Olanrewaju Lawal, Birnin-Kebbi
The differences and rivalry among the different emirates of Kebbi State have always been in the public glare. The gap among the sons and daughters of these emirates, including Gwandu, Argungu, Yauri and Zuri, has been widened by the historical differences of their cultures and tribal backgrounds.
This untidy scenario has led to fierce competition along the line, discrimination, selfishness in the distribution of governance opportunities and sometimes outright hatred, thus murdering in cold blood, the spirit of brotherhood and togetherness expected of a people of the same state.
It is against this background that concerted efforts are being deployed to check the menace. Many individuals, groups and institutions in the state are of the opinion that the situation should be checked in the interests of all
Hill-Top Creative Arts Foundation recently brought together members of these emirates, in a fair to showcase their cultures and traditions. Scores of youths from these clans and emirates leveraged and assembled under a common shade to showcase their heritage with pride.
While Gwandu youths displayed various forms and characters of their Fulani culture, youths from Argungu,Yauru and Zuri emirates reinvented their ancient cultures, values and aesthetics.
The state coordinator of the foundation, Mallam Jamilu Mogaji, explained: “The Kebbi Cultural Day is also convened to mark the 2019 World Day for Cultural Diversity, Dialogue and Development. Today is the day in which we seek to reawaken ourselves on the cultural aesthetics and other traditional artefacts of our people. Various arts and crafts are put together for exhibition so as to make the day indelible in all our memories.”
The Deputy Governor, Samaila Yombe Dabai, said: “We in Kebbi State have multi- cultures and no one from Kebbi State would be allowed to suffer because of their tribes or cultures. We are people with honesty, sincerity, tolerance, which were passed to us by our grand fathers.
“This celebration shows the seriousness about whom we are, where we are coming from. People without culture are people without roots. People without roots means people without origin.” He noted that Argungu Fishing Festival, Huttungo in Gwandu, Regatta in Yauri and Uhola in Zuru held annually are designed to attract tourism but are also opportunities to display the people’s rich cultural heritage.
Emir of Gwandu, Alhaji Muhammadu Bashar Illyasu, observed that any society that has misplaced its values has lost a very fundamental part of their lives. He tasked Nigeria to utilise its cultural diversities, abundant natural resources and different ethnic groups to solve its problems:
“We must put more efforts in the teaching of core values and morality to our children to safeguard our future. The moment we missed parts of our culture, we have missed our path as a people.”
He, however, appealed to governments at all levels to put in place the necessary measures to promote and guard the nation›s cultures.
National chairman of the foundation, Alhaji Baba Muhammad Dzukogi, emphasied that the crises bedevilling the country were as a result of the failure of parents to care for the moral upbringing of their children. He said many schools in the country are in bad shape, tasking governments and stakeholders, to invest in the construction and rehabilitation of schools as their contribution to knowledge.
The guest speaker, Professor Aliyu Mohammed Bunza in a paper entitled, “The Prospect of Cultural Heritage in Kebbi State in the Promotion of Sustainable Peace and Development,” urged the authorities to document all activities of Sheirk Abdullahi Gwandu and translate same into the local languages for the benefit of the next generation.