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A day at Gbagyi of Karu cultural festival

The Gbagyi natives of Karu chiefdom in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on Sunday, January 2, 2022, held their 6th annual cultural festival during which…

The Gbagyi natives of Karu chiefdom in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on Sunday, January 2, 2022, held their 6th annual cultural festival during which they showcased their heritage thrilling spectators within and outside the FCT.

Aso Chronicle, which was at the venue of the event, reported that spectators were enthralled by the dance and other displays by the various cultural troupes. 

Decked in their different costumes, the troupes marched in a procession to the stage to display the Gbagyi culture.

Also, entertaining spectators were the masquerades and the hunters who displayed their hunting prowess with bows and arrows, and locally fabricated guns.

The event, organised by Karu Chiefdom Development Association, was aimed at preserving the culture of the Gbagyi who are among the nine ethnic groups that are indigenous to the FCT.

In his speech, a former Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences of Nasarawa State University, Prof Andrew Zamani, who was the host, said the cultural festival was an avenue for unity, adding that it was a sign that the Gbagyi natives of the FCT have been living peacefully among themselves and with other ethnic groups in the territory.

He said despite what the Gbagyi people have been going through, they have remained resilient, hopeful, strong, determined and goal getters.

Prof Zamani noted that the cultural event also signified thanksgiving to God for the New Year, even as he said the cultural festival will be expanded to an occasional, quarterly, cultural event that will enable the Gbagyi to attract not only communities in the FCT but the entire nation.

 “There are a lot of people that dwell among us who have forgotten what the Gbagyi culture is. So we are remembering our history and we are telling other people out there that we are really indigenous people of the FCT who respect culture and value peaceful co-existence,” he said.

Also speaking, the senator representing the FCT, Senator Philip Tanimu Aduda, urged natives of the territory that they must consciously and deliberately ensure that their cultural heritage is not eroded by development, civilization and globalization.

He said the world has become a global village where modem technology has taken over the world.

He said it was only through the display of culture and traditions of every ethnic group that the younger generations can bequeath their cultural heritage,” he said.

He, therefore, called on the various chiefdoms within the FCT to bring together all tribes at the end of every year to display their culture so that they understand each other’s culture and traditions.

Senator Aduda, while commending the organisers of the event, further encouraged them to continue to organise them, saying he will always look forward to coming back home to Karu to join his people to celebrate the culture festival.

The chairman of AMAC, Alhaji Abdullahi Candido, who was the chairman of the occasion, said the FCT natives can only be identified by their culture and traditions, saying they should not allow other Nigerians to come and show them their culture.

He stressed the need for natives to always demonstrate through their culture, saying they will only be deceiving themselves when they keep pretending and borrowing other Nigerians’ cultures.

The chairman appreciated the Sa’Karuyi of Karu, His Royal Highness (HRH) Dr Emmanuel Kyauta Yepwyi, and members of his traditional council for promoting peace across the council, and urged him to keep it up.

In his address, the chairman of Karu Chiefdom Development Association, Comrade Dangana D. Jimiko, said the occasion served as a symbol of strengthening the bonds of unity and togetherness of the good people of Karu chiefdom and the entire original inhabitants of Abuja which, he added was in line with government policy and programme of promoting culture and tourism for development.

He said the 6th annual cultural festival being organized by Karu chiefdom involved both Gbagyi and Gwandara, which he said were among the nine indigenous tribes in the FCT.

He, therefore, called on the government to support the natives to promote culture in order to attract foreign investors.

He appreciated Senator Philip Aduda for his efforts towards embarking on viable infrastructures, youth and women empowerment across the chiefdom.

On his part, the Sa’Karuyi of Karu chiefdom, Dr Yepwi, expressed happiness over the event and called on his subjects, especially the youth, to be good ambassadors wherever they find themselves.

He said the event was meant for cultural orientation and sustenance of peace and unity among people of the chiefdom irrespective of tribal, ethnic or religious affiliations.

The traditional ruler charged the youth to continue to remain loyal to constituted authorities.

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