Stories by Stanley Onyekwere
Gwandara Cultural Festival Day celebrations set Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) agog with thrilling cultural displays from over 15 masquerades and other socio-cultural contingents drawn from FCT, Niger and Nasarawa states respectively.
The cultural funfair, which kicked off early in the morning of Easter Monday with colourful cultural parade by Masquerades, climaxed with thrilling cultural dances and performance inside the GJJS Field, Idu, in Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC).
Our correspondent reports that the cultural funfair, which had top politicians and traditional rulers in attendance, also attracted mammoth crowd, who thronged the venue of the occasion, to witness the cultural festival, held on a Easter weekend.
The marking of the cultural festival aimed at Reinvigorating the cultures and Values of the Gwandara people.
Speaking at the occasion, Secretary, FCT Area Council Services Secretariat, Adamu Bappah, said the cultural festival has helped residents and other Socio-cultural groups in the FCT to have a better understanding of the Gwandara people.
Bappah, explained that celebrating diverse indigenous cultures will help to foster peaceful coexistence among the different sociocultural groups in the FCT and the country at large.
“This type of cultural interaction and advocacy will be a very good medium to enhance harmony, peaceful coexistence and stability in the society,” he added.
Similarly, AMAC Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu Candido, noted that the cultural festival affords the people the opportunity to demonstrate their culture- letting the world know who they are.
Candido, who of the Gwandara ethnic extraction, said over the years, the people have been having a skeletal celebration of their cultural Day, which they decided to up the tempo this year.
“We have been celebrating Gwandara festival Day in a low key, but this time around we decided to make it elaborate, and it’s going to remain like that.
“In the FCT, we have as many as nine indigenous languages, which Gwandara is one of them. So, this is one of the things that this festival will expose to Nigerians especially those domicile in the Territory,” he stressed.
Also speaking, National Chairman, Gwande Cultural Association (GWADECA), Hon. Tanko Abari, described the festival as one which brings peace and happiness to not only the Gwandara people, but to all Nigerians.
According to him, culture brings about peaceful coexistence of the people, and development comes only when there is peace, hence intensified effort at reviving cultural day celebrations.
“We want to revive and bring to the limelight all our cultural heritage that we left for more than forty years, because if leave culture, it leaves you too,” he explained.
On his part, Senator Jibril Wowo, reiterated that culture is the foundation and bedrock of any society, that’s why we are all here to witness what the Gwandara cultural represents.
“It’s always expedient to ensure that we don’t allow culture to disappear in our social development process.
“As Nigerians, we have a lot to learn from our cultural heritage, because culture is the people. It
“Culture promotes peace, so Nigeria cannot afford not to encourage the people to continue to observe their culture.”
Not left out, Chairman of GWADECA, FCT Chapter, Alhaji Ibro Abdullahi, expressed his delight in the high attendance at the cultural festival, which was organized to showcase his people’s cultural heritage.
He adds: “This is FCT, and you know the nation’s capital is home to every Nigerian, but as one of the indigenous people of the FCT, we are proud to showcase how we live to our brothers and sisters from other parts of Nigeria.”