NATIONAL Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) has expressed deep concern on the growing culture of indecent dressing among Nigerian youths. Worried that the trend is turning Nigerian society into an amoral and unAfrican, the federal government’s organisation for general cultural awareness wants to stem the tide.
Executive Secretary of NICO, Dr. Barclays Ayakoroma noted that the development which is eating deep into the consciousness of young ones and some older ones is beginning to give the country a very bad image.
Speaking at a press briefing held at NICO Corporate Headquarters in the Abuja last week, Dr. Ayakoroma informed that his organisation is beginig the anti-shoddy fashion campaign with a workshop. The three-day workshop tagged, Promoting Nigerian Dress Culture for National Identity, is being organised to address the menace as well as project a befitting Nigerian dress culture as a tool for national identity and cultural re-orientation.
He lamented that “indecent dressing is a vice that now permeates various age-groups in the country.”
According to him, it is “not restricted to just youths as most married women engage in the unwholesome vice too. Most worrisome is the prevailing trends among our youths who expose themselves, clad in dresses that reveal their boobs, buttocks, backs, hips. It is against this backdrop that NICO is organising this workshop and we hope to see changes on our peoples dressing pattern after the workshop,” the orientation agency’s chief executive officer said.
Ayakoroma informed that the objectives of the forthcoming workshop is to rekindle interest and pride in the nation’s indigenous dress pattern and to encourage unity among different ethnic groups through integrated dress culture.
He said the workshop holding today through Friday, at the Cyprian Ekwensi Cultural Centre, Area 10, Garki, Abuja, is also aimed at encouraging socio-economic growth of the country’s local textile industries in order to create jobs for Nigerian youths while also promoting national patriotism. The event will be held under the distinguished chairmanship of Senator Dahiru Bako Gassol, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Culture and Tourism.
Target audience of the workshop comprise students, scholars, corporate organisations, religious bodies, operators in fashion and entertainment industries as well as top government functionaries.
Ayakoroma lamented that the nations’ dress culture is faced with challenges particularly, as a result of western influences and globalisation. The problems, he noted, have made many Nigerians to sometimes to turn away from the indigenous cultural mode of dressing in preference for western style.
“The indulgence in the use of western fabrics and materials has relegated our age-long cherished civilization as a deception for imposing other cultures in Nigeria and indeed Africa. There is need for re-orientation and resuscitation of our indigenous and ethnic values which are embedded in our dress culture.
“Re-branding and re-orientation of our cultural values should start with us. We should note that our dress culture defines our individual personalities and by extension, our national identity. We should not have our cultural attires on display only when occasion demands,” he said.
But he still noted the impressive work of Nigerian fashion designers. His words: “It is rewarding to note that we have done so well in projecting our ingenuity in the fashion world. The fashion and dress culture of Nigerians have been defined and redefined to stress the creativity of our designers and flexibility of our traditional attires.”
He called on various state governments to fashion out policies on dress codes, noting that if the country succeeds in that direction, it will turn to exporting its textile and fashion products and that will be a veritable foreign exchange earner that will to a large extent, support the gains from crude oil exportation.