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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Kano residents rejoice as Emir returns to Durbar route not used by Sanusi

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Residents of Fagge in the Kano metropolis were ecstatic on Friday as a Sallah Durbar event they last witnessed six years ago returned to their area.

The ‘Hawan Nasarawa’ (Durbar procession) did not pass through Fagge for the nearly six years that Muhammadu Sanusi was the emir of Kano (June 2014 – March 2020).

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Before then, Mr Sanusi’s predecessor, Ado Bayero (1963 to 2014), usually rode through Fagge, stopping over at several places to receive homage and prayers from residents and notable clerics of the area before returning to his palace.

The ‘Hawan Nasarawa’, one of the Kano royal Sallah Durbah processions, is considered the climax of Sallah Day celebrations by residents of Fagge because of the activities of the late emir in the area, a resident, Nuruddeen Muhammad, said.

An indication of the importance that the people attached to the event is reflected in the fact that indigenes of Fagge residing in other parts of Nigeria and abroad would return home to witness the procession, Mr Muhammad said.

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The procession usually began with the late emir paying homage to the state governor at the Government House. He would then stop over at Sabon Gari, an area of the city densely populated by non-indigenes (especially from the southern parts of Nigeria), where he would be welcomed by the community and Christian leaders, with the residents turning out in large numbers to greet him.

The emir would then move to the Sanda Maibarewa’s residence in Fagge, where he would be welcomed by Mr Maibarewa, a political ally of the late Sardauna of Sokoto and premier of the defunct Northern Region, Ahmadu Bello.

Mr Muhammad said the tradition continued after Mr Maibarewa died as the emir received the special greetings from his family.

The emir would also switch to his spare horse at Mr Maibarewa’s residence before proceeding. The residence wore a new look annually to host the emir’s stopover, Mr Muhammad recalled, adding that this was the practice for decades until Mr Sanusi shortened the procession.

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“The emir then proceeded to Malam Muttaka Street for another stopover and prayers. The next stopovers were observed at Kabobo Street, Dandalin Fagge, where he received prayers from some clerics and traditional leaders before exiting the area to his palace.

“The larger part of the activities took place in the Fagge area during the durbar procession unless when it falls on Friday. (In that case), the late emir would cut off some routes, as it happened in this year’s procession, to meet the Jummat prayer at the palace,” Mr Muhammad said.

But Mr Muhammad, a lawyer, said Mr Sanusi cut the route throughout his reign which made the Sallah celebration in Fagge boring. He said the new emir, Aminu Ado-Bayero, returning his late father’s Durbar tradition, since he mounted the throne in March 2020, has again made the celebration colourful in the area.

PREMIUM TIMES confirmed that Mr Ado-Bayero’s durbar procession was much longer than that of Mr Sanusi. The deposed emir always headed back to the palace from the Government House via a short route through Obasanjo Way to IBB Way; Kantin Kwari; Kofar Mata and finally the palace.

But for the new emir, after leaving the Government House, he passed through Lodge Road to Muhammad Abdullahi Specialist Hospital Road; Sani Abacha Way; Sabon Gari; Fagge; Wambai Quarters and Kofar Mata from where he finally arrived back at the palace.

Because this year’s procession fell on a Friday, the emir avoided some areas so that he could return to the palace on time for the Jummat prayer. At each location the emir passed through, he received rousing greetings from spectators lining the streets.

The Hawan Nasarawa procession presents representatives of the ethnic communities in Sabon Gari in Fagge LGA with the opportunity to see the emir and deliver their Sallah greetings to him and his entourage.

On the emir’s arrival at Kofar Kwaru, his gun salute team fired a series of gunshots to indicate that the Hawan Nassarawa had come to an end.

The Durbar procession
Emir Aminu Ado-Bayero, during this year’s Durbar procession (PHOTO CREDIT: Kano Emirate council)

The Sallah Durbar procession is usually held twice a year. It is a symbol of the cultural heritage of Kano and some ancient towns in Northern Nigeria.

As the Sallah festivities reached their climax on Friday in Kano, residents and tourists appreciated the rich cultural heritage of the city. The Durbar, despite the hot weather, had a long procession of horse riders and colourful displays of traditional attires.

A resident, Maryam Haruna, recalled how her father used to carry her on his shoulder to watch the late emir, Mr Bayero, pass through Fagge.

She described the Durbar as a unique and unforgettable experience.

Another spectator, Aisha Abba, said what she admired most in the Durbar were the colourful attires of the emir and his guards. She said what attracted her most in the procession was how each group of horse riders dressed in different and beautiful costumes.

The Durbar was four days of grandeur, horsemanship and equestrian parades. Beginning with Hawan Sallah, it moves to Hawan Daushe, Hawan Nassarawa, and ends with Hawan Doriya, also known as Fanisau.

Each day of the procession has its unique cultural meaning. The one that many people found most interesting is Hawan Daushe, said to have been introduced in the 14th century under Emir Muhammadu Rumfa. Hawan Daushe is historically unique to Kano but it is also practised in other towns in Northern Nigeria.

According to tradition, it began when the late Mr Rumfa accepted the request of one of his loyal guards, named Daushe, who was ill during the Sallah celebration, to introduce the Hawan Daushe to please him.

In Kano, Hawan Daushe is a Durbar procession that pays homage to the palace of the emir’s mother. It is a durbar procession for residents around the emir’s palace. It also avails the people of Kano City an opportunity to see the emir during the Sallah festivities.

The procession passes through various quarters in Kano, including Kabara Quarters, named after the famous 19th-century scholar Mallam Kabara, and Tudun Wizirchi Quarters, where scholars and influential figures lived.

READ ALSO: Police arrest six persons for allegedly booing Kano Emir

The Hawan Daushe is also a demonstration of the cultural heritage of Kano and its people. It attracts tourists and residents alike to appreciate it and see it as an expression of the diverse cultural heritage of Nigeria.

This year’s Hawan Daushe, like previous ones, drew spectators from far and near including foreign diplomats and top government officials.

The emir ends every year’s durbar procession with the Hawan Fanisau when he rests at a mini palace in Dorayi.

Emir Aminu Ado-Bayero (PHOTO CREDIT: Kano Emirate council)

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