Ilorin Durbar: Celebrating royalty, culture with pride at Sallah

Date: 2019-08-18

This year's sallah celebration in Ilorin had a royal touch with the Emir taking a horse-ride around his domain alonside other royalties.

Last week Monday, Ilorin, the Kwara State Capital went in to a frenzy for the second edition of the annual durbar as sons and daughters of the ancient town troop out in their thousands from all walks of life to be part of the celebration.

The preparation for the durbar started with the constitution of a committee led by Engr. Suleiman Alapansanpa as chairman, who went round to solicit for the support of all and sundry for the success of the event.

The peak of the event was involvement of about 700 horses brought majorly from the northern part of the country. Daily Trust on Sunday findings show that most people who participated in the horse-riding paid between N6000 and N10, 000 to hire horse apart from the money spent on the decorations.

The celebration which started last year, involves horse-riding by all the family members that made up Ilorin, led by the Emir of Ilorin, Dr Ibrahim Sulu Gambari. The ride which started from the Emir of Ilorin's palace saw the riders led by the emir himself go round the town. It was indeed a royal ride as the emir went round his domain along with contingents of families of traditional chiefs through some selected areas of the Ilorin metropolis. The emir's entourage moved in procession from the ancient palace of Ilorin and through Abdulazeez Attah road, general roundabout, Ibrahim Taiwo Road and Emir Road alongside friends and well-wishers chanting "Sheeeeeeu, Sheeeeeeu" along the way.

This year's event also saw display of talents by Ilorin indigenes who came from far and near to add glamour to the event with their various musical presentations to the admiration of spectators. Berende is another highlight of the celebration where horse riders display talents in horse-riding at the emir's palace.

This was done mainly by experts who can control horse on speed from the entrance of the place to a designated point. Speaking during the event, the Emir of Ilorin and Chairman, Kwara State Traditional Council, Alhaji Gambari, expressed commitment to the preservation of the cultural heritage of the Ilorin Emirate. The emir noted that culture and traditional activities remain the genuine recipes for unity, peaceful co-existence and harmonious working relationship among people of diverse ethnic communities such as the Ilorin Emirate.

The Emir expressed satisfaction with the assignments of the 2019 Ilorin Emirate Durbar Committee and appealed to indigenes of the community to be good ambassadors in all their places of work with strong signs of patriotism, honesty and steadfastness. The Chairman of the Committee lauded everybody who contributed to the success of the festival even as he urged them not to relent in their kind efforts towards a peaceful and prosperous Ilorin Emirate.

Alapansanpa however appealed to multi-nationals to key into the festival through investment in order to give it the desired international attention, stressing that the Ilorin Emirate remains of the strongest in the history of Northern Nigeria and the nation at large. The chairman of the occasion, Engr. Lanre Sagaya, thanked the organizers of the event especially the Emir for finding him worthy to chair the event. He therefore promised to continue to contribute to the development of the Ilorin Emirate and beyond.

Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, who was the special guest of honor called for the support of Kwarans on his agenda for reforms and paradigm shift in governance. Abdulrazak who was represented by his deputy, Mr Kayode Alabi reiterated his resolve to institutionalise various cultural activities in the state to boost tourism and economic growth including the durbar which he called the heritage of Ilorin people and a testament to the bravery and valour of their forebears.

"Let me clarify this too. Kwara is immensely blessed with abundant natural and human resources, as the quality of attendance at this Durbar shows. Kwara is however not so rich in monetary terms. But that was not the reason for the slow development. The problem was that the little resources Kwara had was not going into building sustainable future. This is what we need to change, this is what we are changing, and that requires the support of all of you," he said.

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