No fewer than 500 beautifully decorated horses and dignitaries would on Wednesday participate in the Ilorin emirate grand durbar that would be led by the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari to mark this year’s Eid-el-kabir festival.
The cultural celebration is scheduled to come up on the second day of Eid-el- kabir celebration at the frontage of Emir’s palace in Ilorin.
The chairman of the durbar committee, Engineer Sulyman Yahaya Alapansanpa who briefed journalists about the significance of Durbar celebration at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), press centre, Ilorin yesterday ahead of the event said unlike in the past, this year’s durbar will be extended beyond the Emir, and Royalty.
“Durbar is the unique ceremonial display and cultural procession of well decorated and garrisoned horses usually and beautifully mounted by the royals, chiefs, princes and some other eminent citizens of a given emirate to celebrate an important cultural epoch or religious event or, sometimes, the presence or visit of an August dignitary. Thus, the forthcoming durbar cultural festival has no political connotation”, he said.
Alapansanpa said the event was being organised to promote the rich cultural heritage of Ilorin emirate and guard against cultural imperialism that was fast eroding the cultural values of the people.
“The organisation of durbar will also discourage the penetration of foreign culture into the psyche and consciousness of our often impressionistic younger ones.
“Durbar will also douse the acrimonious tension and socio-cultural apathy the perennial haphazard staging of baseless, meaningless and pernicious social carnivals by some restive, and poorly guarded youthful groups across the emirate and halt the appalling tendencies of promoting cultural illicitness, drug addiction, etc”, he said.
According to the committee chairman, “on that day, the Emir will ride on his decorated horse through Isale -oja to General Hospital along Baboko through Taiwo Oke to Taiwo Isale, Emir’s Road and to the palace where he will be welcomed by all and sundry.”
He dismissed the insinuations making the rounds that the durbar was being organised to achieve political interests.
In his speech the National President of Ilorin Emirate Descendants Progressives Union (IEDPU), Ambassador Abdulazeez Usman called on the indigenes of Ilorin based outside the town to come home with a view to, at least be part of the unifying culture.
The secretary of the committee, Dr Ibrahim Jawondo who is also the director of centre for Ilorin studies, University of Ilorin assured all the invited dignitaries and corporate organizations that are coming to showcase their products of adequate security.
He urged members of the public that are coming to witness the festival to cooperate with security men that will be on ground on that day for the successful celebration.