By Femi Bolaji
THE colourful “Jibu Culture”, which is held in high esteem by the natives of the area, became the cynosure of this week’s Eid-el-Kabir celebration in Taraba State, bringing the rich cultural heritage of the people into limelight and giving the people something to cheer about.
The 200-year-old festival, which is a source of pride to the Jibu Chiefdom, is indigenous to Bali Local Government Area of the state, which plays host to various tribes within and outside the state.
The colourful event, which attracted sons and daughters of Jibu-Jukun from all walks of life, effectively brought the local government area to a standstill as the natives assembled to celebrate this year’s Sallah, plan for their development and share ideas of the socio-economic wellbeing.
But because of its allure and panache, attendance was not limited to the Jibu people, but admirers of the Jibu Culture from the Tiv, Wurbo, Mumuye, Fulani, and Yoruba, among other tribes, were actively present.
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Then came the show of the day: The lavish display of the Jibe culture by men, women and children in classy performance involving choreographed and rhythmic dances, songs and fanciful movements that got the crowds enthralled in the hot sun that shone brilliantly.
But the spectacular performances put up by the dancers and drummers made the heat bearable as everyone requested for more dances and music from the ensemble.
The dance steps were uniformed just as the drummers drummed in unison, throwing the audience into ecstasy. Their colourful traditional attires also matched with the mood of the festivity.
Speaking to Arewa Voice on the sideline of the event, the Chairman of Bali LGA, Musa Mahmud, explained that the Jibu people who are part of the Jukun have been celebrating the festivity for over 200 years.
Mahmud said: “This event is celebrated yearly and we are happy it coincided with this year’s Eid-el-Kabir celebration. As you have observed, it brought together adherents of various religions who are sons and daughters of Jibu from within and outside the country. We also had in attendance other ethnic nationalities in the state, who came here to felicitate with us.
“We use this forum to discuss different issues concerning us and to cement our relationship with other ethnic groups. We don’t intend to stop this but hope to improve on it so that the state’s economy can benefit from this. The name ‘Taraba’ as we all know emanated from Bali LGA and we are seeing this annual celebration as a means to draw tourists from within and outside the country.”
The paramount ruler of Jibu Chiefdom (Kuru Jibu), His Royal Highness Abubakar Mahmud, appreciated those who attended the cultural event and expressed joy that the festival drew a massive crowd to the area. “We are a peaceful people and the significance of this event is to further cement our relationship with other tribes. We are also grateful to Governor Darius Ishaku who has been a custodian of peaceful coexistence across the state.
“It is evident that the atmosphere of peace is what we are enjoying in Bali LGA and we want this to continue,” the royal father said