The Federal Government has announced plans to seek the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s (UNESCO) recognition for more cultural festivals in Nigeria, adding that this will complement the inscription of Argungu Festival as cultural heritage by UNESCO.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, after he was turbaned as the ‘Kakakin Kabi’ (Cultural Ambassador and Emirate spokesman) by the Argungu Emirate Council in Kebbi State.
It was contained in a statement titled, ‘Minister vows to seek recognition for more Nigerian festivals’ by the Special Assistant, Media, Office of the Minister of Information and Culture, Segun Adeyemi.
It read, “Kebbi State today is one of the frontline cultural and tourism states in the whole country.
“I say this not because I am being turbaned as ‘Kakakin Kabi’ but because of the reality. Each of the four Emirates that constitute the Kebbi Kingdom actually has unique and sellable tourism products.
“I start with Argungu. The Argungu International Fishing and Cultural Festival is known not just in Nigeria but all over the world and I am proud to say that it’s one of the few that have been inscribed on the list of intangible heritage of UNESCO.”
He said the Gwandu Emirate showcases the annual Hotungu cultural festival of thanksgiving by the Fulani for the safe return of their cattle after the farming season, the Yauri Emirate boasts of the Boat Regatta while the Zuru Emirate owns the Uhola Festival to celebrate bumper harvest and showcase different farming tools.
He said, “As the Cultural Ambassador of Kebbi, I would endeavour to ensure that we develop all these festivals in a manner that many more will be listed on the UNESCO list of intangible heritage. We will also work assiduously to ensure that these festivals become a magnet to unite Nigeria.”
The Emir of Argungu, Muhammed Mera on the other hand, said the Argungu Emirate council deliberated the title of ‘Kakakin Kabi’ to be given to the minister to appreciate his efforts in promoting the Argungu Fishing Festival to a world Heritage status and to commend his constant loyalty, courage and strength in the discharge of his duties.