The 2018 Eid-el-Kabir may have come and gone but the memories of the festivities lingers on as President Muhammadu Buhari and the Emir of Kano, Mallam Muhammadu Sanusi II in the company of a colorful and enviable entourage added colours to the festivities in Daura, Katsina State and Kano City in Kano State. ANDY ASEMOTA (Katsina) and ABDULGAFAR OLADIMEJI (Kano) brings the sight and sound of the celebration.
A very unique feature of Sallah festivities in Daura, hometown of President Muhammadu Buhari, in the past three years is the added groves following his visit.
The festivities entered an upbeat phase on Tuesday with the arrival of the President at the Kofar Arewa Eid Ground, Daura, as an unprecedented crowd of admirers escorted Buhari, who had to walk about 800m in the midst of the thousands of Daura Emirate’s residents and friends to his country home.
It was all joy and excitement at the Eid-Kabir Sallah Durbar in the ancient town amid rain on Wednesday. The colourfully decorated horses and their gaily dressed eminent riders including the Daura monarch, Alhaji Umar Faruk Umar, defied the mid day rain which set in when the vent was at a crucial phase characterized by traditional rulers and title holders in the Daura Emirate paying Sallah homage to the royal father.
The monarch was said to have ordered his royal umbrella be kept aside for him to participate in the durbar in the rain with other citizens of the emirate.
The festival extended to Thursday this week as no fewer than six state governors: Plateau, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Imo and Niger, as well as some ministers and high profile personalities, who paid their Sallah homage to the President in Daura set the town agog.
In Katsina State capital, thousands of spectators thronged the Old Government House, Kangiwa Square and Nagogo Road on Wednesday to witness its famous Sallah Durbar said to have been rated as one of the best in sub-Saharan Africa.
The durbar, otherwise known as Hauwan Bariki, organised by Katsina Emirate Council is one of the oldest traditional performances being witnessed in more than 100 years in the North. The event serves as an avenue for the emirate council to pay homage to colonial administrators before the advent of Nigeria’s independence.
The emirate has toll date retained the tradition as its successive Emirs pay homage to the state governors over the years. The durbar starts with the contingents of the kingmakers followed by contingents of other district heads. Each contingent comprises a traditional ruler on horse -back, traditional drummers and dancers, who display their skills to the admiration of the spectators.
The emir’s contingent usually brings up the rear of the durbar flanked by the councilors of the emirate and other traditional title holders. The durbar terminates at Kangiwa Square where the District Heads in the emirate pay homage to the emir.
However, this year’s Katsina Sallah Durbar will linger in the memory of visitors and residents of the ancient city as one of the durbars disrupted by rains after about eight out of no fewer than 16 expected contingents were yet to take their turn. Nevertheless, it was a memorable Sallah festival sequel to the arrangements made by its organizing committee.
Meanwhile, the 2018 Eid- el- Kabir durbar festivities marked in Kano was significantly different from what obtained in the past.
Last Tuesday morning, (Sallah day ) Emir of Kano, Mallam Muhammadu Sanusi II in the company of a colorful and enviable entourage that comprises of district heads, village heads, ward heads, custodians of traditional titles and institutions all rode on glowing decorated horses and camels to join Millions of Muslim faithful led by the Emir of Kano himself , Muhammadu Sanusi II and the state Governor, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje to observe the two rakat Eid- el-Kabir prayer session at the Kofar Mata Eid ground .
The faithful were led in conducting the prayer session by the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, who recited verses from the Holy Quran in Arabic language and proceed to interpret the messages from the Quran into Hausa Language.
Aside the entourage of the Emir, horse riders crawled out from various parts of the city to observe the spiritual sessions, equally riding on horses.
The horses and camel bore the testimony that it is indeed the Eid day, flowing gowns (baban riga) flying diverse design patterns and quality materials were also a testimony.
The traditional regalia worn by palace aides, such as gunmen, drummers and palace guards added pomp to the durbar.
The Emir dressed in his royale regalia, after observing the two Rakat spiritual session, mounted his horse and led a lengthy procession of horses and camel back to his palace through Kofar Wambai to Kofar Kwaru, where district heads, captains of industries, and hundreds of thousands paid homage to the emir, while horse riders had a field day displaying their riding skills to the amazement of watchers.
