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Tarok nation celebrates annual cultural festival at Langtang

…State Governor appraises Tarokland’s maintenance of cultural heritage.

by Christiana Gokyo, Jos

Goveror Simon Lalong of Plateau State has expressed happiness that the Ilum O’Tarok has taken the lead in this new vista of cultural renaissance in the State. “It is not surprising, considering the patriotism and sense of pride with which all sons and daughters of Tarokland hold and display their culture and tradition wherever they find themselves,” he noted.

“This is a good virtue that must be sustained. An event like this, I must re-emphasise the need for continuous propagation and sustenance of our rich cultural heritage that is under threat by globalization.

“Many of our cultural practices are gradually being abandoned, while our languages are fast disappearing by the day, especially among our younger generation. This is a concern that I want the Tarok nation to take very seriously, considering the fact that other tribes also face similar threats,” the governor stated.

He was speaking recently at the Annual Cultural Festival of the Tarok nation, otherwise known as, ‘Ilum O’Tarok,’ which took place at the Langtang Mini Stadium. 

The governor, who was Special Guest of Honour at the event, assured the people of Tarokland and the citizens of the State that his administration will do its best to complete all ongoing projects. 

He noted also that, so much has been achieved in completing many abandoned projects inherited from the immediate past administration and others before it, as well as new ones initiated.

He cited the General Hospital in Mabudi, Langtang South, which was abandoned at foundation level but now completed and awaiting commissioning. The Langtang Water Treatment Plant built by Chief Solomon Lar, which was moribund for many years, was also reactivated and now providing portable water to the citizens. 

While mentioning that, his Legacy Project in Shishi will also be completed soon, and the Gazum Road, Langtang-Garkawa Road as well as Kadarko Road will also be done, the governor commended the Tarok nation for sustaining the cultural fiesta, saying, “I am happy that the Ilum O’Tarok has taken the lead in this new vista of cultural renaissance in Plateau State. 

Speaking on peace and security, the governor commended the Tarok nation for doing their best to maintain peace within their domain and, by extension, the State in general, and urged them to continue and sustain the effort, as the State continues to confront criminals and crises merchants, who are always looking for an opportunity to strike and cause havoc.

He also assured them that government will support them towards having a substantive Ponzhi Tarok

“As I once again condole the Tarok nation over the demise of the late Ponzhi Tarok, and assure them that government will not hesitate to ensure that a new Ponzhi is installed when the king makers and the traditional council conclude the process for the selection of a successor.”

He said, his appeal as always is to ask that everything should be done according to laid down rules and the culture and tradition of the Tarok people. “My administration has maintained its neutrality over appointment of Traditional Rulers and will not impose anyone on the people,” he said.

Speaking also at the event, chairman of the Ngwang Ishi O’Tarok, Amb Nanpon Sheni, said the cultural festival provides an avenue for the sons and daughters of Tarokland to get in touch with their roots, culture and heritage as well as find ways of addressing critical challenges in education, infrastructure, water, health, and economic prosperity, among others.

Royal Father of the day and Emir of Dass, HRH Alh. Usman Bilyaminu Othman, emphasised the need for peace, unity and harmony among the Tarok people as well as with its neighbours, adding that, “The Tarok nation is known for hospitality, friendship and honesty, which are attributes that have endeared them to many people around the world.”

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