✕ CLOSE Online Special City News Entrepreneurship Environment Factcheck Everything Woman Home Front Islamic Forum Life Xtra Property Travel & Leisure Viewpoint Vox Pop Women In Business Art and Ideas Bookshelf Labour Law Letters
Click Here To Listen To Trust Radio Live

Sallah in Kano without splendour of durbar

Sallah Durbar has over the years brought fame and prestige to Kano State, attracting foreign guests, dignitaries, diplomats and thousands of Nigerians. Most people come…

Sallah Durbar has over the years brought fame and prestige to Kano State, attracting foreign guests, dignitaries, diplomats and thousands of Nigerians.

Most people come to the city to catch a glimpse of the splendor and grandeur of durbar in Kano, arguably the most exciting in the country. Little wonder princes and title holders from Zazzau and other emirates troop to Kano to watch the Hawan Daushe a day after Sallah.

Sallah durbar dates back to centuries, showcasing Kano’s military prowess and cultural prestige, with colourful horses and captivating horsemen in magnificent robes and turbans.

It, is , however, disappointing to many residents and visitors that the durbar festival will not hold this time around because of security concerns occasioned by the Kano Emirate tussle as the reinstated Emir Muhammad Sanusi II and the 15th Fulani Emir Aminu Ado Bayero lay claim to the stool.

A few days to the event, the two royal fathers, who are holding court in separate palaces, were planning to hold parallel durbar processions. The possibility of violent clashes prompted the state’s police command to announce the suspension of the durbar.

Kano State Governor, Abba Kabir Yusuf, on May 23, assented to the Kano Emirate Council (Repeal) Law 2024 passed by the House of Assembly effectively sacking the five first class emirs of Kano, Bichi, Karaye, Rano and Gaya and all appointments made pursuant to the repealed law.

The governor subsequently reinstated the 14th Fulani Emir, Muhammad Sanusi, and the government’s action was challenged in court culminating in the return of Aminu Ado Bayero to Kano as he was outside the state when he was removed from office.

This is the second time Sallah durbar would be suspended in Kano. The first was when the state experienced Boko Haram attacks between 2012 and 2014 during the reign of Emir Ado Bayero and during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

Yesterday, Emir Sanusi led the Eid prayers inside the Sheikh Ahmad Tijjani Mosque, Kofar Mata, instead of at the main Eid ground because of rain.

Governor Yusuf, accompanied by senior government officials, joined other worshippers at the mosque for the two raka’at prayers.

After the prayers, many admirers and other spectators were obviously not so happy to see only the emir on horseback without the electrifying atmosphere of a colourful procession of horsemen with dancers, drummers, masquerades, trumpeters and palace guards.

The emir, on his horse, passed through the traditional route of Kofar Wambai, Zage, Satatima to arrive at Gidan Shattima where he exchanged Sallah pleasantries with the governor and other important dignitaries before moving to Kofar Fatalwa to deliver his Sallah message to the people.

The emir, on horseback, preached peace and tolerance, asking people to pray for succour amid the rising cost of living.

In the meantime, the Emir Bayero observed the Eid prayer at the Nasarawa Mini Palace. He, like Sanusi, mounted a white horse to the palace after the prayers without the retinue of horsemen.

It was gathered that the state government was disappointed that the police commissioner in the state announced the durbar ban without consultation with the governor who is the Chief Security Officer (CSO) of the state.

The state’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Haruna Isa Dederi, told journalists that the police commissioner had been consistently disobeying lawful and legitimate instructions of the governor.

He said, “I am compelled to ask the question: who is usurping the authority of the Commander-in-Chief? Because some people are dishing out directives to security chiefs in the state so much so that the state’s police commissioner, without any consultation with the CSO of the state, issued an order banning Eid el-Kabir festivities in Kano State.

“How can anybody in his right senses ban Sallah festivities in Kano? And when did the state governor cease to be the CSO that he will only see such ban on social media? Who is pushing the state’s Commissioner of Police to usurp the authority of the governor? It is important to stress that the Commissioner of Police has been consistent in disobeying the legitimate instructions of the governor as CSO, hiding behind orders from above.”

Recall that in a statement, the command’s spokesman, SP Haruna Kiyawa, asked residents to respect the ban on all durbar activities during the Sallah, saying it was in recognition of prioritising public safety and security above all considerations.

The statement reads in part: “On this, the combined security agencies are, for the purpose of overriding public safety, not expecting cultural troupes, costumes, weapon wielding or any form of insignia representing durbar from any of the traditional stool contenders.

“In addition, all law-abiding people of the state are urged to continue to cooperate with the police and other security agencies as adequate security deployments have been concluded to ensure low key hitch-free festive Eid el-Kabir celebration during this trying period.”

The command further said that security agencies would remain resolute to maintain law and order even as they threatened to arrest whoever intended to disrupt the peace in the state.

This set the stage for a Sallah celebration without durbar that usually entertains and unites the people on their common history and ancestry.

A broadcaster with a private radio station in Kano who usually runs commentary during durbar, Ado Saidu Warawa, said, “It is sad that Kano will miss Sallah this time due to the emirship tussle. We had witnessed Sallah without durbar because of COVID-19 and Boko Haram attacks in Kano, but today the ancient tradition of durbar festival was not conducted because of the crisis over the emirship.”

The broadcaster, who holds the title of Magatakardan Warawa, said he hoped that both the federal and state governments would expedite action with a view to resolving the impasse within the shortest possible time.

Another resident, Adamu Aminu Fagge, said this year’s Eid el-Kabir celebration in Kano was marked by absurdity because of the dispute.

Fagge said although the matter was pending in court and one was expected to remain silent and await the court’s verdict, the celebration would not be as festive as in the previous years, noting that a Sallah without durbar was like “a well-prepared soup without the necessary spices.

“Observing the faces of people of Kano; it is clear that they are not happy with the ongoing royal tug of war in the city that deprived them of the grandeur of the durbar.”

He further said that despite the severe economic hardship that forced many residents to struggle daily for what to eat, Kano had remained calm and peaceful, but that the absence of durbar festival had significantly dampened the joyful mood typically associated with Sallah celebration in Kano.

Nasiru Adamu Darki, a photographer, also expressed sadness that the ban of durbar blocked business opportunity for people like him who made brisk business taking pictures of horsemen dressed in traditional regalia and even other people watching the durbar.

Meanwhile, police authorities in the state said they were satisfied with the peaceful conduct of the Eid prayer across the 44 LGAs of thye state.

The Commissioner of Police, Usaini Gumel, said he was happy with the calm and peaceful disposition of Kano residents and hoped that the same spirit would be exhibited throughout the Sallah period.

Gumel defended his record of service in the state, insisting that members of the public would appreciate and vindicate him and justify his position on the the Kano Emirate tussle.

Daily Trust Further reports that Sallah celebrations usually last four days in Kano, with pomp and pageantry, as well as breathtaking display of horsemanship and royal grandeur.

Hawan Daushe, usually held a day after Sallah, is the most attractive, followed by Hawan Nasarawa the following day, with the emir paying homage to the government house. The Sallah festivities come to a climax with Hawan Dorayi on the fifth day.

Join Daily Trust WhatsApp Community For Quick Access To News and Happenings Around You.

UPDATE: Nigerians in Nigeria and those in diaspora can now be paid in US Dollars. Premium domains can earn you as much as $17,000 (₦27 million).

Click here to start earning.