The 60th Argungu International Fishing and Cultural Festival has come and gone, but the memories of the events and activities still lingers. it has become very important to say that the festival , which was last held eleven years ago, due to insecurity in the North-East, eventually came alive, demonstrating the rich cultural heritage, unity and love, which our leaders demonstrated at the Grand Finale of the festival.
The 2020 Argungu Fishing Festival was a remarkable success in terms of the outcomes and private sector participation, except for some unavoidable lapses observed in terms of crowd control, logistics and accommodation for Tourists. The attendance at all the 34 events of the festival , as explained by the Minister of Information and Culture , Alhaji Lai Mohammed, that Nigeria has a product and content but only need to build tourism infrastructure to encourage and promote more cultural festivals. According to him, “we need to go out and massively market our festivals, the private sector must be persuaded to be fully involved, while States and Local Governments must also invest in tourism”.
The presence of the President, Muhammadu Buhari at the agricultural promotion show, one of the events of the Argungu Festival, was a pointer to government’s commitment to restoring peace to the states affected by insecurity.
President Buhari witnessed the agricultural and durbar procession with colourful display of culture and tradition of the northern people. With what was displayed at the agriculture show, it was evident that Nigeria’s agricultural revolution of the Present Administration has come to stay. The 45,000 bags of rice pyramid at the agricultural promotion show during the Argungu cultural festival in Kebbi State, only translate to the fact that Kebbi State farmers and their counterparts in Kano, are more than prepared to feed the Nigeria populace and other West African neighbours.
The array of dignitaries that attended the Grand Finale of the 60th Argungu Fishing Festival, cutting across different parts of the country, has only shown the befitting status the festival has assumed. The Senate President, Senator Ahmed Ibrahim Lawan, who was the Chief Guest, led a delegation from the Senate to Argungu, Governors from Sokoto, Plateau and Niger states were in attendance. Ministers of the Federal Republic, Royal Fathers, from the Sultan of Sokoto, His Emminence Sa’ad Abubakar, Oni of Ife, His Royal majesty, Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Prominent Emirs from the North, and other notable Traditional Rulers from different parts of the country equally attended.
The Argungu Fishing Festival, as explained by the Executive Governor of Kebbi State, Atiku Bagudu, was the celebration of their historical progression, which he said gives opportunity for other neighbouring states to come and compete equitably.
It was really a naira rain for the star winner of the 60th Argungu fishing festival, Abubakar Yau, from Kebbi State, whose catch weighed 78kg and went home with two cars, N10 million and a Hajj Ticket. The second winner, Bala Yahaya, also form Kebbi State, whose catch weighed 75kg, won a Tri-cycle, Hajj Ticket and close to N5million.
The third prize winner, Mai Wanke Sani, whose catch weighed 70kg, won a motorcycle and close to N2 Million. It is noteworthy to know that the organizers of the festival gave consolation prizes to about 100 fishermen that participated at the fishing competition.
The effort of the organized private sector, private companies, Nigerian Shippers Council, RIFAN, and a host of other partners was highly commendable.
The 60th Argungu International Fishing and Cultural festival was tremendously a huge success. The planning of the 2021 festival must start now, so as to have an ample time to plan and correct the lapses witnessed in the 2020 edition. Nigeria can conveniently boast of another international festival, apart from the Calabar festival, that could attract tourists to the country and generate more revenue for Nigeria.
Samson Omotunde Makanju , attended the Argungu Fishing Festival in Kebbi State.([email protected])