The state of insecurity in the North-East has continued to take its toll on socio-economic activities, leading to the cancellation of the much expected festival in the northern part of the country.
The cancellation was a major fallout of a security council meeting held in Zaria Local Government Council of the state, and its major decision was that “.Hawa dokin kara”, or “Traditional Children Durbar” in Zaria should not hold on account of security implications.
Representatives of the State Security Service (SSS), the police, council officials, traditional rulers as well as religious leaders attended the meeting, and agreed on the cancellation after viewing security implications.
The council Chairman, Alhaji Aliyu Idris-Ibrahim who spoke through his , Adviser on Media and Communication, Alhaji Abubakar Rilwanu said:
“I want to use this medium to call on the entire people to accept this decision in good faith and it is done in the best interest of all to protect the lives and property of all citizens residing in the local government.”
“We have deliberated on some issues that seem to be threat to security of our lives and threat to the entire society, hence the decision to suspend the children durbar till further notice.
He said the council had observed that the celebration usually created opportunity for children to try out weapons, and that it would be risky to allow the celebration to go on, especially in view of challenging security threats in neighbouring Zamfara and Katsina states.
“In view of this, we will not allow things to go astray, therefore, we are appealing to parents to advise their children to suspend the celebration until further notice.
Also speaking, Sheik Ahmadu Makari-Sa’id who stood in for other Islamic groups in Zazzau Emirate, observed that some elements from Zamfara abd Katsina, were lurking in the state and would cash in on the slightest opportunity to perpetrate evil.
He said the current situation whereby adults participated in the festival was a negation from the previous practice of the not more than ten year olds participation:
”The situation is now taking a new dimension, because it is no longer children below ten years as usual, it appears that adults above 20 years have now overtaken the celebration using weapons.
“Therefore, criminals may decide to use the opportunity to perpetrate their nefarious activities, hence the decision to suspend the celebration.”
In the words of the Sarkin Yaran Zazzau, Alhaji Abdulkadir Magaji
“What we are witnessing today is borrowed from other states, ours used to featured children below the age of ten, while in some states they are celebrating with adults above 20 years.
“Actually, this is against our tradition, a part from that, there are some reports that some people are now trying to exploit the opportunity for their selfish interest.