Paper presented by abara, chinwe julie deputy director



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CONSERVATION OF THE DIVERSITY

OF

CULTURAL EXPRESSION

FOR

NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
A
PAPER PRESENTED BY
ABARA, CHINWE JULIE

DEPUTY DIRECTOR/HEAD LAGOS ZONAL OFFICE

NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR ARTS AND CULTURE

(FEDERAL MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND TOURISM NIGERIA)
AT THE
INTERCOM 2011 ANNUAL CONFERENCE

COPENHAGEN – DENMARK

12TH – 16TH SEPTEMBER, 2011.
THEME:

MUSEUMS & POLITICS
SUB THEME:

HUMAN RIGHTS AND CULTURAL DIVERSITY

ABSTRACTS

CONSERVATION OF DIVERSITY OF CULTURAL EXPRESSIONS FOR NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT.

Museums are great institutions that collect, research, conserve and interpret materials “in the service of society and for its development”.

Politics is the science of government and regulations, for the preservation of its safety, peace and prosperity; comprehending the defense of its existence and rights against foreign control, conquest and the protection of its citizens and their rights, with the preservation and improvement of their morals

Human right is the inalienable right of a person on earth; those rights that come to person as human being.

Cultural diversity includes many forms that human beings express themselves in their identities.

Museums as custodian of relics and living art of man have the expertise to deal adequately with the issues of politics in the sense that the roots of man are traceable to his art and expressions in its diversities. These also provide the rights of persons as sovereign citizens of the world.

Local museums have the opportunity to use their collection in the interpretation of identities as well as to its deconstruction to solve the issues of human rights and several problems arising from politics and colonialization. Communities are most times homogenous wherein emphasis could be placed on orientation of cultural identity.

Sustainable human development means expanding all people’s choices and creating the conditions for equality so that they may realize their full potential. This goal is unrealizable if all human rights - economic, social, cultural, civil and political - are not promoted, preserved and defended.

My paper therefore seeks to identify the interplay of human rights and cultural diversity as they affect my people’s contribution to civilization and thereafter finding solid basis for the promotion, protection and preservation of the diversity of cultural expressions


Introduction

Nigeria is located in West Africa, just the north of equator. The 1914 political amalgamation of the Northern and Southern Protectorates by Lord Lugard of Great Britain gave birth to Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country. Going by the demographic figures of the National Population Commission of 2006, Nigeria is populated by more than one hundred and fifty million persons and with different and distinct languages, cultural attitudes, sensibilities, varied religious belief systems and practices. Nigeria occupies a total area of 923,768 square kilometers. English is the official language inherited from the British colonization. Nigeria got its independence on the 1st of October 1960.

The Federal Republic of Nigeria has the Executive, Legislative and Judicial arms of Government. There are 36 states and Federal Capital Territory, Abuja as well as 774 Local Government Areas

There are two main religion in Nigeria , Islam and Christianity and a wide variety of indigenous beliefs across the country. There are three major ethnic groups, the Hausas, the Yorubas and the Igbos. Northern Nigeria is the home for Islamic communities such as the Hausas, the fulanis and the kanuris. The Igbos are mainly Christians and are located in the eastern part of the country while the Yorubas, who practice either Christianity or Islam are located in the western part.

Nigeria is a land of rich and diverse Cultural heritage, with a wide array of sophisticated visual arts and has produced a host of traditional crafts. The talent, creativity and versatility found in its festivals, music, sculptures, literature and films are well known all over the world, and has a robust film industry known around the world as Nollywood.
This paper therefore examines the key ideas of how Museums, Politics, Human Rights and Cultural Diversity interplay to fast-track national development. It also makes recommendations and suggestions on how a strong and developed Nigeria can emerge, drawing inspiration and energy from effective and functional museums as well as respect for human rights and our diversity of cultural expression.
CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK

For the purpose of clarity, we need to briefly define the key terms in this discourse.


WHAT IS CULTURE?

The term culture is a universal phenomenon, with multifarious meanings, interpretations and applications. In simple terms, it aggregates the totality of a people’s way of life. This includes history, religion, morality, economics, politics, social life (marriage, leisure, rites of passage, behavioral traits and patterns), literature, music, folklore and belief systems. The Nigerian Cultural Policy document of 1988 described ‘Culture’ as:

“...the totality of the way of life evolved by a people

In their attempts to meet the challenges of living in their

environment, which gives order and meaning to their

Social, political, economic, aesthetic and religious

Norms and modes of organization thus distinguishing

a people from their neighbours”.
It goes further to articulate that Culture comprises material, institutional, philosophical and creative aspects.
Therefore, the import of the above for this discussion is that this paper will examine Nigeria’s culture, cultural orientations and values against the

backdrop of a national quest for proper cultural understanding, identity, social harmony and a peaceful environment for national growth and development.


