Spectators were enthralled at the resounding dance steps of the Mada cultural troupe as they graced the turbaning of eight indigenes of Mada living in the FCT last Saturday.
Clad in tiger skin costume, the dancers stomped their feet, twisted their waists and swirled their hands in the air, to a rapturous applaud from the excited spectators.
The need for peaceful co-existence and preservation of the language and cultural identity of the Mada people was the major focus of talks at the event.
The programme, which held on Saturday July 7, was attended by a representative of the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), Abdullahi Adamu Candido, Haladu Adamu, who is the Secretary of the council, and other sons and daughters of Mada in the FCT.
The title recipients included: Wohkan Philip Chorio ( Madaki Wakilin-Mada FCT); Samuel Danjuma (Galadima Mada-FCT); Kyuni Ahmed Abdullahi (Chiroma Mada-FCT); Mbejimo Mainasara (Sarkin Yaki Mada-FCT); Peter Sambari (Garkuwa Mada-FCT); Bako Gikyu Ibrahim (Tafida Mada-FCT); Emmanuel Ishaya Santas (Jarumi Mada-FCT); and Sani Yusuf Goho (Danmasani Mada-FCT).
Speaking during the programme, Haladu Adamu commended the peaceful disposition of the Mada indigenes in Abuja and charged them to maintain the peace and report anything that could lead to the breach of peace in their environment to the authorities.
In his speech, the Chun Mada III, Samson Gamu Yare raised alarm on the increasing number of Mada indigenes who raise their children in English and other languages, which he cautioned could force the Mada culture into extinction.
He charged them to continue to live in harmony with their neighbours, which he explained had become the attribute of the Mada nation, adding that they must eschew bickering and temptation to “war war rather than to jaw jaw.
“You must be exemplary, live in harmony with every community. This is what the Mada nation is known for. Everybody recognizes that the people of Mada are peace-loving people,” he said.
He urged the new traditional tittle holders to respect the office as the Hakimi and all the traditional stools in places they reside as it would show how they respected their own traditional institutions. He said such respect to other traditional institutions would also showcase the importance of the position in the history and culture of the Mada people.
“We must be the people that every other people have to learn from us on how to stay happily in the society,” he said.
“Any where we go we must be true representatives of the Mada nation; they should see us differently from how they see others. And I think that is the place for us to be,” he added.
He charged the new tittle holders to reach out to all aggrieved Mada stakeholders and reconcile them, explaining that divisions would reduce the numerical strength of the ethnic group.
One of the organisers of the programme and the Wakilin Mada in FCT, Joseph Danboyi, used the occasion to appeal to the executive members of the Mada Development Association in Abuja to bury the hatchet, forget the past and work under one umbrella for the development of the Mada nation.
He said he had contributed to influence job opportunities for many indigenes of the ethnic group in the public service, and called for more support to the youth in the areas of Law, Health, and Engineering, and other skills such as: plumbing, welding, carpentry, glass and aluminium, fabrication and electrical works.
While welcoming the partnership of their Lindre and Eggon neighbours, Danboyi said the aspiration of the group to produce the next governor of the Nasarawa State would be realized if they “work without selfish interest and avoid sabotaging ourselves.”
The Wakilin Mada-FCT, Wohkan Philip Chorio thanked God for the honour done them, explaining that the new chiefs were given the responsibility to articulate and build peace relationship between the Mada and other tribes in the FCT.
One of the highlights of the occasion was the appearance of the winner of Miss Mada Beauty Pageant, Mis Victoria Yakubu.
The Mada people are found mainly in Nasarawa and Kaduna states with major settlements at Akwanga, Keffi, Kokona and Karu. They are originally believed to have emanated from the Nok cultural centres of North Central Nigeria.