The Kwara House of Assembly, has pledged to support tourism in the state through better budgetary allocation to the Ministry of Communications.
The Speaker, Alhaji Saliu Danladi, made this pledge on Thursday at the inauguration of the “Kwara Cultural Day”, with a focus on the culture of the Baruten ethnic group from Baruten Local Government Area of the state.
He stressed the need to promote the abundant cultures of the state, adding that the Assembly would do its best to help portray these cultures to reflect their values.
“We need to portray our culture especially, so that our children will learn; we should not wait until we are having cuture related occasions to show the world our culture,” he said.
Danladi said that Gov. Abdulrahman Abdulrazak was keen in boosting tourism in Kwara, even as he expressed satisfaction with such novel innovations by the Ministry of Communications.
He observed that the Kwara North Senatorial District was a hub of culture, noting that the area of tourism could serve as revenue generation for the state government.
The Speaker said the Baruten LGA would soon commence its Cultural Day and expected indigenes from all over the world.
Earlier, Mrs Harriet Oshatimehin, the Commissioner for Communications, emphasised the need to portray culture, especially for children to be aware of thier cultural backgrounds.
She said it also shared boundaries with the Banana district of Borgu LGA of Niger and Kiama on the East with headquarters in Kosubosu.
She observed that the major language was Batonu while the people were renowned for agriculture.
The commissioner said their staple foods included yam, maize, guinea corn, shea butter and groundnut among others.
According to her, the Baruba cultural festival includes the annual Gaani festival of royal recognition, which connotes the beginning of royalties and coincides with the Maulud Nabbiy (Birth of the Prophet Muhammad).
“Another festival is Dokonru that is celebrated on the 10th day of the first month of the Islamic Calendar. Some of the tourist attractions include Ningurume fish pond and Gwette cave,” she said.
In a goodwill message, Dr Idris Shehu-Abubakar, the Emir of Okuta, lauded the pioneering event, saying it would promote the diverse cultures in the state.
The Emir, who was represented by Prof. Saka Mahmud, the Saka Yerima of Okuta, said cultures were important and emphasised the value of culture in the society.
“The youth are unaware of their culture and that is why we have some many society ills”.
“Culture can bring peace and development to the society. The Batonum people are known for honesty and they shy away from wrongdoing because of the shame, but today what do we have,” he lamented.
He also observed that peace was eluding the society because culture was being eroded, hence the need to bring back our good culture.
Highlights of the event included the “Takai Dance” of the Baruba people, known as warrior dance to inspire and motivate men at war.
Edited By: Folasade Adeniran/Yemi Idris-Aduloju