Museums:

These are great institutions that collect, research, conserve and interpret materials evidence of man and his environment in the service of society and for its development. Such services include fostering intercultural awareness, affirming and establishing a sense of dignity to both minority and majority cultural communities.


Politics:

This is the science of government, which consists in the regulation and method of governance of a nation and state, for the preservation of its safety, peace and prosperity, comprehending the defense of its existence and rights against foreign as well as internal control or conquest; the argumentation of its strengths and resources and the protection and improvement of their morals.


Human Rights:

This refers to the inalienable right of a person on earth; the right that comes to a person as a human being. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) agrees that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights” as a base for sustainable human development.

Universal Human Rights, which though new to all cultures and of modern achievements has not, imposed one cultural standard of minimum protection necessary to human dignity. It was not developed towards one culture to the exclusion of the other; rather it was achieved through the dynamics of coordinated efforts of international community to protect human dignity.
DIVERSITY OF Cultural EXPRESSIONS:

Cultural diversity was defined by the UNESCO’s 33rd General Convention in Paris in October 2005 as “the manifold ways in which the cultures of groups and societies find expression. These expressions are passed on within and among groups and societies.” These expression are used by human beings to identify themselves in their localities. These identities could be manifested in food, dress, housing, language, occupation, cultural activities, goods, services, values and living. These diversities are nurtured and promoted by artists and other stakeholders in the creative industry. Some of these cultural expressions include; our different mode of dressing, linguistic differences, festivals, ceremonies, celebrations, shrines, artifacts (both antiquities and contemporary), monuments, architecture, food, etc.


NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

National Development as defined by I.L Bashir:

Is a process of enhancing the productive forces of a country for the actualization of more prosperous and meaningful life for its citizens.”

It also refers to the upward growth of a nation in terms of integration, education, health, democratic and political participation, the accessibility to power unhindered by linguistics and other cultural barriers.

A people’s culture is no more or no less than the totality of their creative endeavours. For any developmental process to be meaningful, it must be based on the culture of the people. It is for this reason that the cultural Policy of Nigeria asserts that:

“…..that strategy of National Development would depend on the understanding of the culture, the adoption of its elements for political, educational and economic development as well as its strengths for social integration and development.”

Such an understanding of the conditions, needs, aspirations and goals of a nation’s creative agents would enable its leaders to enunciate the best ways and means of attaining its developmental objectives.



MUSEUMS AND CULTURAL RIGHTS (DIVERSITY OF EXPRESSIONS)

UNESCO’s commitment to promoting cultural diversity as stated by Adediran N.M., “is with the view to preserving the fruitful diversity of the cultures so as to recommend such international agreements as may be necessary to promote the free flow of ideas by words, sounds and image. Realizing that cultural diversity is a driving force of development, not only in respect of economic growth, but also as a means of leading a more fulfilling intellectual, emotional, moral and spiritual life, a few Cultural Conventions, which provide a solid basis for the promotion and protection of cultural diversity, were invented”. He further stated that Cultural diversity is necessary for poverty reduction and the achievements of sustainable development through the use of media, ICTs, which are conducive to dialogue among civilizations and cultures, respect and mutual understanding.


The six conventions are:

  1. 2005 – International Conference of 14th November in Paris

  2. 2002 - Round table of Ministers of Culture on Tangible Cultural Heritage – a minor of Cultural Diversity 11 -12 December in Istanbul Turkey.

  3. 2000 – Round table of Ministers of Culture “2000 -2010 Cultural Diversity Challenges of the Market Place” UNESCO, Paris

  4. 2009 – Round table of Ministers of Culture “Culture and Creativity in a Global World” 2nd November on the occasion of the 30th session of the General Conference of UNESCO, Paris.

  5. 1998 – International Conference on Cultural Policies for Development, 30th march – 2nd April – Stockholm, Sweden.

  6. 1982 – World Conference on Cultural Policies (MONDIALCULT) and Mexico City Declaration – Mexico.

