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How Sallah durbar set Kano aglow

For three days since Sallah, residents of Kano lined up the streets to watch horse parades by their Emir, his councillors, servants and subjects Durbar…

For three days since Sallah, residents of Kano lined up the streets to watch horse parades by their Emir, his councillors, servants and subjects

Durbar is a spectacular horse procession festival organised by traditional rulers, especially the emirs in northern Nigeria. The royal parade takes place mostly during the two Sallah festivities (Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha) or when the emirs honour distinguished guests with a special treat.
The festival parades hundreds of men in colourful garments and other traditional regalia such as turban and decorated animal skin, riding horses well-bred and also beautifully adorned horses. The durbar has been held in Kano State for many decades until the late Emir Alhaji Ado Bayero, suspended it for two years due to his ill health between 2010 and 2012.
However, his successor, Emir Muhammadu Sanusi ll, restored the custom in 2014 after he ascended the throne. This special horse procession is organised in Kano by the emirate as a three-day affair and it comprises five different processions, namely the Hawan Idi/Sallah, Hawan Nassarawa, Hawan Daushe, Hawan Dorayiand Hawan Panisau.
Hawan Dorayi and Hawan Panisau are interchangeable. While Hawan Dorayi is conducted during the Eid-el-Fitr the Panisau durbar is held during the Eid-el Kabir festival. Traditionally, all the processions start with a special gun salute by the Yan Bindiga under the command of Maitafari, who is the Sarkin Yan Bindiga (leader).
The gun salute is a signal to the people of Kano and horse riders as well that the emir is about to embark on the procession, so that all horse riders mount for the trip round parts of the city and its environs. This is why this particular gun salute is referred to as ‘Bindigar daura sirdi’.

Hawan Idi/Sallah
This is a short trek by the emir and his entourage from the palace to the Eid-el ground at Kofar Mata in the morning on Sallah day. The emir and his entourage will join other Muslim faithful to observe the two Raka’at congregational prayer.
In compliance with the norm, Emir Muhammadu Sanusi ll had on the Sallah day (Wednesday, July 6, 2016) dressed in an all-white attire, led his entourage to the Kofar-Mata Eid-prayer ground for the yearly congregational prayer.  Shortly after observing the prayer, Sanusi rode a whitehorse and led the entourage back to the palace in a colourful horse procession.
The emir led his entourage back to the palace through a different route. But he stopped over at Gidan Shatima where he exchanged greetings with the state’s Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, who was there with members of his cabinet and other dignitaries to receive the monarch.
Shortly after the pleasantries, the emir then moved to Kofar Kwaru where he stopped again and received the traditional greeting called Jahi from the children of emirs. There, he delivered his Sallah message to the people of Kano and finally retired home after the Yan Bindiga fired barrage
of shots signifying the end of Hawan Sallah.

Hawan Daushe
In the evening of Sallah same day, precisely around 4pm, the Yan Bindiga started the celebration with another gun salute signalling that the emir was set for the Hawan Daushe, the second segment of Hawan Sallah activities in the state.
Though both Hawan Sallah and Hawan Daushe processions are conducted same day, but the latter is much longer. While Hawan Sallah entails trekking from the palace to the Eid-el ground, Hawan Daushe on the other hand takes the emir and his entourage round the city of Kano in an attractive horse procession.
It was gathered that Hawan Daushe was introduced to Kano during the reign of Muhammadu Rumfa in the 1400s. This particular durbar is always avails the people of Kano city with an opportunity to see the emirduring Sallah festivities.
Unlike during the Hawan Idi, for this year’s Hawan Daushe, Emir Sanusi came out from the palace riding a she-camel. As usual he was surrounded by Giwar Sarki, a team of unflinching loyalist courtiers and special guards. The Giwar Sarki team comprises of the Shamaki, Sallama,Dan-Rimi, Kilishi, Sarkin Dogarai and Makaman Dan-Rimi among others.
Immediately behind the emir is a local band mounted on camels. The main function of this group of drummers is to make the procession lively. The procession was highly organized as it was conducted based on the hierarchical order of the district heads with each district head escorted by his people who also dressed in different colourful attires and riding decorated horses.
It was observed that the emir’s horse was located almost at the centre of the procession. The Yan Bindiga group leads the processions,followed by the Yan Kwalkwali, Yan Silke and then the Dogarai, the emir’s local guards.
Hawan Daushe was initially a short ride from the palace to a Gwangwazo quarters where the emir’s mother resided. It is the emir’s first outing during Sallah purposely to pay homage to his mother at her residence called Babban Daki. But as it moves on, the procession gets longer.
In compliance with the norm, Emir Sanusi kick-started this year’s annual Hawan Daushe from Kofar Kwaru riding a beautifully decorated she-camel. His first stop was at Asiya Bayero Hospital where he received greetings from his district heads and then led the entourage round the city. They passed through Sabon Titi, Galadanchi, Diso, Tudun Wazirchi and finally stopped at Babban Daki where he disembarked, went into the house and greeted his mother.
While he was with his mother, the district heads and other horse riders moved to Kofar Kudu and waited for him in an organised manner. On his arrival, the emir stays at a particular spot and received Jahi from the district heads and other horse riders, Jahi. This procession is also called Zagaye, meaning going round.
During the procession, the emir stopped at almost every ward and received cheers from the crowd that had been waiting for his arrival.
It was observed that series of mini dramas by musicians, dancers and drummers also took place while the procession was in progress.
As usual, the durbar ended with series of Dane gun salute shot by the Yan Bindiga.
Hawan Daushe is one of the most attractive events during the Sallah periods in Kano. It always attracts diplomats from across the globe,who converge on Kano to witness the beautiful cultural event every year.


