2021: Lokoja Durbar and Horse Racing

 Durbar festival is an annual festival celebrated in several cities, particularly in Northern Nigerian cities like: Kano, Zaria, Gombe,Bauchi,Dutse, Kazaure to mention few.

Durbar festival marks the end of Ramadan and Sallah celebration, eid el Kabir and eid el Fitri in northern Nigeria.

The maiden Lokoja Durbar and Horse Racing was initiated and sponsored by Hon. Danasabe Muhammed Danasabe, incumbent executive chairman of Lokoja Local Goverment Council three years ago.

Since the introduction of Durbar/Horse Racing in Lokoja ,the event become a popular attraction for citizens and visitors who visited Lokoja during the sallah festivities.

According to malam Hamza Ibrahim, who recalled how sallah was celebrated in Lokoja in the early 70s, said the revival of Durbar and horse Racing by Hon Danasabe is commendable.

“Durbar and horse racing is incredible celebration with horsemen which reminds me of late Alhaji Abbas Maikarfi,Late Alhaji Ebeiya,Late Alhaji Yahaya Abbas,Late Alhaji Ndarani,Dr Godwin Ajakpo,Chief Pa Abu Ogbeha,Late Alhaji Bala Sarkin Zango among others.

“On sallah day or Ranan sallah,Durban kick starts from felele eidi praying ground followed by a parade of horses by traditional title holders,who rode their horses along the streets of Lokoja down to the palace of His Royal Highness the Maigari of Lokoja, late Alhaji Yahaya Muhammadu Maikarfi 11. Horse Racing always begin from old Lokoja central mosque to Gidan Sarkin Okene.

On the second day known as hauwan parade, Maigari and his entourage on horses, accompanied by traditional title holders, chiefs,elders,traditional musicians, visited cantoment or Filin parade located at the present Obansajo square,where they’ll be entertained by traditional dancers,kalangu,nupe traditional dancers.” he recalled


He commended the chairman adding that Durbar and horse racing introduced by Hon Danasabe will go along way in reviving our cultural heritage which is completely forgotten or unknown to the present younger generation.

Since the introduction of Durbar and horse racing in Lokoja in 2019,the ceremony witnessed large turnout.

What made the maiden edition more unique was the introduction of horse racing with contestants drawn across the community.

The second edition according Comrade isah Abubakar,attracted more contestants due to what he described as “marvelous awards” received by the contestants.

Speaking to newsmen on this year Lokoja Durbar and horse racing, Executive chairman of Lokoja Local government,Hon. Danasabe Muhammed Danasabe,explained that the 3rd edition would take place on the 22rd of July 2021.

He called on the people of the area to come out enmass and witness the colourful ceremony which would be chair by the representative of Maigari of Lokoja,His Royal Highness, Dr Muhammadu Kabir Maikarfi 111

” I want to use this medium to call on our people to come out on the 22rd of July 2021 to cheer our contestants.

“Our aim is to revive our rich culture,it’s not only the fanfares, it’s about showcasing our rich cultural heritage.”

He assured the people of the area of his administration determination to move the local government to the highest pedestal of development.

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Musa Tanimu Nasidi