As Emir of Argungu Visits NCAC
By Gift Olivia Samuel, The Sight News
ABUJA: Plans are in top gear to revamp the moribund Argungun International Fishing Festival, which was last held in 2009.
Following this, the Emir of Argungu, Alhaji Samaila Muhammed Mera , on Tuesday paid a courtesy visit to the Director General of the National Council of Arts and Culture(NCAC), Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, to intimate him on the ongoing plans to stage the festival which is expected to hold again in March 2020.
Receiving the Emir and his entourage in his office, Runsewe noted that the Argungu Fishing Festival is the most important festival in Nigeria, and a unity of purpose to appreciate each other, stressing that posterity will not forgive everyone in Nigerian if the festival is allowed to die.
He noted that the festival is a celebration of life, and it is time for Nigeria to put everything behind and help to develop it, to make a huge statement.
According to him, “The Argungu fishing festival is number one in Nigeria and the biggest in Africa. Since 1934, we have allowed a vacuum as the last was in 2009. We don’t know what we have, and didn’t allow the festival to succeed.
“We are fully prepared for the festival. It’s so painful that we want to allow what we have to elude us”, he said.
He further noted that history has been made and the festival is here to stay, adding that there will be no more breakage, as NCAC will make special provisions to support the festival from now on.
Displaying several publicity and promotional materials specially prepared by NCAC to prosecute the 2020 edition of the festival, Runsewe assured that the fish house he built in 2010 will also be refurbished and remodelled.
“We will use Argungu to make a bold statement that indeed it is a festival that unites and we will continue to support it henceforth because it is arguably the number one in the country with UNESCO endorsement,” says Runsewe.
The DG also seized the moment to showcase the prototype of the cultural centre he plans to build in Argungu Emirate, saying that it is modelled after the best cultural centres in the world.
Earlier in his remarks, Alhaji Mera thanked Runsewe for identifying with the festival which he said, is not only symbolic but serves as a platform for projecting Nigeria’s rich cultural endowments.
In his words, “The purpose of the visit, is to formally inform the Council that Kebbi state government and Argungu Emirate Council are working hard to stage the festival that had been suspended for almost ten years now. We have done most of the desk job and the government has provided funding.
“We are planning to stage next year with different events which will last for four days. We are not leaving anything out, in fact, we are introducing an essay writing on unity and culture, to encourage the young ones, instead of focusing on things that separates us.
“We are featuring 34 events and it is open for all Nigerians, and the whole idea is to celebrate peace and reconciliation between humanity”, he remarked.
The Argungu Fishing Festival is scheduled to hold from 4th to 7th of March 2020.