Hawan Nassarawa
After the Hawan Daushe comes Hawan Nassarawa which sees the emir visiting his resting palace (Fadar Hutawar Sarki) located at Nassarawa GRA and Government House. At Fadar Hutawar Sarki, Emir Sanusi spent sometime praying for the repose of the souls of his ancestors who are buried at the house before he finally moved to Government House and met with top government officials. At the government house, the emir was received by Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, who was accompanied by members of his executive council and other dignitaries.
Emir Sanusi was led to the Africa House by the governor where they both delivered their speech. In his speech, Sanusi urged graduates in the state to utilize the loans introduced by commercial banks to set up their businesses.
He commended the present administration for the projects it has so far executed, urging it to always sensitize the general public on its achievements, saying the “present government has achieved a lot despite the economic crisis affecting the country, but much has not been heard about its achievements. So, there is need for the government to inform the public about its achievements.”
Governor Ganduje on his part told the gathering that his administration was processing payments of backlog of students’ scholarship allowances which, he said, had not been paid for the past five years.
The governor, who sympathised with the affected students, said“present administration is working round the clock to offset the outstanding allowances. The affected students would soon get their allowances paid.”
He also told the gathering that the power generation capacity of the on-going Challawa and Tiga Independent Power Projects(IPP) had been reduced to 13 megawatts from 35 megawatts.
He explained although the N10 billion projects had reached 50 per level of completion, government found it necessary to reduce the capacity due to economic crisis affecting the country.
“There is no way the present administration can continue with the project the way it was earlier planned. Even if the 35 megawatts is generated,government needs additional N5 billion to fix the distribution network before the supply could get to the beneficiaries,” he explained.
On the Wuju-Wuju drainage project, Ganduje said government was still reviewing the project, as an additional N3 billion was needed to pay compensation to the affected residents before the work could continue.
He further highlighted some of his achievements including completion of projects and execution of new ones. He said despite the economic crisis, the administration has completed dozens of road projects within one year.
The emir left the government house and headed back to the palace via a short-cut passing through Obasanjo Way to IBB Way to Kantin Kwari and finally Kofar Mata.
In the past, the journey back to the palace from the government house during Hawan Nassarawa was much longer. It went from the government house through Lodge road to Nassarawa Hospital (now Muhammad Abdullahi Specialist Hospital) Road to Sani Abacha Way, Sabon Gari area and then Fagge and Wambai quarters to Kofar Mata and finally arriving at the palace.
It is during this procession that other tribes that are residing in Sabon Gari and Fagge areas have the opportunity to see the emir and extend their Sallah greetings to him and his entourage. That is why the emir passed through the two cosmopolitan areas of Sabon Gari and Fagge.
On the emir’s arrival at Kofar Kwaru, the Yan Bindiga fired series of gunshot salutes which indicated that the Hawan Nassarawa has come to an end.

Hawan Dorayi
This is durbar starts from the palace to the emir’s mini palace located at Dorayi, called Fadar Waje. This durbar is conducted during the Eid-el-Fitr and on the 4th day after the Sallah.
According to tradition, after the Hawan Nassarawa which is conducted a day after the Sallah, the emir and other horse riders would rest on the third day and on the fourth day, the emir will lead his entourage to Dorayi and stay there until late evening.
On the morning of Sunday, July 10, 2016, Emir Sanusi led his entourage along side a crowd to Dorayi palace for the Hawan Dorayi. On his arrival, the emir stayed in his mini palace and received homage from his senior council members and district heads. Shortly after, the emir went into his house and the senior council members and district heads, also retired to their respective homes located around the palace.
The emir and his courtiers returned to the palace at noon. He remained at the palace attending to his subjects until 4pm when he led them back to the palace through different routes. He went back through Kofar Fanfo to Tal’udu roundabout and then Sabon Titi road and through various wards before he finally arrived at Kofar Kwaru where he terminated the durbar and entered the palace after the usual gun salute.

Hawan Fanisau
Hawan Fanisau is a six kilometers procession from the Kano emir’s palace and is conducted during the Eid-el Kabir. Like Hawan Dorayi, the emir would lead his entourage to Fanisau where he would stay in his mini palace till evening.
There he would also attend to his subjects in a normal palace setting.
At around 4pm the emir would lead the entourage back to palace through different routes. He normally passed through many wards and whenever he approaches a crowd, he would stop briefly and receive greetings and cheers from his subjects. The procession also ends at Kofar Kwaru with several gunshot salutes. And so it ends with the people and their leaders full of joy and prayer to be among those hale and hearty to witnesses the durbar series the following year.

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