With this background information, UNESCO’s interest in cultural diversity draws its mandate from the United Nations’ charter “with the view to preserving … the fruitful diversity of the cultures” and in order to recommend such international agreements as may be necessary to promote the free flow of ideas by word and image.


MUSEUMS AND POLITICS

Museums, according to S.J. Redman (June 12:2006) sometimes by mere fact of their existence, can prove to be politically charged and controversial. He stated that in May 2006, the Museum of Soviet Repression opened in down town Georgia. EurasiaNet.org reported that “Although Georgians insist that the museum is simply meant to commemorate the estimated 880,000 Georgians killed or exiled under Soviet rule, some Russian politicians see the one room exhibit as a barb aimed straight at the Kremlin”

He further stated that some critics may charge that a museum commemorating slavery or mass genocide of indigenous peoples, development of the monument-slash-museum-memorial to the victims of the World Trade Centre attack, Vietnam War Memorial Museum in Washington D.C., might be more of contentious, commentary on contemporary political situations than historical ones.

He further argued that irrespective of the above, Museums across the world will continue to struggle with teaching the public, serve as historical monuments and avenue for research and documentation.

In Nigeria today we have the National War Museum in the south eastern part of Nigeria Umuahia which has long become a tourist destination for foreign visitors and those who only read or heard of the war. So also is the bullet ridden car used by the assassinated former Nigerian Head of State which is displayed at the Lagos Museum.

How can museums impact positively in our politics? The cultural policy for Nigeria aptly supplies the answers thus: “The state shall establish museums as repositories of relics of our past achievements and as sources of inspiration to the present generation”.


The expectation of our National Anthem that “the labour of our heroes past shall never be in vain” is yawning for actualization in the development and adoption of the Nigerian version of democracy, if only to be at par with the comity of nations that have cultural approach to politics and government. We could use museum for conflict resolutions by drawing attention to historical monuments in which people co-existed with one another, cultural diversity notwithstanding. You can also use relics of wars to re-enforce the dangers/disadvantages of wars.
Through educational and public awareness programmes, promotion and understanding of the importance for the protection of diversity of cultural expressions could be achieved. The Nigerian politics and democracy of our dream would thus engineer a political leadership that sees our cultural diversity in the following perspectives.

a. The more people there are involved in a process, the more ideas and points of view that can be generated and combined.

b. The more people actively involved offer the possibility for a system of checks and balances, a screening of ideas,

c. The introduction of more diverse perspectives creates the opportunity for a creative conflict- a clash of desperate points of view, out of which more innovative alternatives and decisions can emerge.




  1. Diversity is a strength containing human resources-each member bringing with him or her range of values, interest, opinions, experiences and skills that may remain dormant, unless tapped by an appropriate style of leadership and government. Dynamic and engaging democracies are the case where the level of participation is high because of the level of literacy and awareness – where equals come to meet without prejudices.

  2. From the aforementioned, a clear understanding of the relationship between Museums and Politics will bring about an appreciation of the fact that any examination of human rights should of necessity start with a people’s culture and values which inform their choices (of government) and hence their general welfare. This implicitly suggests that any political process which is based on the values of an alien is bound to be problematic.


Human Rights AND NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Establishing a government and political leadership is one thing but making it effective and acceptable is quite different. Winning the confidence and respect of the people is predicated on the enjoyment of fundamental human rights. Fortunately, chapter four of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is awash with these rights as follow:-

a. Right to life

b. Right to dignity of human person

c. Right to personal liberty

d. Right to fair hearing

e. Right to private and family life

f. Right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion

g. Right to freedom of expression and press

h. Right to peaceful assembly and association

i. Right to freedom of movement

j. Right to freedom from discrimination

k. Right to acquire and own immovable property anywhere in Nigeria.
As laudable as the rights appear, their enjoyment is far-fetched because of the inability of the government to create the enabling and conducive environment.

In a land ravaged by poverty, unemployment, hunger and outright gender discrimination, the human rights claim amounts to mere hypocrisy. Leadership failure in the provision of security has called to question, the economic and social equations which unless-they are equitably resolved, many, if not all the rights would remain in jeopardy. Women often suffer substantial and disproportionate difficulties in securing human rights e.g. housing Inheritance. Marriages also occur without their consent in certain places which means that adequate legal provisions may be necessary to enforce the rights so that both men and women will enjoy them on equal footing. This is important because empowerment of right holders is necessary for sustainable development which is contingent on the principles of participation and realization of individual potentials.