Wednesday witnessed a colourful Durbar staged at the palace of the monarch, hundreds of horses decorated to the brim from head to their hoofs, the horses and camels were converted to colours, their riders were enveloped in war attires and armed with different types of war and cultural tools, to the bewilderment of tourists who traveled from neighboring states, countries, also from Asia, America and Europe to glance the four days durbar scenes.
At the durbar event, top government officials mingle, members of the diplomatic witnessed the durbar, children in the company of their parents and guardians in their thousands were at the palace to witness the durbar, since to them it is an annual ritual and funfair affair.
Thursday marked another height of the durbar, the Kano monarch on this day rode on camel, leading a procession from his Palace through Kofar Nassarawa to state road with a stopover at the traditional Nassarawa house, before proceeding to Kano Government House.
Throughout the aforementioned processions, hundreds of thousands of Kano residents align the streets to pay homage and glimpse at the durbar display.
The royal procession brought traffic to a stand still, pedestrians stood still, motorist parked to catch a glimpse at the fashioned camels and horses mounted by their equally colourful riders.
The state road leading to the seat of power were overtaken by colourful riders in their thousands.
Kano State governor, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and members of the state Executive Council ushered the Emir into African House located in the heart of the state House, at few minutes past 9am, an arrival that indicates a departure from what obtained in the past.
Then all the district heads took turns to pay homage to the Emir in front to the state Governor.
Ganduje who welcome the royal entourage, (Hauwan Nassarawa) to the state house hailed the Emir and members of the state Emirate Council for their role in the promotion of peace and stability in the state.
He also thanked President Muhammadu Buhari, he said, “Four years ago, we cannot assemble to celebrate, the way we celebrated Eid -el -Kabir this year.
“That we can today assemble with large a number of people out there celebrating the Eid in all parts of Kano and other states, is a testimony of the performance of President Muhammadu Buhari, Mr President should be commended for the success that has been recorded, in the area of security challenges that were inherited by his Government, today as we mark the festivities, in a free atmosphere, we need to say thank you Mr President,” Ganduje said.
According to him, the state government has initiated platforms to encourage people from opposite beliefs to interact and promote peaceful coexistence and understanding, irrespective of their faith, tribal origins and creed.
He said, the state has in place a mechanism through which people are encourage to be tolerant of one another.
The Emir of Kano, Mallam Muhammadu Sanusi II in his message urge Nigerians to obtain their National Identity Cards and PVC, he then cautioned politicians to imbibe the spirit of sportsmanship and fair play.
The durbar from the Government House passed through the heart of Nassarawa GRA to Ibrahim Taiwo road, where leaders of non indigenes residing in Kano, dressed in their tribal attires, all converged to pay homage to the Kano monarch.
This year’s durbar Irrespective of the pomp and pageantry, the level of orderliness were highly commended.
At all gatherings at this year’s durbar, in compliance with religious instructions the opposite sex were barred from mingling.
Police operatives were also mobilised from the dogs section, parading nook and crannies and were accompanied by dreadful looking police dogs of various breeds .
Thousands of operatives were mobilised from the Department of Security Services, DSS, FRSC, NSCDC, KAROTA, HISBAH, Vigilante groups, Man ‘O’ War, and Boys Scouts, during the four days event.
Likewise volunteers that were armed with dane guns, bows and arrows, all synergised to compliment the Nigeria police in rendering security services, including crowd control.
Our Correspondent reports that drones were deployed onto the aerial horizons, during congregational activities at intervals.
Our Correspondent further reports that, hundreds of party militants seized the occasions to convey their loyalty and interest towards the forth coming 2019 General Elections, as they indiscriminately displayed banners and posters at all the events , with inscriptions that portrayed their intended political messages.
The violent clashes during previous durbar between political bandits and perceived opponents were tame, as no such violent clash erupted while the durbar lasted.
The activities of petty criminal elements such as pick pockets and phone and hand bag snatching were hardly reported.
The spokesman, Kano State police command, SP Magaji Musa Majia, disclosed that security operatives were on alert to ensure a smooth free celebration, he appealed to residents to always be conscious of happening around their environments during and after the Sallah celebrations.
Majia appealed to the public to hurriedly report suspected person or activities to security operatives, while urging parents to keep vigil over their wards. Majia appeal to motorists to comply with driving rules while plying the roads, during the celebration, as activities extend to the weekend.
Our Correspondent reports that, cases of missing children that usually characterise the durbar, as at when filling this report, there were no confirmed reported cases of missing children.
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