A group, Bauchi Integrity Forum has berated the section of the public criticising Bauchi State Governor, Mohammed Abubakar over the recent report of the purchase of N96 million horses for the state’s traditional rulers.
It said in view of the importance of traditional institutions and the horseracing impacts during festivities, the amount spent should not be considered outrageous.
The Chairman of the group, Bala Surajo said the recent reports on the purchase of horses to traditional rulers in Bauchi State was hijacked “by mischief makers and political jobbers” who misinterpreted the original report
Mr Surajo said the amount was the total funds spent for the upkeep and purchase of horses within two years for all the emirates in the 20 local governments of the state to cover four different Sallah celebrations.
“The mischievous agents failed to realize that it is part of the government efforts in preserving and promoting traditional heritage and the existing culture of traditional durbar and horse racing during the Sallah celebrations and other carnivals.
“People who are not in the system may not appreciate the government’s genuine intention, hence the ignorant criticism. It is common knowledge that durbar and traditional horseracing have been part of the culture and tradition of northern states and even the Federal Government.
“It is the people’s culture, and our traditional institutions are part of our history, so no amount is too much in investing in the preservation of these institutions, culture and tradition,” Mr Surajo, a Comrade, said.
Such institutions have proved to be a huge industry in other climes, which attracts a lot of funds to the government through tourism, museum and artifacts, said the statement.
“If well preserved, the state government is expected to generate substantial revenue given that the state has a huge tourism potential.
“It is government’s deliberate policy to promote culture and other aspects of tourism with a view to generating much revenue, and as part of its readiness to promote and preserve culture, it would encourage participation in the annual Abuja carnival where the Bauchi State contingents has been spectacularly winning at different categories and while bringing such wonderful and very great praise, glory and honors to the state,” it said.