One aspect of Federal legislation that should gladden our hearts in this regard is the Freedom of information Act 2011. It is of major significance in that it contains legal teeth for the protection of citizenship to information about how they are governed. This piece of legislation is a right that should be exploited to create conditions conducive to frame works for the production and protection of our diverse cultural expressions.

Some of the objectives of the UNESCO’s 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions include:



  • To protect and promote the diversity of cultural expressions. To promote respect for diversity of cultural expressions and raise awareness of its value at the local, national and international levels.

  • To reaffirm the sovereign rights of states to maintain, adopt, and implement policies and measures that they deem appropriate for the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions of their territory.

  • To encourage dialogue among cultures with a view to ensuring wider and balanced cultural exchanges in the world in favour of intercultural respect and a culture of peace.

  • To create the condition for cultures to flourish and to freely interact in a mutually beneficial manner.

One of the guiding principles of this convention is:



  • Principle of respect for human rights and fundamental freedom. This principle stipulates that Cultural Diversity can be protected and promoted only if human rights and fundamental freedom, such as freedom of expression, information and communication, as well as the ability of individuals to choose cultural expressions, are guaranteed.


DIVERSITY OF CULTURAL EXPRESSION AND NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

The development of any human community, society or institution is linked to its specific origin. The modern states of Europe are bounded by specific principles, values, institutions and practices that are peculiar to them and which today differentiate them from other parts of the world. Same can be said about USA which although drawing heavily from the European traditions and cultures is also distinguished by specific principles and visions associated with its founding fathers and entrenched in its constitutions and which has through the ages developed unique cultural practices in various fields of human endeavours such as politics, administration, sports, leisure as so on.

Nigeria is a culturally heterogeneous or multi-cultural country. Our cultural diversity is no doubt a factor of our linguistic disparity which equals to number of ethnic groups. Olu Obafemi noted that the wordage of our original National Anthem: “though tribes and tongues may differ in brotherhood we stand” and the often quoted “unity in diversity” has its root in Nigeria as what unite us are more than our differences. He instanced a few examples of the culture and socio-economic interdependence of Nigeria in his 2005 paper thus: Kola nut, an economic tree with ramifying value across the country is an example of the kind of national integration potential of our country. Kola nut is grown

largely in the western part of Nigeria as an economic and cultural product, it is eaten by the people but deployed mainly for cultural and ritualistic symbolism for ceremonies especially naming and wedding ceremonies.



Kola nut is eaten massively in the North as dessert and as staple. As a visitor to Nigeria, you will find it difficult to believe that it is not grown in the North because of the massive consumption rate. But it is among the people of Igbo in the Eastern Nigeria that kola nut has been most valued as a cultural and ritualistic item. The concept of Igbo wisdom that “he who brings kola nut brings life” completes the picture of inseparability of kola nut in the Igbo world. Olu Obafemi summarized that “Kola nut is grown in the West (Yoruba land), eaten by the North (Hausa-Fulani) and celebrated by the East (Igbo).”

There is other cultural interdependence among the people of Nigeria. Cattle are reared mainly by the Fulani North, but it is the king of all ceremonies in the south and other parts of the country because no event will be worth its while without slaughtering of a cow. Palm oil is produced in the East but ironically it is the Yoruba (West) who are regarded as the oily people, on account of the obsessive love of oil in their daily menu.

He believes that if the political elites should enhance the unifying potentials of kola nut, cattle and oil as these diverse products are variable instruments of National Integration and Development.

The Role of the Museum IN NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT:

A critical puzzle the museum can help to solve, revolves around, “what, in our ancient political formations is the plurality of their manifestations together with available modern options, is best suited for the attainment of our national objectives and promotion of human rights?” As the repository of knowledge and information, our museums contain artifacts and preserve monuments which are immovable artifacts and evidence of landmarks of history that are symbolic and important to us. The past is a movement and whatever survives from it is the end product of changes, trials and errors. Departments of human life in modern times have ancient parallels or authentic precursors. Modern developments are only offering us more options and not really necessarily introducing anything new to our experience. Each of the over 250 languages many of which are related and of the same origin or cultural groups inherited by modern Nigerian state has a whole and complete cultural inventories for us to learn from. In their diversity, they should strengthen the basis of our political choice. In this wise it is important for people to develop interest in visiting the museum as it promotes tolerance, understanding and cultural diversity. Besides, museums convey messages that break down ethnic barriers and promote unifying factors in intercultural awareness, through exhibitions and other museum programmes.


