Southern Kaduna Holds Festival To Honour Bishop Kukah, Makarfi, Others

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Southern Kaduna Holds Festival To Honour Bishop Kukah, Makarfi, Others

As the maiden edition of Southern Kaduna Festival 2023 kicks off on Thursday, the zone has identified prominent sons and daughters, including the late Wazirin Jema’a, Alhaji Aliyu Mohammed and its former governor, late Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa for their sterling contributions to the development of the area.

Disclosing this in Abuja on Wednesday, the Chairman of the Central Planning Committee for the event, Rear Admiral Fergusson Dukas Bobai (retd), in a statement sent to THE WHISTLER revealed that the reason behind the awards is to give honour to the memories of leaders from the zone and also acknowledge the contributions of leaders, both past and present, in the development of the zone.

“Starting from Thursday 28 – Saturday 30th December, Southern Kaduna will hold the maiden edition of the Southern Kaduna Festival (SKFES 2023) on the theme: ‘Experience Unity, Celebrate Culture’. The opening ceremony shall be declared open by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Hadiza Sabuwa Balarabe.

“The essence of this festival is to celebrate our unity in diversity and bestow awards to deserving sons and daughters, including prominent Nigerians that are not indigenes of the zone, who have contributed to our development as a region.

“There will also be sporting activities, beauty pageant amongst 57 ethnic nationalities in the zone, among other competitions,” the statement said.

The highest award, the Southern Kaduna Grand Commander (SKGC), according to the Chairman of the planning committee, shall; be bestowed on the former Military Administrator of old Rivers State, Major-General Zamani Lekwot (retd), and former Chief of Defence State, General Martin Luther Agwai (retd).

Also on the SKGC list is the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Dr Matthew Hassan Kukah.

According to the event planners, SKGC posthumous awardees are the late Ibrahim Yakowa, who died in a helicopter crash in December 2013, while serving as governor of Kaduna State.

Another posthumous SKGC recipient is former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Wazirin Jema’a, Alhaji Aliyu Mohammed.

Other awardees, according to Bobai, include the former governor of Kaduna State, Alhaji Ahmed Mohamed Makarfi who is to be bestowed with the Southern Kaduna Citizen’s Award (SKCA).

Makarfi is reputed to have provided vast infrastructural networks in the zone and granted more chiefdoms to Southern Kaduna ethnic nationalities.

To also receive the SKCA award is the former Military Administrator of the state, Col Jafaru Isah who initiated efforts at granting more chiefdoms to the zone in 1996.

Another recipient of the same SKCA award is Hon. Machu Bulus Gwall for his development initiatives.

Two recipients are billed to also receive the Southern Kaduna service Award (SKSA). They are Chief Michael Hassan Usaini and a retired director in the Ministry of Education, Mr. Simon K. Auta, the statement said.

Speaking on SKFES 2023, Bobai commended Governor Uba Sani for demonstrating early signs of his willingness to ensure every section of the state was carried along in the administration of the state.

“So far, Governor Uba Sani has shown impressive signs that he is willing to carry all sections of the state in the administration of the state. His acceptance to attend the closing ceremony of SKFES 2023 on Saturday December 30 clearly indicates that he is committed to the unity of our state.”

Billed to attend the closing ceremony are Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon Tajudeen Abba who will serve as the Chairman of the Occasion.

Governor Sani is to serve as Special Guest of Honour, while Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State shall serve as Distinguished Guest of Honour.

The Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Gwabin Musa is to serve as Guest of Honour.

The Chief Host for the occasion is the senator representing Kaduna South Zone 3, Senator Sunday Marshall Katung.

The Father of the Day is the former governor of Kaduna State, Alhaji Mohammed Makarfi, and Mother of the Day is Mrs. Amina Patrick Yakowa.

The Royal Fathers of the Day are the ‘Oegwam Oegworok’ and Vice Chairman, Kaduna State Council of Chiefs, HRH Dr. Ufuwai Bonet, and the Emir of Jema’a, HRH Dr. Alhaji Muhammadu Isa Muhammadu, are among other dignitaries expected to grace the occasion

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