Benue State Commissioner of Information, Culture and Tourism, Mrs Ngunan Addingi, has stated that the ministry is committed to boosting the capacity of traditional artistes, to play vital roles in grassroots information dissemination.
She made this known Monday at a one-day ballad retreat, hosted by the ministry at the Open Air Theatre of the Aminu Isah Kontagora Arts Theater Complex in Makurdi.
Represented by Principal Special Assistant on Culture and Tourism, Mr Tahav Agerzua, she said, apart from serving as effective media tools, traditional artistes had been historical and cultural archives that assist to refresh memories.
Mrs Addingi stated that the ministry has directed the State Council for Arts and Culture to unfold a template upon which traditional folk songs could be composed to promote peace, unity and progress in the state.
She said artistes were expected to compose songs based on the template and present them at another forum which will be organised soon.
Director of the State Council for Arts and Culture, Mrs Monica Shanyo, presented a comprehensive template on themes upon which compositions could be made. The themes included security, agriculture, peace, education and cultural revival.
President of the Association of Tiv Traditional Singers, Mr Solomon Iornem, popularly known as Solomon JP, expressed appreciation for what he described as a welcome development and appealed that the initiative be sustained.
Guest Speaker, Evangelist Obadiah Orkor, urged the artistes to return to God and honour him with the talents which He gave them.
The performing troupe of the council thrilled the audience with live performance of Ngighngigh and Swange dances. The event which was the first in a series was organised in collaboration with the Association of Tiv Traditional Singers.