From all indications, museum is at the heart of cultural promotions because the bulk of our arts and past history are recorded and preserved in the museums, galleries and libraries for posterity. The transmission of such records can only be done through research and learning from such cultural heritage.
Today, as in the entire history of man, knowledge, education and learning is the key to development. The learning however depends on the question we put to the past in order to understand and find solutions to present day problems. We therefore need not only encourage preservation in the museums but also build relevant research programmers’ around them. This is why perhaps Biobaku (1983:5) observed that:

“In ensuring the effectiveness of the role of museum (culture) in our National development, three major considerations should be borne in mind viz rehabilitation, activation and propagation. In Order to rehabilitate our culture, we have to study it to the highest level scientifically, we need to subject it to most modern research methods and expertise. Here all our universities should be involved, setting up institutes of African studies, Centre of Nigerian Cultural Studies. In order to achieve the above, all hands must be on deck. The cultural promotion agencies at the local, state and federal government levels, education institutions, mass media, Arts Councils and other government parastatals should work hand in hand to achieve maximum result”.


Another major problem observed by Sule Bello (1991:24-25) is funding:

“Once again the issue of cooperating with other bodies and public support through donations seems to be the major way out. Most communities and local governments are quite willing to donate towards the establishment of their local museums, archives and cultural centres. These could be either in cash or kind, such as land, historical materials and labour”.


One other important area according to him is public donations to the cause. The Nigeria federal governments’ declaration of intention to establish a National Endowment Fund for the Arts to which corporate bodies and individuals will contribute is welcome idea. This way he said we will ensure that we enrich the inheritance bequeathed to us and assure that the future will not through our inaction, be steadily divorced from our greatest asset.

Museums around the country house some cultural industries where artisans and artists come to learn and copy from products of our forefathers to make a living and excel. Museums around the world in general and Nigeria in particular have become a function of economy as well as driving force to Tourism, social welfare, understanding and peace and peaceful existence among the citizens.

A.E.Afigbo (1985:54) noted

“that museum has a vital role to play in the attempt to re-educate our people on their culture is widely accepted. Surely the impact on the visual sense of the master pieces of our traditional art is bound to reinforce the efforts of our historians, anthropologists, linguists and musicians to interpret what survives of our indigenous culture in a way

that makes sense to these rootless generations. It will certainly help to confirm the point which these other scholars seek to make that there was beauty as well as rhythm in that way of life which preserved our people as coherent wholes until the civilizers from Europe came.”

GOVERNMENT’S ROLE IN THE CONSERVATION, PROTECTION AND PROMOTION OF THE DIVERSITY OF OUR cultural EXPRESSION.
The Federal Government as the main cultural Change Driver has done a lot in the direction of setting the structures for a cultural orientation and promotion of the creative and performing arts and culture as gateway to social change, human and national development. This is well evidenced in the commitment of establishing the Federal Ministry of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation. The department organs of the ministry are well conceived both in conceptualization and the allocation of functions and mandates as to what their contributions would be in the promotion, preservation and functional utilization of the arts and culture as change agents for national economic development. These organs include:

. Federal Department of Culture (FDC)

. National Council for Arts & Culture (NCAC)

. National Gallery of Modern Art (NGA)

. National Troupe of Nigeria (NTN)

. National Theatre (NT)

. National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO)

. National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM)

. Centre for Black and African Arts & Civilization (CBAAC).

The Federal Government has some annual designated programmes mapped out for the promotion of our diverse cultural differences for a more understood and unified Nigeria. Some of these programmes include: National Festival of Arts and Culture NAFEST, Abuja Carnival, Various lectures by departments and agencies, Nigeria Fashion Show and Industry which I am going to talk about thereafter and a host of other museum programmes aimed at better understanding of our rich cultural heritage and diversity of our expression as tools for our National Development.
DEVELOPMENT AND PROMOTION OF NIGERIAN INDEGENOUS DRESS CULTURE AS A SYMBOL OF UNITY.

