Taraba State Celebrates Nwonyo Fishing Festival
TUESDAY, 27 MAY 2008
Submitted By: Genevieve Generoso
Nigeria - Taraba State recently celebrated Nwonyo Fishing Festival at Nwonyo Village’s river. The said fishing village is believed to be the next international spot in Nigeria.
The festival originated in 1826, when fishermen from the old Wukari Federation would be invited once a year to fish for the chief. However, it was officially organized by the Ibi people only in 1970. In 1972, the then Wukari Local Government Administration took over the organization of the festival.
According to governor Danbaba Danfulani, the festival does not only benefit the economy but it also serves as a means of empowerment and protection of the ecosystem. In fact, the river is being fished only during fishing season. After that, the river is allowed to rest to let the fish grow and mature for the next season.
Recognizing its potential, the government released N18 million fund for this year’s festival. The government promised to give full support to the festival until it receives international recognition. Also, the government will form a state tourism co-operation to improve tourism in the place.
Aku-Uka of Wukari, chairman of traditional council in the state, thinks the festival is very important for it brings peace and unity among the people of the community.
Apart from fishing, boat and canoe racing, diving, swimming, and dancing are the recreational activities to do during the festival.
At the end of the festival, prizes were given for those who caught the heaviest fish. First placer Ibrahim Joshua won a motorcycle and N120,000.00 for his 130-kg catch. Uba Baba ranked second and won a motorcycle and N70,000.00, while Dan Asabe Agata got the third place and took home a 21-inch colored TV and N50,000.00.
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