By Ndahi Marama, Damaturu
AS peace gradually returns to most parts of Yobe State, the annual cultural festival usually celebrated in the Machina Emirate Council of Yobe State has resumed in style.
The 2022 edition of the Machina Annual Cultural Festival, which featured various sports and traditional acrobatics, attracted prominent personalities drawn from all walks of life. Before now the event had to be halted for several years due to the invasion of the state by Boko Haram terrorists and other criminal elements.
The celebration, which was held last Sunday, also featured the conferment of traditional titles on prominent sons and friends of the area. Among them were the Senate president, Ahmed Lawn; Yobe governor, Mai Mala Buni; Kebbi State governor, Atiku Abubakar Bagudu and Jigawa governor, Alhaji Muhammed Abubakar. The Emir of Machina, Alhaji Bashir Bukar Al-Albishir Machinama, who conferred the titles on the Senate president and the governors, said the emirate was elated by the presence of the top politicians in his domain, adding: “The Emirate is honoured with your esteemed presence at the festival this year.”
The Senate president, Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan, was conferred with the title of Dan Masanin Machina, while Governor Mai Mala Buni was conferred with the title of Zanna Gargamma of Machina. While the Kebbi State governor, Atiku Bagudu bagged the Dokajin Machina, his Jigawa counterpart, Governor Abubakar Badaru clinched the title of Dan Malikin Machina.
Governor Buni expressed satisfaction with the peace and security now enjoyed in the state compared to what obtained in the past. The elated governor said: “In the past we could not afford to assemble such a huge crowd in one place as we had to be regularly subjected to vigorous screening wherever we wanted to assemble for any meeting including places of worship, markets and hospitals. All of that is history now.
For us in the North East, we remain grateful to President Muhammadu Buhari for his resilience in the fight against insurgency. His administration is now equipping the security agencies with military hardware, arms and ammunition after a long neglect which has been responsible for Nigeria’s security challenges. We are optimistic that by the special grace of God, the Federal Government will overcome the existing challenge.”
He assured government’s commitment to empower youth and women in the state, stressing that education, healthcare delivery and economic empowerment would continue to occupy priority position on the list of his administration. Buni, who is also the chairman of APC Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, commended the Senate president for providing the required leadership for a harmonious relationship between the executive and legislative arms of government.
He also pledged to construct the Dole-Machina-Jigawa border road.
Other dignitaries that graced the occasion include a representative of the President of Niger Republic, the Shehu of Borno, the Emir of Gombe, Emirs of Bama, Biu and Hadejia among others.