Murtala Square, Kaduna is set to become the venue for the next activity in the Centenary celebrations of Kaduna to mark the 100th anniversary of the city’s creation.
The Centenary celebrations have been the highlight of 2017 in Kaduna state as several events have been organized all through the year to celebrate the history, people, culture, art, businesses of Kaduna state.
The Durbar festival has been observed by Northern Nigerians for several decades. It features prayers and a parade of horses clad in ceremonial attires, there are sometimes displays of battle skills and the salutation of the Emir. It is an opportunity to showcase the wealth of a region in arts and culture.
Murtala Square was just an open field with two huts for conveniences in the early years of Kaduna. This open space has seen a lot of transformation and has become a very integral part of Kaduna’s history one hundred years later.
In the early 20th century, it was known as the Kaduna Racecourse and was visited by her majesty, Queen Elizabeth II on February 2, 1956. The square was also the venue for a Durbar during the 2nd World Festival of Black Arts in 1977.
The affairs of the Murtala Square was handed back to Kaduna State government who then spent billions of Naira renovating it and turning it into a world-class sports complex good enough to host the 16th National Sports Festival “Kada Games” in 2009.
The grand Durbar to celebrate Kaduna at 100 would take place at the Murtala Square on the 16th of December, 2017. Kada News Mag was on site yesterday to see how the preparations were going. It was observed that several tents had gone up to set up a camp for the riders who had traveled from far and wide.
The stables at the square could not contain all the horses as several makeshift pegs were used to keep the horses restrained. Kada News Mag spoke with two riders who were taking their horses for a warm-up. One rider who simply identified himself as Abdullahi expressed his joy to be able to be a participant at the historic grand Durbar.
There was also much personnel from various security agencies such as the Nigerian Army, the Civil Defence Corps, Nigerian Police Force, FRSC, etc on site. These agencies were greatly being assisted by KASTELEA, who was also on the ground looking very smart in their uniforms.
All the entrances to the Square are being manned and monitored to ensure that safety and security are ensured even as the sound system and decorative ribbons were going up. Even as we watched, another vehicle carrying tens of stallions drove into the square as there are many individuals who appreciate the privilege of being a participant at the Durbar.
The executive governor of Kaduna State, Malam Nasir El-Rufai is expected to be in attendance with all other top officials of his administration. Several notable figures including the British High Commissioner, representatives of the federal government, other governors and traditional rulers are going to grace the historic event.
The entire public has been invited to come and celebrate Kaduna’s dynamism, Diversity, and development and can check here for more information.