By Beatrice Gondi, Bauchi
Bauchi Integrity Forum has berated those criticising Bauchi State governor, Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar, for spending on traditional rulers.
The chairman of the group, Comrade Bala Surajo said recent reports on the purchase of horses worth N96 million for traditional rulers in Bauchi State was twisted by mischief makers and political jobbers to project the state government in bad light.
He said the money was the total funds spent for the upkeep and purchase of horses in a period of two years for all the emirates in the 20 local governments of the state, covering four different Sallah celebrations, including durbas and other events.
According to him, the mischievous agents failed to realise that it is part of government’s efforts to preserve and promote traditional heritage and the existing culture of traditional durbar and horse racing during the Sallah celebrations and other carnivals.
Surajo said, “People who are not in the system may not appreciate the government’s genuine intention, hence the ignorant criticism. It is common knowledge that durbar and traditional horse racing have been part of the culture and tradition of Northern states and even the federal government. It is the people’s culture and our traditional institutions are part of our history. So, no amount is too much in investing in the preservation of these institutions, culture and tradition.
“In other climes, tradition and culture preservation is a huge industry that attracts billions of dollars in tourism, museum and artifacts. So, ours cannot be different. If well preserved, the state government is expected to generate substantial revenue given that the state has a huge tourism potential”.
He further noted that it is government’s deliberate policy to promote culture and other aspects of tourism with a view to generating much revenue, even as he said as part of its readiness to promote and preserve culture, government will also encourage participation in the annual Abuja carnival where the Bauchi State contingents have “been spectacularly winning at different categories, bringing such wonderful and very great praise, glory and honour to the state.
“In Bauchi State during festivals, different foreign nationals come to watch the colourful events and funds are always allocated for that purpose. It is certain that the nation has been facing serious economic hardship but the business of governance has to move on, especially for Governor Abubakar who has been paying salaries promptly and regularly and executing major projects at the same time despite the meagre resources at his disposal”, he added.