President Tinubu’s Chief of Staff Gbajabiamila to grace Yauri Rigata Festival
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Emir of Yauri, Dr Mohammad Zayyanu Abdullahi, CON
By our reporter
The Chief of Staff to President Bola Tinubu, Chief Femi Gbajabiamila is expected to be the Special Guest at this year’s Yauri Annual International Rigata and Cultural Festival in Yauri, Kebbi State.
The Executive Governor of Kebbi State, Comrade Dr Nasir Idris, Gamjin Yauri and Chief Host of the Festival will also be in attendance.
This was contained in press statement by the Chairman of the Media and Publicity Committee of the Festival, Alhaji Abdullahi Yelwa, Ajiyan Yauri.
The festival, scheduled to hold from 7 to 10 February, will feature an agricultural show, a trade fair, cultural dances and a book presentation on the history of the Yauri Emirate.
The climax of the Festival is the Rigata show, which contains various water sporting events, like swimming, canoe racing, bare hand fishing, boat displays and calabash race.
Tracing the history of the Festival, His Royal Highness, the Emir of Yauri, Dr Mohammad Zayyanu Abdullahi, CON, the Convener of the Festival, said the festival began about 200 years ago as a form of naval display of strength and bravery of the Gungu people.
According to the Emir, It has its origin in the delicate balance of nature on the Niger River ecosystem, where humans and animals coexist.
Rigata evolved as a form of community action to curve the hostility of dangerous animals, especially hippopotamus.
Annual warriors armed to the teeth would board canoes of various sizes to fight dangerous hippos that pose threat to lives and commercial activities on the river.
This requires expertise in canoe paddling and naval warfare and served as training exercise for future wars.
With the abolishment of the hunting of hippos during colonial time, the festival transformed into a cultural festival for dances, display of agricultural produce and water spots.