Zaria Local Government Council in Kaduna State has suspended “Traditional Children Durbar” (Hawa dokin kara) due to security threats accompanying the celebration.
The council Chairman, Alhaji Aliyu Idris-Ibrahim, announced this while addressing a news conference at the council’s secretariat in Zaria on Sunday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that an emergency security council meeting comprising the Police, SSS, council officials, traditional institutions, religious leaders, among others was held prior to the briefing.
The chairman, who spoke through his Special Adviser on Media and Communication, Alhaji Abubakar Rilwanu said: “The council’ security council held a meeting today under the chairmanship of the council chairman.
“We have deliberated on some issues that seem to be a threat to security of our lives and the entire society, hence the decision to suspend the children durbar till further notice.
“We observed that some of these children have begun to use some weapons during the said celebration and we are not happy about such an ugly innovation.
“I want to use this medium to call on the entire people to accept this decision in good fate and it is done in the best interest of all, to protect the lives and property of all citizens residing in the local government.”
He observed that while the security agencies were busy trying to contend with the security challenges in neighbouring states of Zamafara and Katsina, some people wanted to use the opportunity to smuggle weapons into the celebration.
“In view of this, we will not allow things to go awry; therefore, we are appealing to parents to advise their children to suspend the celebration until further notice.
“We want to commend the gigantic and consistent efforts of security agencies, traditional institutions and religious leaders in curbing the rate of crimes during Sallah celebrations.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that children durbar (Hawa dokin kara) is a tradition where children below the age of 10 use sticks as their horses to emulate Emir Shehu Idris shortly after the normal traditional Sallah durbar.
On his part, Sheik Ahmadu Makari-Sa’id, the Chairman, Jama’atu Nasril Islam and representative of other Islamic groups in Zazzau Emirate, said the meeting followed a security tip, which if neglected, might result to something else.
The Islamic cleric expressed concern that some strangers who fled the crisis areas in Zamfara, Birnin-Gwari and part of Katsina State, wanted to use the slightest opportunity to perpetrate evil acts.
“This children durbar used to be a celebration of children between the ages of seven and 10 years emulating the Emir shortly after Sallah.
“However, the situation is now taking a new dimension, because it is no longer children below 10 years as usual; it appears that adults above 20 years have now hijacked the celebration using weapons.
“Therefore, criminals may decide to use the opportunity to perpetrate their nefarious activities, hence the decision to suspend the celebration.”
Makarfi-Sa’id, therefore, appealed to parents to be extra vigilant by knowing who their children mingle with, to avoid bad peer group influences and ensure proper upbringing of their children as stipulated by Islam.
Also speaking, the Sarkin Yaran Zazzau, Alhaji Abdulkadir Magaji, recalled that the celebration for children was only being conducted at ward levels as against the present expanded one.
“However, what we are witnessing today is borrowed from other states; ours used to feature children below the age of 10 while in some states they are celebrating with adults above 20 years.
“Actually, this is against our tradition; apart from that, there are some reports that some people are now trying to exploit the opportunity for their selfish interest.
“Let me caution parents to be mindful of the responsibilities vested on them by our creator.
“Poper upbringing of children is their sole responsibility, the society can only assist to some extent,” Magaji said.