In Gwandara traditional religion, like the traditional religion of other societies the Supreme Being is the core of worship. Generally, Gwandara cultures believes in the existence of God (Allah). Other languages like, the Nupe name for God is Soko, TIV is Aondo, Yoruba is Olodumare, Ibo is Chukwu, Jukun is Chido, Ibibio is Abasi Ibom, Kalabari is Tamuno while the Gwandara people is Obagiji but in order aspect of culture and beliefs among Gwandara people, there are other smaller spiritual gods which includes: Ogango, Atikpa, Madi, Awoworo, and many more.
From the name of God, we should know what the people perceived God to be, Gwandara attribute of God are many hence, they call Him many names base on the attributes they depict from him. Various Gwandara cosmogonist myths point to the fact that the existence of the light God (Obagiji) is well known and indisputable fact. The myth tells us that God precede everything in existence that is, he depends on nothing for his existence. Obagiji created all things including human being. He is therefore responsible for the preservation of everything in existence all of which depend on him for their existence.
In study of Gwandara traditional religion summarizes Gwandara perception of God (Obagiji) as follows: He is a great providence, Obagiji (God) is all powerful, He is all – good, He is no way evil in the world and cannot will evil. Death and the evil in the world cannot be traced to him. He is kind and merciful. Above all, He is not a person, that listens, understands and often grants our request. He is somehow aloof from men, but this is an essential part of his nature. It came about through man’s own misconduct. God’s transcendence (Immanence)
To understand how the Gwandara perceive God, a look at the name of God and his attributes may enhance great knowledge on the issue. This is because, Gwandara name constitute invaluable archives in which traditional Gwandara wisdom and beliefs are enshrined. Among the Gwandara, God is addressed by the name Obagiji means the great God of creation. This name originated in all parts of Gwandara land. That notwithstanding, the Obagiji’s name is used throughout the area. Apart from this, today’s visits by Gwandara speaking people of Nigeria to the Awoworo (Traditional Spirits) in Dutsen-Alhaji has made it clear as it is similar to that of the then Tsumburbura observed by Gwandaras in Kano state – Nigeria as been headed by the chief priest named – Barbushe. Today’s visit to the Awoworo located beneath a highland (Rock) served as a reminder to the younger generations who knew nothing much about the Gwandara and other lesser gods.
It was indeed fun and heads by: Mallam Abubakar Bako (Chief – Dutsen Alhaji), Alh. Jibril Imam Karshi (GWADECA Chairman FCT Chapter), Tanko Wambai Idu, Royal Fathers, Gwandara Political Elites, Gwandara sons and daughters nationwide.
Reference: HRH (Dr.) Sani Mohammed Bako III | Lectured by: HRH. Abubakar Bako (Chief of Dutsen-Alhaji)| Edited & Posted by: Musa Muhammed-Mustapha.