Lagos @ 50 Programmes: Ikorodu Division To Host Boat Regatta, Lagos Loves The Cinema, Lagos Carnival/Parade of Colours, Other Activities
-Government has great plans for Ikorodu – Hon. Agunbiade
-Ikorodu will participate fully in the celebration – Hon. Benson.
-Be rest assured of grand boat regatta – Prince Ogunleye
-We are being marginalized – Residents.
Ikorodu Division representatives at the state level have debunked the allegation that the division is being short-changed and relegated in the activities to celebrate Lagos @50. It would be recalled that following the unfolding of programmes of events for the celebration of Lagos @ 50 by the Planning Committee at the Lagos House, Ikeja, on Monday, March 27, 2017, condemnation trailed the committee’s plans from the residents of Ikorodu Division who alleged marginalization.
Though, Hon. Habeeb Fasinro, Co-chair of the Lagos @ 50 Committee, who addressed reporters during the programmes unveiling had said the events lined up for the celebration were carefully selected to tell the story and journey from 1967 till date.
Acting Commissioner For Tourism/Special Adviser On Arts & Culture Reactions To Activities Marking Lagos @ 50
Reacting to the condemnation, both elected and appointed political office holders in Ikorodu division have debunked the residents’ fears and stated that the All Progressives Congress (APC) government in the state led by Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, has been fair to every part of the state and very much concern to bring about even-development.
Hon. Adebimpe Akinsola, the acting Commissioner for Tourism/Special Adviser on Arts & Culture, at a parley which took place at her office in Alausa on Friday, April 7, 2017, with selected community media houses and practitioners in Ikorodu division, stated that the division is well represented in the Lagos @ 50 celebrations.
“Lagos @ 50 is all about the achievements of Lagos State since its inception and not about a particular part. Like other parts of the State, Ikorodu as a division is well represented in the programmes of activities for the celebration.”
“The celebration has started since January, when we staged the Eko Arts Ekpo to honour a prominent Ikorodu son in the person of late Chief Rasheed Gbadamosi. After that, there was colloquium at Musical Village in Ikorodu and other parts of the state. We have also had the Lagos Marathon and presentation at the Lagos Museum where we are collaborating with the federal government”.
“Beyond the Lagos @ 50 celebration which continues till December 31, 2017, Ikorodu division is benefitting immensely from the government going by the budgetary allocations to execute many projects which is unprecedented in the history of the division . The division is well represented in the scheme of things in the state”, Hon. Akinsola stated.
“Very soon, a massive shopping mall is coming to Ikorodu and we are going to have a Cinema within it. The government in matter of months would start work on Bola Tinubu/Igbe/Oke- Afa/Ijede Road. More so, the Reconstruction of Owutu Road and building of the divisional stadium in Lagos State Polytechnic are another major projects for Ikorodu among many others”.
Hon. Akinsola also hinted on the plan of the governor to have a befitting place that can accommodate the number one man in the state within the Ikorodu division axis .
“Another plan of this present administration is to build a Government House in Ikorodu division that can accommodate the governor and also where the activities of the state could be carried out. It is only Ikorodu division that the governor has not slept because there is no official accommodation for him there ”.
Meanwhile, Prince Rotimi Ogunleye, Commissioner for Commerce, Industry & Cooperatives and the Chairman, Boat Regatta Planning Committee in Ikorodu Division, has assured residents of Ikorodu division of a grand outing during the boat regatta event in Ikorodu during the Lagos @50 celebration, while also assuring them of the present government’s effort to develop the division.
“I’m consulting with stakeholders in the division in other to have a befitting boat regatta outing during the Lagos @ 50 Celebrations on April 5. A committee has been put in place by the state government in that respect”, he informed THE IMPACT.
THE IMPACT can authoritatively report that the Ikorodu Ferry Terminal at Ebute, which is yet to be commissioned, is the venue for the boat regatta event in the division.
It was also gathered that the Commissioner is working with the Sole Administrators in the six Local Councils and other stakeholders across the division to ensure mobilization and eventful outing.
Ikorodu Representatives Reactions
First to publicly responded was Hon. Babajimi Benson, Member, Federal House of Representatives, who joined the discussion on social media.
In allaying the fears of the residents over the alleged marginalization of the division in the Lagos @50 celebration, Hon. Benson stated that they (elected and appointed representatives from Ikorodu division) are meeting to ensure that Ikorodu is well represented in the celebration.
