By MSUE AZA, Kaduna
Chairman of the Organising Committee of the Kaduna Centenary, Malam Balarabe Abbas Lawal, has announced that December 2017 is Kaduna centenary month, just as he said the governments of the 19 northern states, together with Emirs and Chiefs , will participate in a grand durbar and gala event.
Addressing a news conference in Kaduna,on the line-up of events to mark the centenary of Kaduna as a city, Lawal,who is also the Secretary to the Kaduna State government, said Kaduna is pushing to reclaim its possibilities, and to live up to its promise as a place where the blessings of diversity manifest in colourful harmony, prosperity and development.
He explained further that the present government has passed into law the Master plan of the Kaduna city to promote its future development as a decent place to live and do business.
Lawal, however, called on the people who call Kaduna city home to support and participate in the centenary events.
“As you aware, Lord Frederick Lugard established Kaduna in 1917 as the capital of the Northern Protectorate to replace Zungeru. The city was planned carefully, and it quickly became a magnet for all Nigerians, not least the diverse peoples of the vast areas that constitute the north of Nigeria.
These confluence on influences have left their mark on the city in many remarkable ways. The place names and street addresses across Kaduna city testify to the diverse origins of the people that made Kaduna home, and were in many instances themselves made by Kaduna.”
Lawal added:”Kaduna’s role as political capital of the North brought bureaucrats, academics, jurists and other professionals to what emerged as one of the most vibrant places in Nigeria. Other citizens and foreigners found it a safe and viable place to trade, teach, preach and live. A thriving textile industry emerged as the single largest private sector employer of labour. Kaduna became a place of promise and a living testimony to the possibilities of Nigeria.
Unfortunately, many tragedies have delayed and blunted this promise. From the late 1980s, Kaduna suffered a decline of its economic vigour and painful sundering of the ties that bound diverse communities together. A succession of violent disturbances created divided neighbourhoods as skewed interpretations of religion bred intolerance.”
“It is this spirit that the Centenary of Kaduna seeks to mark, to pay tribute to the people and communities that have built and upheld this city. The centenary seeks to review the first hundred years of Kaduna to learn lessons for the next 100 years.
Therefore, the Centenary programme will acknowledge the multiple roles Kaduna has played and continues to play. The whole of December 2017 is Kaduna centenary month, with a host of official government events and programmes by associated private organisations. We well expect the Centenary spirit to continue into 2018 as our communities recommit to this capital city of ours.”
In design, the Centenary programme speaks to every demographic. The governments of the 19 northern states, together with our royal fathers, will participate in a Grand Durbar and Gala event. There will be a colloquium on the next hundred years while a Music Festival, photo exhibition and documentaries will explore tradition and celebrate contemporary cultural influences.”Lawal said.