President Muhammadu Buhari expected to unveil the ‘Nigerian Rebirth Art Project’ portrait at the Unity Fountain, Abuja in October. The Art project which will be flagged off on Thursday, 27th August 2015, Unity Fountain, Abuja will feature 37 artists drawn from the 36 states of the federation and FCT.
Mrs. Folsade Yemi-Esan, permanent secretary of Federal Ministry of Information who pledged unflinching support for the project during an interactive session with Nigerian Rebirth Art Project delegation led by David Ibrahim, NRAP project Coordinator in Abuja, noted that the unity of Nigeria is non-negotiable. “The Federal Ministry of Information will be ready to partner with your organisation.
Several times, people ask me that when you talk about America you have the statute of Liberty, when you talk about Paris, you talk about the Eiffel Tower. “What do you have as a country, Nigeria that depicts who we are as a nation? And they keep asking me that as Federal Ministry of Information, we are the one that suppose to drive the project and image that once you see it, you recognise it as being Nigeria.
“I think you have done half of the work for us and that is why I said we will partner with you to make sure that Nigerians accept it as picture of Nigeria. It’s also interesting that you have put all the challenges the country has gone trough in that picture but for the resilience of Nigerians is something that the portrait brings out clearly.
Anywhere you see a Nigerian, we are not ready to give up at all, we struggle to make sure that we get what we want,” she acknowledged. Speaking earlier, David Ibrahim, NRAP project coordinator, explains that the initiative was aimed at promoting a new Nigeria in the subconscious of every Nigerian.
“We have gathered 37 fine artists across the country, I actually got emotional when I got female artists from Maiduguri, and they are all coming down to Abuja beginning from Thursday, 27th August of this month to paint on a 14 by 16 size canvass portrait, the biggest so far in Africa from the findings we have gotten.
They are painting one national portrait.” Ibrahim who stressed the need for reorientation of Nigerians in the bid to promote unity of the country, assured that the Nigerian rebirth art project will help in spurring latent potential in the citizenry. “Image is very powerful.
We believe that every society that has reached the zenith in terms of development have a dominant image they were exposed to. Unfortunately for us in Africa, we are ruled by hardwares not the power of image and abstract realities. We celebrate infrastructure at the expense of human structure.
-Dyepkazah Shibayan, Abuja