By Steve Oni, Ilorin
The 2018 Ilorin Emirate Grand Durbar will hold on Wednesday, 22nd August at the frontage of the Emir’s Palace, Ilorin, the Kwara state capital.
Briefing journalists at the NUJ Press Centre, Ilorin on Friday, the Chairman of the Grand Durbar Committee, Engr. Sulyman Yahaya Alapansanpa, said the sole aim of the event is to revive and rejuvenate the cultural values of the Emirate, pointing out that its “genesis began precisely on the 20th of June, 2018 when the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji (Dr) Ibrahim Sulu Gambari inaugurated a 15-man committee of highly respected sons and daughters of the Emirate headed by my humble self, and saddled with the responsibility of organising a befitting Grand Durbar for the Ilorin Emirate.”
He said: “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 any political intention or colouration.
“Such an important cultural event has the tendencies of reminding us of our glorious past as a united people who are always proud of what unite them and often desist from divisive imaginations.
“It will also prepare the entire Ilorin Emirate community against the deep danger inherent in unguarded cultural dynamism of our contemporary time and the threat of growing cultural imperialism which, if left unchecked, may destroy the fabrics, essence and organic foundation of our basis as a unique people within the context of the Nigerian nation.
“The organisation of Durbar will also discourage the penetration of foreign culture into the psyche and consciousness of our often impressionistic younger ones who are often exposed to’attractive’ but destructive cultural products of the western world and their allies.
“It will also douse the acrimonious tension and sociocultural apathy the perennial haphazard staging of baseless, meaningless, rootless and pernicious social carnivals by some restive, restless and poorly guarded youthful groups across the emirate and halt the appalling tendencies of promoting cultural illicity, drug addiction, thuggery and sexual misdemeanor that come with it.”
The Chairman added that the reenactment of the culture of Durbar would send a clear signal to all and sundry of the unbreakable umbilical cord which exists between Ilorin Emirate and the rest of the erstwhile Northern Nigeria.
On Durbar day, Alhaji Alapansanpa said the Emir on his decorated horse would ride through the routes of Isake Oja to General Hospital along Baboko through Taiwo Oke to Taiwo Isale, Emir’s road and to the Palace, where he would be welcomed by all and sundry, adding that a minimum of 500 horses would be deployed and involved in the great Durban event.