Also, while debunking the allegation that Ikorodu division is being shortchanged in the Lagos @ 50 celebration especially regarding the boat regatta, Hon. Akinsola stated emphatically that Ikorodu division would be hosting the regatta on the same day with other parts of the state.
The acting Commissioner/Special Adviser who stated that the celebration would start on April 8 with a special musical play tagged: “Waka ” which is produced and directed by Bolanle Austen-Peters at the Muson Centre, Onikan, Lagos, and ended on May 27 with Children Day, Celebration/Special Anniversary Gala Night, also added that the celebration would continue across the state till the end of the year.
Hon Akinsola while addressing the selected community media on the activities of the celebration also highlighted activities that would be holding in Ikorodu .
Lagos @ 50 activities in Ikorodu Division
According to her, Ikorodu would join other three divisions (Epe, Lagos Island and Badagry) where the performance of the boat regatta has become a tradition and people’s way of life, to host the riverine based event.
On May 5, five of the highest box office films and five evergreen films would be screened to local audience in the five divisions of the state (Ikeja, Badagry, Ikorodu, Lagos Island and Epe) . The films to be screened were, ‘The wedding Party’, ‘76’, ’93 Days’, ‘A Trip to Jamaica’ and ‘Maami’.
Lagos Carnival would also hold on May 12 and Ikorodu division, like other divisions, would host the Celebration of Social clubs where ten prominent clubs are expected to gather at a venue within the division for social activities.
The celebration would continue on May 13 with the Lagos Carnival/Parade of Colours. Ikorodu venue for the event is Ikorodu Grammar School located at Oke Ota-Ona. This event according to the Commissioner, would be holding in about twenty other locations across the state.
Also in her words , “The activities for the Lagos @ 50 celebration in Ikorodu division is not limited to these as sons and daughters of the division would also be participating in other programmes of the celebrations”.
The grand finale slated for May 27, which coincides with Children’s Day, will feature a historic gala night that would have a rich blend of good music and the best of Lagos cuisine, photo exhibition and the unveiling of a special coffee table book that captures the essence of Lagos through the lens of 50 accomplished photographers.
Challenging the division on tourism development, Hon. Akinsola stated that there is need to design programmes for yearly celebration.
“It is time for Ikorodu to start developing her tourism potentials and promoting her cultural values if they really want outsiders to appreciate it. Boat regatta is a way of lives for people in Epe, Lagos Island and Badagry and it is easy to identify that with them because they have been celebrating it year-in-year-out”.
“The celebration always involves some processes like examining the water, ascertaining the competency of the riders, among others”, she revealed.
“The present administration is desirous of developing tourism potentials across the state and these are driven through project T.H.E.S.E. We have to understand that government alone cannot do everything for the masses at once. In actual sense, promotion of cultural values is usually started by the people who owns it. It is after they might have ensured its promotion and sustenance that the government and other bodies can identify with it”, Hon Akinsola stated.
She equally added that, “Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture through its agenda and Road -Map for Tourism, is doing everything to make Lagos State number one preferred destination in Africa for people across the globe and we are factoring every part of the state including Ikorodu into this”, she revealed.
She also thanked Hon S. O. B Agunbiade, Majority Leader of the Lagos State House of Assembly representing Ikorodu Constituency I, and his team, IREP – Ikorodu Division Rebirth Foundation for embarking on cultural and traditional renaissance for the division.
“I want to personally thank my brother and colleague, Hon. Agunbiade and his team, IREP, for the laudable initiative to help in the rebirth of culture and tradition in Ikorodu division. They have perfected arrangement to host Asa festival which is among many other traditions that connect the people of the division. Activities like this would ensure prominence of our cultural values and I would want to enjoin others to take a cue from them”, Hon. Akinsola stated.
She also stated that the state government is planning quarterly activities to engage creative youths in the state and make them attain their full potentials.
Also reacting to the development in a press released titled, “Beyond Boat Regatta In Ikorodu”, a copy of which was sent to THE IMPACT, Hon. Sanai Bolanle Agunbiade stated that the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state meant well for the division.
“Some have criticized the agenda and bluntly alleged marginalization, others have criticized as well as threw up suggestions on the way forward, while a host of others have just pointed out our lapses in the area of cultural propagation.”
