The rich cultural heritage and tradition of Borgu people were on display at the weekend during the coronation of Haliru Sanni Muhammed Dantoro, Kitoro IV , as the new Mai Borgu, the leader of the entire Bussawa Emirate.
Apart from the cultural drums and dance by various cultural troupes, the dressings and beautiful displays during Durbar (Horse Ride) with other traditional events that featured at the occasion made it more thrilling and memorable.
During the coronation which lasted for three days, New Bussa, the headquarters of the emirate witnessed unprecedented number of visitors including traditional rulers, from all over the country, top government functionaries, captains of industry among others.
President Muhammadu Buhari, a turbaned chief of the emirate was represented by the Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Alhaji Mohammed Musa
Bello and Hon. Abu Bawa Bwari, Minister of State, Ministry of Solid Minerals while Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Jagaban of Borgu was also represented by a delegation led by Senator Abdulfatai Buhari (Oyo North) Chairman Senate Committee on ICT and others.
Sokoto State Governor, Honourable Aminu Tambuwal, Governor of Oyo State Senator Abiola Ajimobi were also represented, former military governor of Niger State, Colonel Lawan Gwadabe and Ambassador designate, Honourable A Ahmed, officers from Nigeria Army, Immigration, Navy, Civil Defence Corps, Air Force, Nigeria Police and other military and paramilitary agencies were also represented at the occasion.
Royal fathers present at the occasion included, Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Umar Garbai El-Kanemi, represented by a powerful delegation, Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Muhammad Sa’aad Abubakar III, Emir of Kano Alhaji Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, Attah of Ighala, Agabaidu Idakwo Ameh-Oboni II, Jaja of Opobo, Emir of Auchi Olofa of Offa, Oba Muftau Oloye Gbadamosi, Dean of Gabor, HRH Benjamin Okechukwu, Keagborekuzi 1, and others.
The Nigeria National Park Service led by Abdullahi Hussain, the Acting Conservator General, Nigeria Tourism Development Commission (NTDC), CBAAC, National Orientation Agency and other agencies of government on Culture and Tourism related were also present at the occasion. The National Park Service mounted a colourful and elaborate exhibition on the ground where the fauna and flora of the kingdom were showcased
Borgu Kingdom which spread across Niger, Kebbi, Oyo, Benin, Kwara and Benin Republic was an ancient and historical kingdom that was established in the 7th century by Kisra who migrated from the present day Iran and has been ruled by over 300 emirs till date.
Apart from the valued and well guided rich cultural heritage and tradition, the Kingdom is also endowed with great tourism potentials which has not been fully utilised for the economic advantage of its people, but it is hopeful that with the emergence of Haliru Dantoro as Mai Borgu it is going to be a new dawn as he in his speech emphasised on the need to collaborate with the government and other private investors to transform the kingdom economically.
Borgu Kingdom houses one of the biggest dams in Africa, Kainji Lake which is the power generating house for Nigeria, Wild Life Park, Old Bussa and many others which makes it one of the great hubs for cultural, historic and eco tourism.
In his emotional laden speech, the new Emir said “I will do my best with the support of my people and the government to take Borgu Kingdom to greater heights. Our doors are opened to investment in tourism and other businesses that will enhance the economic advancement of our people.
“Borgu is noted for religious tolerance, security conscious with good accommodating spirit, a unique feature which has been part of us since the creation of the kingdom and we will not in any way negate the principles of our founding fathers, but rather continue to project and promote the great ideological vision and agenda of our progenitors.”
Corroborating Mai Borgu’s claim on tourism, the executive governor of Niger State, Alhaji Sanni Bello in his speech noted that the kingdom is the tourism hub of Niger State and Nigeria and pledged that his government in his effort to transform the economy of the state will continue to develop tourism and agriculture as key sources of economic development.
The Jagaban of Borgu, Senator Tinubu who was represented by Senator Buhari congratulated the Borgu Emirate for having a young visionary king to tend the affairs of the people.
According to Senator Buhari “ The Jagaban of Borgu, Senator Ahmed Tinubu who is here in soul and spirit, but who could not be here physically urges all Borgu indigenes and scions of the Emirate not only to support the new Emir, but to pray and wish him well because a new dawn has come.”