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By George Daniya

I congratulate the entire Muslim Ummah for the successful completion of Ramadan fast. Ramadan is a period of spiritual rejuvenation, listening to tafsir, performing voluntary prayers (such as Taraweeh or Tahajjud) or frequently reading the Holy Qur’an. I hope that those who embarked on that spiritual exercise achieved close relationship with Almighty Allah and that they will continue in that relationship in the days ahead. Such continuity will not only be in the best interest of the adherents, but the entire nation as proximity with God will translate to better social relations, peace and good governance.
Governor Abubakar Sani Bello, before leaving the shores of Nigeria to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah (i.e. lesser hajj) hosted some groups on Iftar (i.e. the breaking of fast). After he had left for Umrah, the Iftar did not stop. Governor Bello left the government in the hands of his dependable deputy and ally, Alh Ahmed Mohamed Ketso, who continued to run, not only the government, but the tradition of Iftar bequeathed to him by his boss. Among the Iftars that Alh Ketso hosted was one with some physically challenged people. It is the kind of gesture that a government with a large heart should do; feeding the less-privileged and handicapped people for whom the next meal is uncertain.
The deputy governor also met with the state Council of Ulamah in continuation of the Iftar; this move brought religious and political actors together, not to achieve any hidden political agenda, but to promote faith, piety and togetherness. The acting governor also met with political office holders in the state, during which he charged them to do more for the state government. He said the government has achieved a lot, but that this has not been propagated adequately among the people. He urged the political office holders to do more to let the people know the workings and achievements of the government.
While the governor was performing the lesser hajj, his deputy was at the Minna Eid praying ground where he joined Muslim faithful to perform the Eid prayers signaling the end of the Ramadan fast. Thereafter, he paid Sallah homage to the residence of the former head of state, General Abubakar Abdulsalami Abubakar. Next was the Bariki pageantry;  Bariki was an event held in Bida, to commemorate the Eid events. During Bariki, the Etsu Nupe (i.e. emir)leads his noblemen, courtiers, and traditional title holders on horseback round the town, greeting and receiving salutations from his subjects. During the royal tour, it was usual of him to shower his subjects with kolanuts as gifts, which the people usually rush/struggle to get as a symbol of unique royal blessing. It is said that Bariki also functioned as a barometer for measuring the popularity of the emir or the love of the people for him. Something is obviously amiss if the emir showered kolanuts in the streets and his subjects did not hanker for them. The acting governor was in Bida and celebrated the bariki with the Etsu Nupe, Alh Yahaya Abubakar and his subjects. If you have never celebrated Sallah in Bida, find time to do so; it will fill you with lifetime memories. The sallah durbar in Bida is unique; from the colourful horses, magnificent riders, to the drum beats and sounds of royal trumpets, the sights and sounds simply constitute overpowering experiences never to be forgotten. However, it could be problematic when you get yourself into a traffic gridlock during the event; therefore, you have to craftily plot your passage through bypasses to your destination.
Alh Ketso also extended his Sallah visit to Agaie, where he also watched a colourful durbar. And the Emir of Agaie, Alh Yusuf Yahaya was at hand to receive him in his palace.
LAST WORD: Death is inevitable; even as some people were celebrating the end of the Ramadan fast, some were mourning the passing away of the secretary of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), Alh Audu Santali. Alh Ketso was at Bida again to attend the funeral prayers, which were attended by stalwarts of the PDP, among them the former governor of Niger State, Dr Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu. May the blessings and rewards of the month of Ramadan await the deceased in his grave.

TAURARUWA