“With the collective efforts of our representatives in the Executive and legislature, Ikorodu Division will host a segment of the Boat regatta for the anniversary of Lagos @50 and our man , Prince Rotimi Ogunleye (Commissioner for Commerce and Cooperatives) is in charge. Those from Ijede and Ebute – Iga should link up with him for enquiries and information. We will need to appreciate the difficulties of a guest in knowing what stuff his Host is made off, except for those he has been told or seen the skills.”
While appealing for his constituents understanding, Hon. Agunbiade listed some of the projects the government would be embarking on in Ikorodu division .
“Beyond the good news of boat regatta holding in Ikorodu, you deserve to know also that theGovernment of Lagos State has put machineries in place to commence the construction of Owutu/Ishawo/Arepo road as well as Igbe/Ginti road soon and a stakeholders forum regarding that will hold later this month”.
He added, “The government has given approval for Government Chalet to be built in a lagoon front site in Ikorodu division, while the construction of a mall, like that of Ikeja City Mall, has been approved to be built in Ikorodu Division and the site already granted approval by the Governor”.
Hon Agunbiade said further, “Ikorodu Local Government is positioned to get a new secretariat very soon. The Government is committed to 8 lane road from sabo- Ikorodu to Itokin, to align with the road construction on Epe – Itoikin axis. This is real. Construction of Divisional stadium for Ikorodu within the vast parcel of land at Lagos State Polytechnic is to commence very soon”.
Agunbiade also praised the efforts of Prince Rotimi Ogunleye, Commissioner for Commerce, Industry & Cooperatives, in ensuring the siting of an Industrial Park in Imota,
“Industrial park is now approved for Imota LCDA, in addition to the Regional Commodity market already approved for location and construction in the LCDA. Kudos to Hon. Nurudeen Solaja and Prince Rotimi Ogunleye”.
“Let me assure all that this government is genuinely committed to other infrastructural projects for Ikorodu division as contained in this year’s budget and some other ancillary ones that have been approved by the Governor under contingency provisions”.
“I will wish to plead that it is profitable to exercise a lot of restraints when reacting to a particular problem, to avoid creating other greater problems. Even, when one is agitated, it is very good to err on the side of wisdom by being constructive and not being excessive in the use of words and approach. There can always be gold beneath the mud”, Hon. Agunbiade pleaded in the release.
Condemnations Trail Lagos @ 50 Committee’s Plans As Ikorodu Residents Alleged Marginalization
Following the Press Conference on March 27, reactions trailed the activities announced by the committee as some sections of Ikorodu residents saw the celebration’s programmes as another marginalization of the division.
There has been protest on social media since the announcement of Hon. Habeed Fasinro as the co-chairman of the Lagos @ 50 Committee to replace the Ikorodu-born late Chief Rasheed Gbadamosi who died last year.
Some of the residents had protested that instead of appointing another Ikorodu person to take the place of late Gbadamosi, Fasinro from Lagos Island was appointed by the Lagos State Government.
While the town is yet to recover from the perceived unjust replacement, the announcement of the committee’s plans of actions at the Press Conference jolted the residents who felt that the non-recognition of important festivals and art icons like Bobby Benson is a further marginalization.
Reactions have since been trailing the announcements on social media platforms related to Ikorodu Division such as Omoluabi Caucus, Ikorodu Division Solution Alliance (IDSA), Future of Ikorodu North (all whatssAp platforms), THE IMPACT News-Community (both on whatssApp and Facebook) and other social media platforms
Calling the attention of the residents and the government to what she perceived as marginalization, Princess Aderoju Ladega, an author and a community builder wrote on some platforms: “I have carefully read the Press Release of the Lagos@50 Programme, I feel so sad that Ikorodu Division, being one of the Geo-political divisions that make up Lagos State, was not considered nor featured for recognition in the programmes”.
“Clearly seen that Epe, Badagry and Lagos Island will significantly be featured throughout the month long Programmes,it’s so annoying that despite our division’s heritage and culture, we were not recognized ! Na wa oo!, Aderoju protested.
“Is Bobby Benson not a Grade A musician? Why is he not featured? Why only Fela from Egba in Lagos State at 50?” she asked.
Taiwo Odumbo, a prominent youth leader, in his own reaction stated, “We need a clarification especially when someone from the division that’s close to the committee has refused to make it louder that we have rich cultural heritages that can be showcased. Egungun masquerade, Agemo and many others are festivals annually celebrated in Ikorodu”
Comrade Muyideen Yusuf in his own contribution called the integrity of the committee to question.
