By Ese Awhotu
Kano state government has constituted a 15 – man committee on the development of Durbar activities, the State Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has announced.
He said the initiative is an attempt by the state government to collaborate with the Kano Emirate Council and other stakeholders to exploit the tourism potential of the event, towards generating revenue and promoting the culture of the people.
While inaugurating the committee, headed by the state Commissioner of Commerce, Alhaji Ahmad Rabi’u, Governor Ganduje said: “It is an integral part of our culture and tradition so we must take steps to safeguard it. The Durbar is increasingly attracting tourists from across the world hence, there is the need to make it more organized and interesting”.
He explained that the 15-man Durbar Committee it was mandated to analyze the historical, cultural and psychological motive behind Kano state’s Sallah festivities and consider avenues for upgrading the activities involved, within the context of the state’s peculiarities, while studying and reviewing a related proposal by the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporations.
“It is to redefine the identified upgrades in conformity with the State’s distinctive traditional background, culture and attitude, and to conduct sites inspections and consultations with relevant personalities including the Emir of Kano”, Dr. Ganduje added.
He added that the committee is expected to submit its report to his office with detailed observations and technical recommendations for government’s guidance, consideration, approvals and further directives.
In his remarks, the Emir of Kano Muhammad Sanusi II, praised the state government for showing keen interest in the traditional festivity, explaining that it usually attracted thousands of tourists, with the attendant effect on the economy, including possible foreign direct investment, thus, should not be allowed to collapse.
He said his predecessors took steps to ensure that the unique cultural activity remained vibrant, pointing out that but for the late Emir Ado Bayero, who despite illness in his last years on the throne, resorted to riding on horse-drawn carriage instead of horse back during the Durbar, it would have been difficult continue with it successfully .
“Improving the Durbar will attract more visitors, which in turn will help in projecting our image internationally, as against the bad name given to Muslims as a result of the activities of few individuals in our midst”, the Emir stressed.
Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Rumfa (1453 -1499) started the Durbar as a military procession to showcase among other things preparedness for war and horsemanship.
Over the years, the event has evolved to become a royal parade of thousands of men on horses adorned with garments and regalia, colorfully displaying culture, full of pomp and pageantry. It is held at the peak of festivals of Eid Prayers.