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This would be the first time in more than 200 years that the three-day Durbar, or horse parading ceremony, in Kano had been called off.
Last week, a devotional retreat that takes place towards the end of Ramadan was cancelled due to security concerns.
The ritual is referred to as i'tikaf, when some people spend the last 10 days of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan in seclusion, praying in mosques.
Apart from the emir’s health, analysts believe the major reason for the festival's cancellation is the continued concerns about security and the campaign of violence being waged by the Islamist group, Boko Haram in the North.
In a statement, a top palace official, Alhaji Abbas Sanusi, said the Emir, Alhaji Ado Bayero, could not go ahead with the Durbar festival, known as Hawan Sallah, because of his "fragile" health.
The emir's palace said the public should pray for his recovery and for peace to return to Kano State.
It is, however, not clear from what illness the emir is suffering.
The traditional ruler, who has been on the throne for 49 years, was in the United Kingdom in July for medical treatment.
Thousands of people, mainly Muslims from the Hausa ethnic group, normally attend the Durbar, a parade performed by galloping horsemen during Eid el Fitri, and the festival lasts for three days.
In the course of the festival, the emir is expected to ride a horse for the duration, as the Durbar honours the power and heritage of the Hausa community.
The cancellation has, however, caused much disappointment in the ancient city.
While most people accept that the emir's illness caused the cancellation, many suspect that security concerns also led to the decision.
Kano residents say security at the Durbar has increased in recent years.
Since 2009, Boko Haram has carried out a spate of bombings in northern Nigeria, targeting government buildings and religious sites.
The group, which wants to impose strict Muslim law across Nigeria, adheres to a strain of Islam that outlaws any kind of activity linked to Western culture.
It killed at least 160 people in attacks in Kano in January.Share