a people in order that the peace we enjoyed is maintained. While we support the efforts that are being made by the state, it is right to challenge all nationalities in the state to believe that we can, all together put with one another in order that we can live harmoniously.
If there is anything worth doing, we covet your involvement and association in our drive to change the business environment and thinking of our people about how things should be done. But above all, it is proper that you participate in our activities by reporting correctly those things that you see about us.
I wish to assure you that we have lined up the best of activities for the entertainment of our visitors. The PUSDUNG will continue to improve with each passing year, more so that the Association is being assisted by a crop of experienced hands in the committees we set up to help organize the cultural festival.
While we expect you to be part of the activities, but particularly the festival, you are assured of the best of the tradition of hospitality while in Pankshin.
I implore you all to assist us in reporting the activities of this programme in your various media.
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