By Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
Durbar, one of the major cultural displays to mark the Centenary Celebration of Kaduna at 100 years, might have stole away the multi-culture show that came on board during the Saturday celebrations generally believed to have been peaceful and absolutely colourful in conduct.
Turnout of personalities at the occasion, which cut across the entire nineteen Northern States and Abuja, was quite huge and tremendous.
The quality organization and colourful cultural performance was, however, marred by low turnout of personalities, as the 3 Kaduna Senators and 17 Governors of 19th north states were conspicuously absent from the ceremony, which held at Murtala Mohammed Square, Kaduna.
Of all that were invited, the only two governors present at the ceremony were that of Borno State and chairman Northern States Governors Forum, NSGF, Alhaji Kashim Shettima and his Katsina State counterpart, Governor Aminu Bello Masari, while their Bauchi state colleague was represented by deputy Governor.
Indeed, President Buhari, Sultan of Sokoto, Saraki, T.Y. Danjuma, David Mark, among other Emirs and prominent northerners, were also largely absent from the Saturday durbar.
Speaking, President Muhammad Buhari said Kaduna is the melting point of Nigeria’s politics, saying it had played – and is still playing – a significant role in the region as well as Nigeria.
Making the assertion at the grand finale of the centenary celebration, the President, who was represented by the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Alh Muhammad Bello, said that Kaduna is destined to play a significant role in the development of the region.
“So, celebrating the 100 years of its existence as a political capital, is by no means a child’s play, and am happy this celebration is happening under a progressive government.”
According to him, Kaduna is the melting point of the country’s political development, as important political decisions have taken place in the state and is still taking place.
“I have noted with admiration that the state has achieved a lot under Governor Nasir Ahmed el-Rufai, who is a progressive governor, as he has started implementing the vision he wants to see the state attain in the next 100 years.”
The president once again reiterated the determination of his administration to solve the power problem bedeviling the nation, saying, once this is done, many industries in Kaduna that are in comatose will be back as well as other states in the country.
Earlier, the state governor, Nasir el-Rufai, remarked that the state occupies an important position in Nigeria, saying, apart from being one of the oldest cities in the country; it was the pioneer administrative headquarters in the Northern Nigeria.
To this end, after 100 years of being a state, it has become imperative to celebrate the greatness it had attained with the view of laying a solid foundation for the future.
According to the state governor, they have a duty to do so, for posterity, pointing out that the centenary celebration will, therefore, showcase the rich history of Kaduna as well as showcase its rich cultural heritage of the region.
Apart from that, he posited that the event will promote tourism, boost the economy of the Northern states and promote unity and progress in diversity.
Highlights of the event included a Durbar, which saw the Emirs of Kano, Gombe, Bauchi, Jama’are, Hadejia, Zazzau, Bida, Misau, etc., in attendance.
Important personalities like the former Vice President, Namadi Sambo, Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno, Governor Aminu Bello Masari, deputy governors of Zamfara, Bauchi, Plateau, as well as Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, and a host of other captain of industries graced the occasion.
However, Senators, Emirs and Reps from other states of the northern blocks participated in a whole lot of celebrations that took the whole day with gunshots, drumming and dancing with colourful appearances.