The National Council for Arts and Culture and National Institute for Cultural Orientation have been in the vanguard of promoting our Indigenous dress culture. Nigeria being a multi ethnic as well as multi-lingual country is well endowed with rich cultural dress. It is natural that different ethnic group will be identified by its own different dress styles based on its geographical location. Scholars of modern times believe that dress provides a mark of identity and through which non verbal messages are communicated. It also believed that in traditional societies, dress function almost as a language that can indicate a person’s age, gender, and marital status, place of origin, religion, and social status.

From the museum collections, Nigerian researchers and designers have over the years worked assiduously to develop some of our ancient dresses to meet up with the new trends of dressing in Nigeria as well as preserve their originality.

The National Council for Arts and Culture had for six years engaged and challenged the Nigerian designer to use our local fabrics to design dresses that would be acceptable all over Nigeria and beyond. The designers went into work and the outcome unbelievable. The yearly event tagged NIGERIAN FASHION SHOW, attracted so much attention including the world fashion centre, Paris, both designers and marketers. The show organized its first international outing in the year 2000 at UNESCO Paris and drew a marmot crowd which signified internal acceptance.

Nigerian regardless of their religion, ethnic, or political inclination use and cherish Nigeria traditional attire whether or not it is their tribal dress. This is evident if one attends any public gathering where Nigerians are supposed to perform one function or the other (clips of some Nigerian indigenous designs)

the problems

There is large scale cultural ignorance among Nigerians regarding the quality, worth, and significance of their material culture. There are so much misinformation about our cultural heritage as a result of the legacy of colonialism through their agency of religion and formal western education. Our artifacts, festivals and cultural practices have been undermined and perceived as products of fetishism, paganism, worthlessness and backwardness.


In Nigeria, since our independence in 1960 according to Dr Sule Bello (1999-53), the most pressing, persistent and recurring problems facing our government has been that of development. Despite various policies, programmes pursued with a view to developing our infrastructures, economy, education etc, most of these efforts have largely failed to yield appropriate result. This is because the basic fact that culture, which should define, qualify and invigorate the process, quality and relevance of education, has largely been miscomprehended, neglected and misapplied. This neglect of the role of culture in education and development has been a major set back.
The conviction is that the fate of a citizen will continue to be decided from outside and in this way, his progress can be retarded as his production and consumption patterns will be fashioned out in accordance with the needs and values of an alien culture. People should be left the way they are and assisted to promote a free flow of ideas and contribution to human and national development.

The important question that confronts us is what are the indigenous options on which to build to achieve authenticity and pride, to minimize dislocations? The economic costs of not asking this fundamental (cultural) question is perhaps the greatest price we are paying today as a nation whose material and financial investments have not been matched by the returns. The heritage of Nigeria is a holistic one. For our polity to reflect a holistic attitude, we need to know how Museums can energize our system.


RECOMMENDATIONS

Our architecture, indigenous technologies, and artistry have been relegated to the background. What Nigeria has now presently as cultural products for the tourists’ economy are substantial. They comprise the natural and physical topography, monuments, and museums, cultural festivals, celebrations and shrines, eco-tourism, literature (oral and written) artifacts (both antiquities and contemporary) etc. There is an urgent need to deploy all of these into the tourist economy being planned by the Federal Government because knowledge about all these are very sparse.

There are numerous tourist facilities available in all the states of the Federation, ranging from the UNESCO heritage sites of Sukur Ancient architectural work of Adamawa and Osun Grove in Oshogbo, the Masquerade Festivals like the Ekpe and the Benue Kwagh-ir. There are also vital Monuments such as the Tafawa Balewa tomb in Bauchi and the National War Museum in Umuahia, the Oba’s palace in Bini, Chad Basin and Yankari national Parks and museums like the Oloibiri Oil and Gidan Makama Museums. There are many of these cultural properties and heritage in the various sectors of the physical, natural and man-made departments of our country. All these should expertly documented, distributed and posted to all strategic areas like the airports, High commissions in Nigeria and Our High Commissions abroad, hotels
1. Our Museums should create political departments in their collections so as to fast-track the development of a positive political culture that is transformational and adaptive.

2. People should develop active interest in visiting and benefiting from the offerings of the museums.

3. Traditional institutions including palaces should be encouraged to preserve popular customs, laws and values that would benefit political leadership and government.

4. The Federal Government should provide the necessary environment and funding for the actualization of its policy provisions for Museums.

5. The National Assembly and State Houses of Assembly through their relevant committees on Arts and Culture should engineer a

Nigeria Political Democracy that would minimize the effects of political imperialism.

