By Salim Yunusa
The Federal Government has said it would seek the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s recognition for more cultural festivals in the country.
It added that this is to complement the inscription of Argungu Festival as cultural heritage by UNESCO.
This was contained in a statement by the Special Assistant, Media, Office of the Minister of Information and Culture, Segun Adeyemi.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, was quoted to have said this after he was turbaned as the ‘Kakakin Kabi’ (Cultural Ambassador and Emirate spokesman) by the Argungu Emirate Council in Kebbi State.
The statement was titled, ‘Minister vows to seek recognition for more Nigerian festivals.’
It read, “Kebbi State today is one of the frontline cultural and tourism states in the whole country.
“I say this not because I am being turbaned as ‘Kakakin Kabi’ but because of the reality. Each of the four Emirates that constitute the Kebbi Kingdom actually has unique and sellable tourism products.
“I start with Argungu. The Argungu International Fishing and Cultural Festival is known not just in Nigeria but all over the world and I am proud to say that it’s one of the few that have been inscribed on the list of intangible heritage of UNESCO.”
He said while the Gwandu Emirate showcases the annual Hotungu cultural festival of thanksgiving by the Fulani for the safe return of their cattle after the farming season, the Yauri Emirate boasts of the Boat Regatta while the Zuru Emirate owns the Uhola Festival to celebrate bumper harvest and showcase different farming tools and implement.
“As the Cultural Ambassador of Kebbi, I would endeavour to ensure that we develop all these festivals in a manner that many more will be listed on the UNESCO list of intangible heritage. We will also work assiduously to ensure that these festivals become a magnet to unite Nigeria,” he added
In his remarks, the Emir of Argungu, Muhammed Mera, said the Emirate conferred the title of ‘Kakakin Kabi’ on the minister in appreciation of his efforts in promoting the Argungu Fishing Festival to a world Heritage status as well as his unflinching loyalty, courage and strength of character in the discharge of his duties.