September 13, (THEWILL) – Igbo cultural group inaugurates Runsewe’s statue in Igbo-Ukwu life-sized sculpture of the image of the Director-General of the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Otunba Segun Runsewe, was recently unveiled in Etiti village, Igbo-Ukwu, Anambra State.
The historical project and first in public sector tourism administration in Nigeria, was inaugurated by MBIDO Igbo Association, an inter-agency committee on culture, arts and tourism.
A tribute written by the cultural body notes that Otunba Runsewe will forever be remembered for constructing the biggest Yam House in Nigeria and for enlisting the New Yam festival on the national and global cultural festival calendars during his time at the Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) in 2007.
Words on marble at the site of the DG’s six-foot effigy reads,” This statue of Otunba Segun Runsewe, OON, the indefatigable icon of culture in Nigeria and tourism dynamo of our time, stands as testimony of a detribalised Nigerian who gave the Igbo race the deserved voice in the cultural tourism world.”
In his address, the National Chairman of MBIDO Igbo Association, Chief Okafouzu Ugochuchukwu, called on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) to enlist Igbo-Ukwu, which is regarded as the ancestral home of the Igbo, as a World Heritage site, in order to preserve and promote the socioeconomic and cultural tourism value of the Igbo.
“We appeal to all relevant Federal Government culture, arts and tourism agencies to help enlist Igbo-Ukwu as a World Heritage site so as to draw strategic global attention for the purpose of encouraging more research and to attract tourism visits to other numerous Igbo ecological tourism sites in southeastern Nigeria. Sadly, non of the existing sites in Igboland is enlisted on the UNESCO heritage map,” he said.