Mrs Yetunde Baderinwa, Coordinator of the National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) in Anambra, has called on Nigerian youths to learn and appreciate their rich and diverse culture of the various ethnic groups in the country.
Baderinwa made the call at the cultural carnival, organised for members of the 2022 Batch A Stream I NYSC orientation programme, held at the Mbaukwu/Umuawulu permanent orientation camp on Saturday.
Baderinwa urged the youth to check their predisposition to embracing foreign cultures against the ones they were born into as a people.
She said there was a need to go back to the traditional family system and marriage rites as they are more amenable for greater bonding.
The state coordinator commended the corps members for mastering and demonstrating good knowledge of the 10 culture areas exhibited within the short period they were in camp.
“The cultural carnival of the NYSC is for the unity and good understanding of the various groups in Nigeria, their history, their festivals, marriage rites, food and those things that make a people unique.
“Like you have seen, there is more fun in the way our parents marry, the families ask questions, they have their procedures, some even line up their ladies and the would-be groom will choose the one he wants.
“We should go back to these things, maybe that is why their marriages were stronger instead of this western culture of meeting and proposing without attention to the way their culture permits it,” she said.
Baderinwa said the orientation course had been effective in that some of the prejudices the corps members had before coming to camp had been dismantled.
According to her, some of them were afraid, when they entered camp they started applying for relocation, but most of them had withdrawn their requests because they have come to appreciate that Anambra is a land of opportunities and that the people are good.
On his part, Chief Ifeanyi Ibezim, a former lawmaker, commended the NYSC for introducing a cultural carnival as it fitted with its national unity building mandate.
Ibezim said the cultural displays were an indication that Nigerian youths embraced themselves while urging them to be mindful of the lessons as they moved to their places of primary assignment.
The ex-lawmaker, who donated a cow in support of the carnival, said he is available for continued partnership with the NYSC while promising to help make those posted to his community, Abatete, in Idemili North Local Government Area, comfortable.
“I am excited with what I saw here, I have learnt new cultures as showcased by the various platoons and ethnic groups.
“This is what we need; we must rediscover ourselves and help our youths to know that Nigeria is a great country.
“Anambra is a good place, there is so much to learn here, so they are encouraged to stay back and serve their fatherland here, there are business and marriage opportunities in the state,” he said.