Various tribes and ethnic groups in Bauchi state have been challenged to emulate the Sayawa ethnic group in the Southern zone of the state in culture preservation and promotion which has made them unique over the years.

The challenge was made by the Speaker of Bauchi State House of Assembly, Abubakar Y. Suleiman during the annual Sayawa cultural festival known as ‘Lemph Zaar’ which took place at the Central Primary School, Tafawa Balewa in Tafawa Balewa local government of the state over the weekend.

The Speaker who was one of the special guests at the occasion said that culture is a total way of life stressing that celebrating cultural festivals help communities to showcase their heritage and traditions as well as promote unity in diversity.

Abubakar Suleiman said: “Whoever abandons his culture has abandoned his original way of life and his life will be tasteless. I commend the Sayawa for preserving their culture in various ways including Lemph Zaar annual festival.”

The Speaker also used the medium to urge the Sayawa community to use the annual festival in preaching the gospel of peace, unity and brotherhood among all tribes and religions in the state.

“This event should not be restricted to cultural dances and music but should be a platform for discussions and sober reflections on the status of Sayawa in term of development, economy, education and youths employment.”

Also speaking, Bauchi state first lady, Hajiya Aisha Bala Mohammed, tasked Sayawa and other ethnic groups in the state to continue to live in peace and harmony among themselves promising that the state government will be fair and just to all in the affairs of governance.

Aisha Bala Mohammed also solicited for maximum cooperation and support to the present PDP led administration by offering prayers and being law-abiding as well as eschewing acts that can lead to the breach of peace in the state.

The first lady who was excited to be at the celebration of the rich culture of the Sayawa community promised that she will use her office and pet project to promote self reliability for women and youth in the state advising them to shun acts of social vices that are destructive to live and good coexistence.

Earlier in his remarks, chairman of the festival known as ‘Gum Zaar’, Ishaku Komo explained that the Zaar people otherwise known as Sayawa are located predominantly in two local government areas of Tafawa Balewa and Bogoro adding that they are predominantly farmers by occupation and industrious people.

According to him, the community have unique, distinct and well-developed culture, traditional, religious, customary and well defined social norms that stand the test of time assuring that they will continue to be law-abiding and supportive of the government in its efforts to evenly develop the state.

Chairman of Zaar Development Association (ZDA) while speaking in his opening remarks commended the Sayawa people for remaining committed to the promotion of peace and unity in the area stressing that there is harmony among all the people in the area irrespective of religious differences.

The ZDA Chairman also called on the state government to as a matter of necessity and urgency take steps that will bring to an end the pending issue of the installation of the Guun Zaar having created the Chiefdom.

Various Sayawa communities took time to display their cultural heritage as they filed out and took turns to dance and express happiness and joy for another celebration.

Ishola Michael – Bauchi

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