Kwara State Governor and Nigeria Governors Forum Chairman AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on Thursday joined the royal train of the Emir of Ilorin, Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari for the #IlorinDurbar, the annual sociocultural festival of the emirate involving colourful horse riding and other local displays.
The Governor had earlier paid homage to the Emir, after which his delegation went back home to mount their horses as part of the cultural ceremony that attracted leading traditional title holders and thousands of Ilorin sons and daughters.
Mounted on the back of his hugely decorated horse alongside his brother the Mutawali of Ilorin, Alimi Abdulrazaq, the Governor congratulated the people of the Emirate on the annual cultural festival which honours the Islamic monarchy of Sheikh Alimi, projects the valour of its people, unites the community, and boosts local commerce.
The AbdulRazaq administration has made cultural festivals across the state a key component of its drive for a greater Kwara, in which a handful of projects — visual arts centre, innovation hub, sugar film factory, and international conference center, among others — are being developed to build a new economy around tourism eco-system, technology and innovation, and entrepreneurship.
Decked in glamorous cultural attires, the Abdulrazaqs paraded several horses mounted by young and old members of the family to welcome the Emir’s large entourage of royal courtiers to their frontage, keeping alive the long-standing tradition that sees the monarch tour his community ahead of the grand parade and other ceremonies at his forecourt later in the afternoon.
The royal carriage touched base with many other family houses and Daudus, including Basambo, Abojumeji, Agaka Isale, Ajia Sakasaka, Bayero, Jiddah, Baboko, Magaji Ngeri, Taiwo, Ita Amodu, Afin, Ita Kure, among others.
A few royal chiefs were on the train such as the Ciroma of Ilorin, Mayaki of Ilorin, and Magaji Ngeri of Ilorin.
The procession was televised live across all of the government’s electronic media channels and a few other private ones.
Speaking to reporters as he joined the Emir, the Governor said: “We thank Almighty Allah for making us witness another Durbar of Ilorin Emirate. It is a significantly important culture to the people of Ilorin Emirate, which we commemorate every year. This event unifies and brings us all together to be our brother’s keepers.
“We believe in our religion and of course our culture and our monarchy. At the backend of this is the economic benefit to the state and the emirate as well. Business activities are doing very well, hotels, commercial buildings and relaxation centres alike. You can see how the people are happy, the merriment, the horse riders and everyone. We are having a good time today in Ilorin. In fact, we are enjoying it.”
The Durbar holds as the state government opened up a few other centers for the citizens to have fun-filled Eid celebrations, including the newly developed flower garden and the amusement park.
The Ilorin Durbar is held every second day of Eid-ul-Adha, or festival of animal slaughtering, bringing together thousands of citizens of the city and visitors.