“When I read through the line of events for our dear State Golden Jubilee Celebration, I doubt this committee’s credibility. Lagos @ 50 celebration should be used to celebrate the creation of Lagos as a State through her five Administrative Divisions which are known as IBILE(Ikeja, Badagry, Ikorodu, Lagos Island and Epe). It should not be to celebrate Fela Anikulapo”.
He also added, “If we want to celebrate our local music, it should be our own locally made like Bobby Benson, Nosiru Atuwon, Ligali Mukaiba, Oseni Ejiire, Abibu Oluwa,Fatai Rolling Dollar and Salawa Adeniyi, among many others”, Muyideen suggested.
Another resident queried the rationale behind the recognition and staging of boat regatta in Epe, Badagry and Lagos Island and leaving out Ikorodu which according to him, is surrounded by water, from a water a based event for the celebration.
“The recently hosted “Liwe Festival” at Ebute-Iga was all about boat regatta and traditional dance/songs. Is Ebute-Iga not part of Ikorodu division? I have come to understand that tradition promote discipline and enhance good living and that is why we are clamouring for the recognition of Ikorodu division’s values. Ikorodu Division is rich in culture and traditions, which makes our heritage standout”.
“We need to raise constructive criticisms over the unjustified marginalization of the division in the forthcoming Lagos @50 Celebration”, the respondent protested.
One of the most consistent and respected voices on ‘Omoluabi Caucus’ social media platform, Mrs Funke Awoyemi, felt that Ikorodu representatives in the state government should have ensured that the division is well-recognized and called for synergy among them.
“Since aunty (Hon. Adebimpe Akinsola, acting Commissioner for Tourism/Special Adviser for Arts & Culture) works in the office concerned, she must have first-hand information and should have used her good office to advance Ikorodu’s course. And if she is not part of the decision-making body regarding the celebration, she should have liaised with other representatives and party leaders back home to impress it on the committee and if possible the Governor on the need to give Ikorodu equal opportunities” Mrs Funke suggested.
She also called for synergy among and between the elected and appointed representatives from Ikorodu and the party leaders.
Mr Abiodun Fatai-Abatan, a University Don put the blame for the marginalization of Ikorodu division squarely on the leaders especially those involved in decision-making.
“We are always wailing wailers. It is not for me and you, but for those in decision making platforms of the state to stand tall for Ikorodu Division to be counted. They should question the existing order, raise constructive criticism about this issue and on the general marginalisation of Ikorodu division. Can Ikorodu not stage boat regatta, Asa or agemo festival?” he queried.
In his own reaction, Omoba Peju Akinyemi, the Chief Executive Officer, Ikorodu-Oga Radio Online, condemned a situation where Ikorodu residents complain after failing to plan
“I really wish this is not happening… Ikorodu always ‘protest’ after the deed is done! What happens at Ikorodu Oga Day? How much of Ikorodu’s rich cultural heritages are highlighted and exposed? It’s all partying and eating… That’s what happens when you don’t blow your own trumpet and you’re expecting someone else to blow it for you…Ikorodu Oga!!!”
It was not all about condemnations and blame-game, other residents also contributed by proffering solutions.
“With these observations which are eye openers to our cultural heritages, let’s join hands together to promote our culture and values. Firstly, all of us should find means of promoting and publicising them in order for them to be fully recognised for the 60,70,80,90 years celebrations of the State as the 50th celebration is already outlined”, Kunle Bada enjoined.
In his own suggestion, Mr Bolaji Osinowo, a Labour Party House of Representatives flag bearer, stated: “All the euphoria about Lagos@ 50 and non-inclusion of Ikorodu Division in the events or programmes outlined should not come as a surprise to all. With due respect to some elders on this forum, the blame should be shifted to our political leaders who seem to have lost their voices when it matters most especially when it concerns our dear town and when it has no direct benefits to them. I think this should be a wake up call to all individuals who have genuine interest for the further development of our town to look at options of realignment of forces politically and see how collectively we can redeem our image, and put us back on the pedestal our revered fathers were once on. That is the way forward as we can’t keep on pretending that things are normal when we know the truth”.
Another residents, Hon. Olamilekan popularly called ‘Bebe-Nlo’, stated, “Everybody needs to be engaged actively. We also need a compendium of cultural activities and heritage sites to be made available within the division”.
- Posted in: Issues