Boat Regatta: Ebute-Iga Emerge Winner As Ikorodu Division Communities Show Class
Kunle Adelabu & Augustine Onu.
Ebute-Iga’s boat, winner of the Lagos @ 50 Boat Regatta in Ikorodu Division
It was class act as different riverine communities in Ikorodu Division display mastery of boat performance during the Lagos @ 50 Boat Regatta iin Ikorodu.
At the ceremony which took place at Ikorodu Ferry Terminal on Saturday, April 15, 2017, Ebute-Iga Boat Regatta team proved in practical term that they the king on the water to emerged winner with 92/5%.
Other participants were Agbowa-Iga (2nd position) with 82.75&, Ota-Ikosi (3rd) with 74.45%, Bayeku (4th) with 70%, Ibeshe (5th) with 63.5% and Ijede (6th) with 62.5%.
Other communities that participated were Igbogbo/Bayeku, Abule-Eko, Ipakan, Imope, Kosofe and Igbe.
Speaking at the ceremony, the governor of Lagos State, Mr Akinwumi Ambode, whose speech was read at the event by the Commissioner for Commerce, Industry ^ Cooperatives/Chairman Boat Regatta Committee, Prince Rotimi Ogunleye, stated that, “We are here today to witness one of the most colourful events in our state- the Lagos Boat Regatta.”
“This Regatta, which is happening simultaneously in four different locations of the state- Lagos Island, Epe, Ikorodu and Badagry, has been organized in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the creation of our state.”
” The celebration of Lagos at 50 will not be complete without showcasing our culture and tradition which was derived from our adaptation to our natural environment-the lagoons and creeks of Lagos. We are committed to the preservation and advancement of our water based cultural heritages.”
“Our state is blessed with great aquatic environment.Twenty-two percent of the total geographical area of Lagos is made up of lagoons and creeks. These water bodies have become part of our culture and heritage and have influenced our culture, our trade and out lifestyle.”
“As we enjoy the colourful displays and creative expressions of our culture on water, let me use this opportunity to highlight the massive economic potentials within these waters. We are barely scratching the surface. Beyond transportation, there are potentials for water sports, tourism and entertainment.”
Royal fathers at the ceremony, R-L, Oba Shotobi, Oba Ogunsanya, Oba Kasali and Oba Oyebo
“As a government, we are determined to develop these great potentials for economic growth and are also committed to creating a platform for the private sector to harness the opportunities which are abound in our waters”.
Meanwhile, many residents have protested what they termed as restriction during the boat regatta event in Ikorodu.
Mr Anifowoshe Owolabi, a leading youth in Ikorodu and others took to the social media to expressed their dissatisfaction for what they perceived as unfair treatment. Some called THE IMPACT Publisher on phone while others engaged him at the venue of the event to register their complaints.
“When things fall apart, my people have this belief that the centre must hold. Things are falling apart now but the centre is not holding but what do we do?” Mr Owolabi stated.
“Its Lagos @50 celebration but the average commoners coming to observe the event are now being asked for exclusive invites for the program. We have always known that the celebration is only for the elites but we never envisioned it will come this low. History will remember what happened today. Our time will come”.
While calling for a fair treatment for Ikorodu division among other divisions in the state, Mr Anifowoshe stated, “Engagement is key, Ikorodu division is not craving for publicity but for equity and deserved attention. Economic, socio-cultural and political equity”.
Mrs Funke Awoyemi, a respected figure on social media connected to Ikorodu, especially whatsApp groups, in her submission was appreciative of the Lagos State Government for considering the protests of Ikorodu division’s residents for the inclusion of the division in the Boat Regatta and those that led the protest and ensuring its actualization.
Our reporter was unable to reach Prince Rotimi Ogunleye, Chairman of the Ikorodu division Boat Regatta Committee and other political office holders from Ikorodu division for their comments but we gathered from a reliable source within the Technical Committee of the event that the restriction was to prevent untoward happenings.
“We cannot allow everybody into the small space where guests and others with invites were seated because of its nearness to water and contrary to the alleged restriction,people were allowed into the terminal as you can see for yourself, except that they were prevented from going beyond a particular point for safety. The security agents were just searching and enquiring for people’s businesses at the gate”.
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