The Kano State government on Wednesday announced the cancellation of Eid el-Kabir durbar, the biggest annual cultural show in the state, in an effort to check further spread of the novel coronavirus infection among the populace.
The festival attracts large crowds, including foreigners. The 2020 event would have been the first to be led by, Aminu Ado Bayero, after his installation as the Emir of Kano on March 9, as replacement for Muhammadu Sanusi II, who was dethroned by the government the same month.
The Commissioner for Information, Mr Muhammad Garba, who announced the decision at a press conference in in Kano, said the five emirs in the state would conduct Eid prayers in their domains based on COVID-19 safety protocols.
Meanwhile, some residents of Kano expressed disappointment over the announcement in interviews with HumAngle but showed understanding for the decision.
A resident, Musa Alto Kofar Mata, said: “I was not delighted when I heard the Sallah durbar has been canceled by the government but due to this coronavirus pandemic I think it is a good decision taken by the state government as to limit crowded environment in order to minimise the spike of COVID-19.”
Another resident, Hussna Shakir, expressed sadness over the development.
“I have never missed the Dabur festival, but suddenly today I heard the festival for this season has been cancelled due to COVID-19. But why ban the festival when viewing centres are open and other social gatherings are going on?
“I’m pleading with the Kano State government to review the plans for easy attendance of the festival,” she said.
Aliyu Tanimu Gidan Sarki Kofar Kudu said he wished the government would allow the durbar to hold since markets were operating and other social activities going on.
He said that concealing the festival would make Eid el-Kabir celebration uninteresting..
Danladi, however, acknowledged that, “it is a good approach taken by the government as to curtailing the spread of coronavirus because when there are too many people,the virus infection might increase in the state.”
The cancellation of the festival is not the first time the government has taken similar action. At the height of Boko Haram insurgency attacks in Kano metropolis, the government also cancelled the show.