By Mumini AbdulKareem
Ilorin, the capital city of Kwara State yesterday came to a standstill as the first grand durbar was held in the state.
The ceremony which commenced officially around noon from the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu Gambari’s palace, saw the monarch in a motorcade with some other palace chiefs that took them through Surulelre, Ilorin hospital roundabout, Taiwo, Ita Amodu, which lasted about three hours before returning to the palace.
Residents of trooped out to wave to the emir amidst chants of Sheu, Sheu.
At the palace, there was massive crowd which cut across the political, government, social, religious and traditional circles in the state who came to witness the colourful ceremony.
The security operatives had a hectic time controlling the crowd who longed to catch glimpse of the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki and other top dignitaries who graced the event.
This will be the first time the ceremony will be extended to other parts of the metropolis which was hitherto limited to the emir’s palace.
Top dignitaries in the state trooped to the palace of the Emir for the maiden edition of the ceremony symbolic with beautifully decorated horses that were mounted by traditional chief and youth.
Those that graced the event include the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, former acting National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje, Kwara Speaker, Dr Ali Ahmad, former Ministers of Sports, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi and his counterpart in National Planning, Prof Abubakar Suleiman, Senator Shaaba Lafiagi, Kwara Chief Judge, Durosinlohun Kawu and Chief of Staff to Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, Babatunde Abdulwahab.
Others include Barrister Saka Isua, former KWASIEC chairman, Dr Uthman Ajidagba, APC gubernatorial aspirants in next year’s election, Lukman Mustapha, Magaji Nda of Ilorin, Alhaji Soliu Woru Muhammad, Baloguns, Magajis and Alanguas among others.
The programme which commence around 9am and lasted till 6pm featured song and cultural displays by prominent musicians and cultural groups in Kwara state.
In his remarks, the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, said the event mark a significant one in the affairs of the state and a very important one that will promote the unity and development.
He called on the people of the state to unite and work against division so has to collectively move the state forward.
The Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu Gambari used the occasion to preach love, peace and harmony and advised Kwarans to be accommodating.
He called on musicians and other entertainers not to the durbar to praise any politician but Ilorin emirate and the event itself, a statement many believed will doused the political tension in the state.