6. The provisions of human rights as contained in the Nigerian constitution should be protected to the benefit of all Nigerians.

7. Massive cultural education should be embarked upon by relevant agencies (e.g. National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization (CBAAC) ) to take pride in the strength and plurality of Nigeria.

8. All Nigerians should see themselves as vanguard in the evolution of pan Nigeria democracy by imbibing Nigerian norms and values as well as developing partnerships across cultural divides.

9. The diversity of media should also be encouraged to reaffirm the freedom of thought, expression and information dissemination to safeguard human rights and enable diverse cultural expressions to flourish within the society.




  1. Rural animation as a way of reactivating rural handicrafts and industries which in the pre-colonial era produced master pieces that are show cased in the museums.

  2. Tourism Boost – Attracting people to museums would help to boost tourism and generate economic prosperity.

  3. Creation of Aesthetic Values. A sense of aesthetic value among the

citizenry can help dissuade citizens inclination to violence and destruction of national monuments and civilization.

  1. Improvement of Human dignity and value for the human society rather than pursuit of naked and mundane materialism.

  2. Correction of colonial mentality. Display of artifacts reflects concrete evidence of our cultural richness and sophistication thus correcting the wrong impressions given by the colonialists that brought civilization to our people.

  3. Education of different cultural groups on one another through the diversity of our artifacts on display.

  4. Cultural education of the young generation about the culture of their father.

  5. Promotion of mutual understanding and respect among the various peoples that make up Nigeria – thus assisting to solve the problem of instability which often arises from lack of fuller understanding and genuine respect for one another.

  6. Through school programmes, the Museum can inculcate into our children the love of our heritage and thus build a healthy citizenry.

  7. Children and youths should take active part in National Festival of Arts and Culture and such as Abuja Carnival so as to catch them young and encourage them to grow with love and unity while socializing with the other ethnic groups.

  8. National traditional cousines can be promoted through the operation of restaurants in museum premises, Arts centre, National theatre to serve our indigenous food delicacies.

  9. In this era of insecurity, museums can assist in the protection of important objects of communal festivals by safekeeping them against robbery and smuggling out into other countries.

  10. By organizing such programmes as “Friends of the Museums”, people from diverse backgrounds can come together and share fellowship, unity and peaceful co-existence.

  11. Local artists that operate in Museum premises showcasing their wares can promote entrepreneurship and solve the unemployment problem in the country.



Conclusion

Our ability to successfully benefit from the past should be our success in political socialization and development. This underscores the close relationship between Museum and Politics. The overlapping and interacting of Museums, Politics, Human Rights and Cultural Diversity in Human endeavors will continue to expand. It therefore follows that both can serve best by serving together. In line with all known human rights declarations, the cooperative spirit should permeate human thought and relationship where each is recognized and respected for what he is, to promote authentically, brand distinctiveness, effectiveness and efficiency.



REFEREENCES:

1. Adediran, Nath Mayo: Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.

2. Afigbo, A.E. and S.I.O. Okita: The Museum and Nation Building.

3. Bashir, I.L: Culture And Economic Development In Nigeria: A Study In The Operation And Impacts Of Cultural Imperialism. Paper presented at the NAFEST Colloquium 1989.

4. Bello, S. and Y. Nasidi (1991) Culture, Economy and National Development.

5. Bello, S. (1991: 24-25) Documentation and Cultural Development.

6. Biobaku S. (1983: 5) The role of culture in National Development. African Notes vol.ix no 2.

7. Edward Sampson and John Wiley (1976) Social Psychology and Contemporary Society.

8. Federal Government Press (1999) Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria.

9. Federal Government Press (1988) Cultural Development.

10. http:/www.modernGhana.com (5/31/2011) Museums Must Reflect National Identity.

11. Maiwada, Salihu : Cultrue and the Challenges of our Time: Promoting Nigeria Dress Culture

12. NCAC (1988) Tapping Nigeria’s Limitless Cultural Treasures.

13. Nigerian Media Reports.

14. Nigeria Union of Journalists (2002) Reporting Social and Economic Rights.

15. UNESCO (2005) Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.

16. UNICEF (1999) Human Rights for Children and Women.

17. Ogun State Chapter NIPR (2009) Public Relations Dimension in Election Process.

18. Austin Ovigue Asagba: Cultural Re-orientation, Peace Building and National Development.

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