Shafan Abakpa communities hold 2021 hunting festival (Pictures)

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Shafan Abakpa communities hold 2021 hunting festival (Pictures)

It was a display of cultural heritage at it’s peak in Shafan Abakpa otherwise called Sofiyo, a name derived and originated from the English word ‘survey’ where the white settlers resided during the colonial era and carried out survey of the entire region.

The ancient town of Sofiyo in Toto Local Government (LG) was agog as prominent Egbira sons and daughters both at home and in the diaspora, young and old converged to witness this year’s Irehwa hunting festival which was held in a ground style at GSS Shafan Abakpa play ground.

The popular annual Irehwa Hunting Festival was a unifying avenue for the people as history has it that the Lord of Hunters called “Ade- Ugbeh” has proclaimed before his death that for his people to continue to enjoy peace, unity and development among themselves, the Irehwa Festival must be sustained.

Although due to insecurity in the area and the emergence of Coronavirus (COVID-19), pandemic the last festival was held in 2017 and three-years after the people resumed their festival activities where various neighboring tribes of Gwagi, Gade, Tiv, Hausa Fulani among others joined the host, the Egbira people to displayed their cultural heritages with different dance groups and masquerades.

Being a festival of hunting, the hunters who spend the last three days in the bush hunting arrived the venue of the occasion with their catches of different animals of different shapes and sizes climaxing the peak of the event.

As a mark of honour, the animals caught were presented as gifts to visitors and personalities that graced the event.

Speaker, Nasarawa State House of Assembly Alh Ibrahim Balarabe Abdullahi who is the Chairman of the event spoke extensively on the significant of sustenance of cultural heritage of the people as an instrument of peace, unity and speedy growth of the society.

The Speaker who was represented by the State Commissioner for Health Pharm. Ahmed Baba Yahaya commended the people of the area for sustaining their culture and called on others to do same just as he commended Governor Abdullahi Sule for his security and development efforts in the area and the State at large.

On their parts Honourable Usman Labaran Shafa Member Representing Toto/Gadabuke at the State Assembly, Abdulmalik Usman FCT APC Chairman, Honourable Abdullahi Aliyu Tashas Chairman Toto LG, Muhammed Musa Maikaya and Usman Adams Shaba the President Shafan Abakpa Community Association SACA as well as APC Chairman Toto LG said the return of Irehwa signifies the return of peace in the area.

They emphasized on the need for sustaining peace in the area for development to thrive.

The occasion which had in attendance Retired Justice of Supreme Court Suleiman Galadima, representatives of Ohimege Opanda and that of Ona of Abaji among other traditional leaders also featured presentation of prices to outstanding hunters.

Shafan Abakpa communities hold 2021 hunting festival (Pictures)

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