President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has said efforts must be made by leaders in the country to encourage productivity amongst youths to enable them to contribute meaningfully to national development.
Lawan made this known over the weekend while speaking to Journalists at the First Solo Exhibition of Paintings and Photographs by Stephen Binos.
Binos is the son of Senator Binos Dauda Yaroe who is representing Adamawa South in the Senate.
The artworks exhibited depict the culture of the people of Adamawa State.
The Senate President, while charging Nigerian youths to ensure the preservation of the country’s diverse cultural heritage through expressive means, explained that doing so would, in turn, preserve its traditional values against extinction from the overwhelming external influence of technology.
“I have gone round to see the art exhibition, display of various artworks by Stephen Binos and I’m really very impressed by what I have seen and I want to congratulate the man of the moment, Stephen Binos, our artist.
“What this gentleman has done is to document history, document very important moment and these artworks will remain historical.
“Art is a language that everybody speaks and you can see from the attendance here. There are diverse people here. Some came from Europe, America and what have you and everybody understand his Language.
“The situation today, across the world really demands that we are able to document some of these very historical and very important artworks because technology, while it is a blessing to all of us, has its own way of undermining our culture.
“I believe in keeping to my culture because it doesn’t in any way stop me from being modern and contemporary but it enriches my thinking, my orientation and my behaviour and attitude.
“I believe we can take an example from the Japanese. They still eat sitting and probably using their hands.
“The Chinese still use sticks to eat and they stick to their culture and they are making it and we can do the same – keep our culture, value them.
“Really, that does not stop us from being modern. Adopting the technology developed elsewhere and modifying them to fit our purpose here in the country.
“So, I want to congratulate once again, the man of the moment, Stephen Binos.
“There is a popular saying that a picture speaks more than a thousand words. I’m impressed to see the various communities in Adamawa reflected here.
“This is the kind of thing we need to encourage our youths. If someone chooses to go this path, he should be encouraged to continue to excel and do well.
“[And] whichever way we can encourage our youths in this country, to be productive, to be focused and contribute to national development.”
Speaking on the security situation in the country, Lawan said that school children in the north are deprived of education, particularly the girl child, as a result of persistent abductions and kidnappings by armed bandits.
He, however, assured that President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration would continue to do all in its power with the support of the National Assembly to reverse the spate of insecurity across Nigeria.
The Senate President added that the issue of insecurity plaguing the country is a challenge that must be prioritised and tackled jointly by all tiers of government for results to be realised.
He said: “I want to assure everyone that this administration, the Muhammadu Bihari APC administration, will continue to work hard to bring back security to this country.
“It is a challenge, but I believe that it is for all of us – the Federal, States and, of course, the Local Government and all the communities and ethnic groups across the country.
“This is a situation that needs all hands on deck regardless of what you believe in. We all need to survive first before we achieve any excellence and I believe we can do so well.
“We can reverse the current trend of insecurity in our country. It is a very sad development that our education is suffering especially with so much kidnapping of school children especially the girl child.
“In northern Nigeria, education has always been a problem and it is making it worse with this kind of abduction of students either in Islamiya school or normal secondary school or even in tertiary institutions like it happened in Afaka in Kaduna State, and I believe we should continue to fight this kind of insurgency, the banditry for us to restore normalcy in our country for our country to make progress.”