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Kwara’s Gaani Festival, A Memorable, Colourful Annual Event

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Kwara State is blessed with many cultural festivals comparable to Shao Awonga of Shao neighborhood  in Moro native authorities, Ijakadi ( wrestling) in Offa, Offa native authorities and the favored Gaani competition in Baruten native authorities space.

Gaani is an annual cultural competition among the many Bartonum individuals of the outdated Borgu empire, who’re presently occupying Baruten and Kaiama native authorities areas in Kwara, Borgu in Niger State and Nikki, a neighborhood underneath the Borgou division of the Republic of Benin.

It is the second hottest competition among the many individuals of the Nigeria’s border communities after the Islamic festivals of Eld-el- Fitr and Eld-el- Kabir.

The uniqueness of Gaani competition stems from the the way in which it entrenches and promotes trans-border relations between the Nigeria individuals and their kinsmen within the Benin Republic.

The Beniniose nationwide do be part of their brothers in these Nigerian native authorities areas anytime the competition is widely known similar to the way in which the Nigerians additionally cross border to affiliate with their kinsmen that fall within the francophone nation in the course of the celebration.

LEADERSHIP Weekend findings confirmed that Gaani competition is a unifying issue and a spot, the place these individuals of the identical trait, identification and historic background meet and have a good time their tradition.

This cultural occasion is first flagged off in Nikki city, which is the headquarters of the outdated Borgu empire yearly on the twelfth of Rabbiu Awwal; an Islamic lunar calendar month; a day that commemorates the start of Prophet Mohammed.

Subsequently, different emirates underneath the empire, majority of which fall in Nigeria will comply with suite and appoint their competition days primarily based on their hierarchical positions underneath the empire.

These emirates in Nigeria embrace Yashikira, Okuta, Ilesha-Baruba and Gwanara within the Baruten native authorities space, Kaiama in Kaiama native authorities space of Kwara State in addition to communities throughout Borgu native authorities space in Niger state.

This competition is marked in the identical approach amongst these communities. Whenever the programme is held in any of the Nigerian border communities, Mr Garba Mohammed, an indigene of Yashikira  stated that vibrant occasions are lined up for 3 consecutive days between Friday and Sunday.

The first day, which is Friday is Gaani eve, a day put aside for show of assorted forms of drum peculiar to their tradition at emir’s palace. The outdated would additionally converge on the palace, the place praise-singers carry out to the admiration of the individuals. The day additionally avails royal kids that journey dwelling from their numerous locations to fulfill, sit down collectively and work together until daybreak.

The actual competition day based on him is Saturday when the  emir within the early morning, pays a go to to his ancestors and provides prayers on the graveyard of his predecessors for a peaceable reign and super growth in his area. Activities resume at competition enviornment later within the afternoon, the place the monarch will ship message of the yr to his individuals.

Immediately after he delivers his message, cultural actions start and have horsemanship, totally different cultural dances and acrobatic shows, amongst others.

The third day is for departure of visitors. And  in some instances, not yearly, some distinguished personalities are bestowed with conventional titles.

During the 2022 Gaani competition final weekend, the speaker, Kwara State House of Assembly  Engr. Yakubu Danladi-Salihu stated the state authorities underneath the dynamic management of  Governor  AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq is  dedicated to harnessing and selling tradition and tourism within the state.

The vibrant  competition was held at Ilesha Baruba within the Baruten native authorities space of the state.

The speaker who additionally hails from Baruten native authorities space, counseled the Emir of Ilesha- Baruba,  Professor Halidu Abubakar for sustaining the age-long competition.

“I heartily congratulate my father, the Emir of Ilesha, His Royal Highness, Professor Halidu Abubakar, and your entire good individuals of Ilesha Emirate on this auspicious event of the 2022 Gani competition the place we collect to have a good time our wealthy and age-long tradition and custom. I need to commend His Royal Highness, Professor Abubakar for the efforts put in place to maintain this distinctive competition that has introduced all our individuals throughout borders collectively to have a good time widespread tradition.

“As a government, I want to reassure you of the commitment of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq’s administration to promote this festival through the Ministry of Communications to engender socio-economic development in our land while strengthening ties of people with the same trait, identity, and historical background”.

While soliciting the continual help and cooperation of the individuals gor Governor AbdulRazaq and his authorities which he stated is poised to do extra, Danladi-Salihu donated N1 million in the direction of the development of Ilesha Town Hall which was launched on the programme.

In his remarks, the Emir of Ilesha-Baruba, Prof  Halidu Abubakar, expressed delight over the sustainability of the competition and thanked the indigenes of the neighborhood, dwelling and overseas, for locating time to be a part of the epoch- making occasion.

He expressed the neighborhood’s appreciation to authorities functionaries and visitors from far and close to who joined his individuals to have a good time, praying God to reward them abundantly.

The frontline monarch who described Gaani competition as a unifying issue and vacationers attraction,  stated all efforts could be made not solely to maintain it, however make it a memorable annual occasion.

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