The nation’s arts and cultural family suffered a terrible blow on Sunday as the Federal Capital Territory FCT Minister, Mr. Nyesom Wike ordered the conversion of the FCT Center for Art and Culture to offices.
The center named after celebrated novelist,Mr. Cyprian Ekwensi house the Mandate Secretariat of the Social Development Secretariat, department of Arts and Culture, FCT Arts and Culture pit theater,practicing halls for dance drama among others.
The Center generates revenue by renting the facilities to members of the public and professional bodies.
But on Sunday , Mr. Ibrahim Aminu the Mandate Secretary of Social Development Secretariat disrupted a Programme organised by the Traditional Medicine Practitioners.
It was organised in collaboration with the Arts and Culture department on Sunday 29 October,2023 at the main hall of the Center.
Mr. Aminu chased away all participants and declared that the facilities at the Center are to be converted to offices for SDS staff.
According to participants at the event, he claimed that Cultural related functions are not allowed again in the premises.
The Cyprian Ekwensi Center for Arts and Culture have hitherto been serving as the epicenter of Arts, Culture, Tourism, Entertainment and social interactions promoting commerce in the FCT.
It is very disappointing that just when FCT residents are hoping for a better and more active utilisation of the facility to meet the RENEWED HOPE agenda of the current administration in creating jobs and attracting more tourism business is when the Honourable Minister had to convert the Center to another purpose not in the Master Plan of FCT.
Residents of Abuja are, however, hopeful that the Honourable Minister will have a rethink and reverse this announcement by Mr. Aminu, the Mandate Secretary of Social Development Secretariat.