Eid-el-Fitr: Borno holds first durbar in 4 years

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  • Shettima, Shehu: We’re grateful to God

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  • Gov. Shettima commended the tremendous efforts of the Military Joint Task Force (JTF) and the ‘Civilian JTF’ for sustaining peace which led to the smooth celebration of the Eid-el-Fitr  in the state.

Aug. 9, 2013

Hamza Idris

The durbar, Borno State’s spectacular display of royal horsemanship and colourful procession, staged to mark Sallah festivities, held for the first time in four years, due to Boko Haram insurgency.

The event features royal horsemen, sometimes led by the Shehu himself, followed by district heads and other title holders. Maiduguri is a tourists’ destination at periods like this.

But since 2008, the durbar had been put on hold due to persistent violence in which thousands of people have been killed.
The Shehu, Alhaji Abubakar Garbai Ibn El-Kanemi, was himself attacked by a suicide bomber during Friday prayers sometime last year but escaped unhurt. However, four people were killed in the attack.

Thousands of people who relocated to other parts of the country because of the violence are said to have returned home with their families and attended yesterday’s Eid-el Fitr prayers.

The durbar yesterday turned out to be spectacular as a result of the gradual return of normalcy to the state following the declaration of state of emergency and the emergence of civilian JTF.

The durbar, Borno State’s spectacular display of royal horsemanship and colourful procession, staged to mark Sallah festivities, held for the first time in four years, due to Boko Haram insurgency.

The event features royal horsemen, sometimes led by the Shehu himself, followed by district heads and other title holders. Maiduguri is a tourists’ destination at periods like this.

But since 2008, the durbar had been put on hold due to persistent violence in which thousands of people have been killed.
The Shehu, Alhaji Abubakar Garbai Ibn El-Kanemi, was himself attacked by a suicide bomber during Friday prayers sometime last year but escaped unhurt. However, four people were killed in the attack.

Thousands of people who relocated to other parts of the country because of the violence are said to have returned home with their families and attended yesterday’s Eid-el Fitr prayers.

valourThe durbar yesterday turned out to be spectacular as a result of the gradual return of normalcy to the state following the declaration of state of emergency and the emergence of volunteer youth vigilante groups, also known as civilian JTF.

Dozens of district and village heads performed the traditional horse riding in front of the Shehu’s palace which was watched by thousands of people from within and outside Maiduguri.

There was large turnout of people at various Eid grounds. Governor Kashim Shettima and the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Garbai Ibn El-Kanemi who performed their Eid prayers at the Ramat Square said they were pleased and grateful to Allah for the return of peace to the state.

Shettima, who attended the durbar as a special guest of honour praised residents who have returned to their deserted homes and shops in areas worse affected by the crisis since 2009.

The Shehu of Borno had within the week told journalists that the durbar would be staged because Almighty God had answered the prayers of the people which, he said, is evident in the return of normalcy in Maiduguri and environs.

Later in the afternoon, Governor Shettima, while addressing guests at a luncheon he organized at the Government House, commended the efforts of the military Joint Task Force (JTF) and the ‘Civilian JTF’ which led to the smooth celebration of the Eid-el-Fitr yesterday.

“It was unfortunate that hundreds of residents have been killed, property worth hundreds of millions of naira, including over 800 public secondary and primary school classrooms have been destroyed across the state,” he said.
Shettima expressed optimism that with the gallant efforts of the JTF, vigilante youths and patriotic citizens, Borno is now witnessing peace.

The governor said: “Although the state has encountered serious damage, we as government will not be deterred by the activities of terrorists as we will soon renovate all the public structures destroyed by the Boko Haram sect in the state.

“We will continue to support security agencies with our scarce resources in the fight against terrorism. We as government will never forget the effort of the JTF, Civilian JTF, the media and of course all peace-loving people of Borno State for their untiring support, prayers and concern on how to end terrorist activities in our dear state and the country in general.

“It is the collective efforts and support we received from all and sundry that led to the successful and peaceful celebration of the Sallah and we urge everybody to continue to pray for the sustenance of peace in our state and country, Nigeria.”

-DailyTrust

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of NewsRescue
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