Bayo Oyewale, Lokoja
Kogi State Government has deproscribed no fewer than five Igala annual traditional festivals to promote tourism in the State.
The traditional festivals which which were banned 55years ago are Ocho Festival, Egwu Festival, Ogbadu Festival,Ogaganyi Festival and Iyalo Festival.
While addressing Journalists at his office in Lokoja, the Special to the Governor on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs,Honourable Abubakar Ohere stated that the State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello had decided to unban the annual traditional festivals which proscribed by the then Northern Region Government in1963.
Ohere pointed out that the festival’s were proscribed without due consultations,stressing that these festivals are celebrated annually based on lunar calender by Igala people as a unifying factor amongst the people and promote the culture heritage of Igala people within and outside world.
“Beside, they serve as preservation of tradition and custom of the land And tourist attraction that would bring investors thereby boasting the economy of the State.”,he stated.
The Governor’s aide however reiterated the commitment of the present administration to overall development of the State including traditional institutions.
Ohere stated that it is therefore the realization of compelling need to reawaken some of the lofty traditional and cultural values that defines us as a people and creating avenuev that unity and peace coexistence.
“This administration places high premium on the core values and ethics of our tradition and will continue to do all that are humanly possible to uphold our dignity and identity as a people .Government is further looking inward to undertake some reformatory steps in this direction such that will explore our culture as tools for peace and unity,”he added.