altThe Executive Governor of Kwara State, Alhaji Abdul-Fatah Ahmed, has said that cultural festivals are occasions for positive national and international linkages, as many of them have become international tourist attractions, drawing patronage from far and near, while some are significant sources of foreign exchange and employment.

The Governor, who stated this at the official closing ceremony of the 2013 Kaiama Bokobaru Gaani festival, on Saturday, February 2, 2013, explained that Gaani festival had all the manifestations of a cultural event, capable of being transformed into an international tourist event.

Represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Isiaka Shola Gold, he urged the Emir of Kaiama, HRH Alhaji Mu’azu Shehu Omar, Bagidi Kiyaru IV, and his subjects to sustain the tempo and continue to collaborate with the State Government, not only in its determination to ensure that Gaani festival becomes internationally renowned in no distant time, but also continue to sustain infrastructure development and other areas with tourism potentials.

Governor Ahmed also pledged the readiness of his administration to continue to address, decisively, all boundary disputes for peaceful co-existence and advised aggrieved parties to always employ legitimate means for conflict resolution, as only an atmosphere of peace assures accelerated development.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Tafidan Kaiama, Alhaji Nurudeen Mohammed, who was also the Chairman of the Organizing Committee, on behalf of the Emiratalte Council and the people of Kaiama, expressed his profound gratitude to the visitors and wished them a happy stay as the people of Kaiama are very hospitable.

The high point of the occasion was the unique way the Queen Mother, “Kiyezide,” shaved the heads of the princes and princesses, at the frontage of the Emir’s palace, marking the beginning of “Royalty of a Royal Child.”

Cultural groups that thrilled the audience at the occasion include, the Kambari dances from Pissa in Agwara Local Government Area, Boyeru dancers from Baruten, Yoruba dancers from Kisi, Dan Kwairo from Borgu, Gumbe dancers from Kainji, Igbo community in Kaiama, and Paraku horse riders from Republic of Benin.

Meanwhile, the Emir of Kaltaiama, HRH Alhaji Mu’azu Shehu Omar, Bagidi Kiyaru IV, also applauded the efforts of NICO, under the leadership of Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, in the efforts to restore the dignity of Nigeria and Nigerians, through very meaningful programmes.

The Emir, who bared his mind, when the Coordinator, NICO North Central Zone, Mr. Ibrahim Lawal, visited the palace and presented some NICO publications to the Emir, during the 2013 Kaiama Bokobaru Gaani festival, added that culture plays significant role in the peaceful co-existence of any society.

Naseer Saeed Atiegba