Nigeria’s Eid horse parades cancelled over security

Celebrations to mark the Muslim festival of Eid ul-Adha have been cancelled in two traditional emirates in the northern Nigerian state of Katsina because of security concerns.

This includes the cancellation of their spectacular horse-riding parades known as durbars.

Performed by galloping horsemen, the durbars in the emirates of Daura and Katsina usually attract thousands of spectators from within Nigeria and neighbouring countries.

But this is the third year in a row that these festivals will not take place in some areas.

Islamist militancy and last year’s Covid-19 pandemic were the reasons behind previous cancellations.

This year the region has been particularly hard hit by violence linked to armed criminal gangs who frequently carry out kidnappings for ransom as well as killings.

A spokesperson for the Katsina emirate told the BBC that special prayers would be said at palaces for peace and security in Nigeria instead of the large traditional gatherings.

Next week’s Muslim holiday, also known as Eid al-Kabir in Nigeria, usually begins on the last day of the Hajj, the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

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