Argungu Fishing Festival is one of the major festival celebrated annually to mark the end of the centuries-old hostility between the Sokoto caliphate region and the Kebbi kingdom in the northern part of Nigeria.
The festival was initiated in the year 1934 in Argungu, Kebbi State. The Argungu Fishing Festival is an annual 4 days event in Kebbi State, Nigeria. It is mostly celebrated in the month of February after the end of all farming activities.
The festival started initially in the form of religious rites as an informal family and communal affair. The Argungu festival has undergone several changes and modifications which makes the event more stylish and developed.
More than 30,000 fisherman had taken part in the annual Argungu fishing festival. The main event of the festival is the fishing contest in river Mata Fada, where fishing nets and traditional gourds made with calabashes are been used. The fisherman who catches the biggest fish wins a prize of $7500. In the year 2005 the winner caught a fish weighing 75kg, that is the biggest fish that have been caught in the festival till date.
The evolution of the festival at Argungu seems to go hand with the socio economic development of the people of Kebbi.
The fishing festival has become an international event in which people from Africa, Europe, America and other continents would converge in the ancient town of Argungu to witness the festival every year. The festival was taken over by the Kebbi State Government because of its growing popularity and economic potentials.
Gen. Yakubu Gowon together with Alh. Diori Hammani of Niger Republic were the first head of states to attend the Argungu festival in the 1970. Since then the festival has been visited by all presidents of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The festival also attracts governors from different states in the country most especially the northern states governors.
Argungun festival is currently one of the most popular festivals in Nigeria which attracts tourist all over the world. If you want to visit Nigeria, try and visit around February, spending at least a week Argungu during the fishing festival will give moments to always remember.