By Olajide Omojolomoju
Information and Culture Minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has affirmed that the revival of the Argungu Motor Rally, the traditional start of the annual Argungu International Fishing and Cultural Festival, is a testimony to the success of the Muhammadu Buhari administration’s efforts at restoring peace and security in the country.
Flagging off the 2020 Argungu Motor Rally at the Eagle Square in Abuja on Wednesday, Alhaji Mohammed, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari, stated this, adding that the fact that only vehicles assembled in Nigeria are participating in the rally showed the Buhari administration’s commitment to building local capacity and diversifying the economy through manufacturing.
The minister also said that another attribute of the Argungu Motor Rally is that it will promote tourism in the country.
Congratulating the government and people of Kebbi State for the revival of the Argungu International Fishing and Cultural Festival, which had remained moribund for the past 10 years due to security considerations, Alhaji Mohammed said that the Motor Rally, one of the many events slated for the 11-14 March Festival, is unique, because unlike the other events which are domiciled in Argungu, the rally starts from Abuja, criss-crosses four states (Nasarawa, Kaduna, Katsina and Sokoto), before ending up in Kebbi State – the home state of the Festival.
He said, “Specifically, the Motor Rally will cover 13 towns and cities – from Abuja to Keffi to Kachia to Kaduna to Funtua to Gusau to Sokoto to Shagari to Dogondaji to Tambuwal to Jega to Birnin Kebbi and finally to Argungu.
“You can now see that the Argungu Fishing and Cultral Festival is not just a local or state festival, but a national festival, a festival of unity. This is why the Federal Government will continue to provide all the necessary support for the Festival,and indeed for all the festivals on our national calendar.”
The flag-off ceremony was attended by Kebbi State Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu; the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, and the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, among other dignitaries.