By Aliyu M. Hamagam, Minna
Niger State Governor Babangida Aliyu has said that the unity and peaceful co-existence among the nation’s diverse ethnic groups can only be further guaranteed, if the indigene/settlers issue is eliminated.
The governor, who spoke at the maiden edition of Gbagyi international cultural heritage competition in Minna, added that most ethnic groups in present day Nigeria, migrated from one place or the other.
He said history indicates that the Gbagyi ethnic group migrated from Kenem Bornu Empire and settled in their present locations.
“The only difference is that some ethnic groups arrived earlier than others. Those that arrived in the morning welcomed those that arrived in the afternoon. So, we are all either indigenes or settlers,” he said.
In his address, chairman of African Heritage Media, organizers of the competition, Prince Innocent Kure, said the event is aimed at saving the Gbagyi language from extinction.
“Survey shows that in the next ten years, Gbagyi language will go into extinction, as 60 per cent of the natives cannot speak the language. Most Gbagyi families only communicate in Hausa now,” he said.
Out of the 12 cultural groups that participated in the competition, Kabulu International carted away the first prize of a Sharon Bus.