Eyo Festival: Preparations Climax As Fashola Receives Traditional Staff
Apr 19, 2009 - Preparations for the Eyo Festival coming up next Saturday, reached a climax Sunday as the presentation of the traditional staff of Eyo to the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), for blessing, took place at the State House, Marina.
The ceremony, which was preceded by a meeting of the planning committee to review preparations for the event, featured the leader of the Okolaba, the Eyo Adimu Conclave, leading other conclave members to present the staff to the Governor and offering prayers for peace and prosperity of the State.
The ceremony, known as Ikapa, is traditionally held to present the staff of Eyo for blessing to the Governor, the Oba of Lagos and other eminent Lagosians as well as herald the hosting of the Eyo Festival.
Sunday’s ceremony will be followed by similar ones with the other four Eyo conclaves participating. According to the order of presentation, the Alakete Pupa Conclave (Eyo Laba or the Royal Eyo) will present the staff to the aforementioned prominent indigenes on Monday followed by the Eyo Oniko Conclave on Tuesday while the Eyo Ologede Conclave and the Eyo Agere Conclave will perform similar ceremony on Wednesday and Thursday respectively.
The colourful ceremony at Marina, which had in attendance the First Lady, Mrs. Abimbola Fashola, members of the State Executive Council and other eminent Lagosians, was opened with a prayer for the Governor, the First Lady, the State Government and the nation by the Opeluwa of Lagos, Chief Lateef Aderibigbe Ajose.
The event also had in attendance the Head of Eyo Adimu and the Akinsiku of Lagos, Chief Taoridi Ibikunle.
Throwing more light on the ceremony, the State Commissioner for Home Affairs and Culture, Mr. Tunde Balogun, told reporters that the Ikapa, which he described as significant, traditionally precedes every Eyo Festival.
According to the Commissioner, “It is traditional for them to come to pay homage to whosoever is the head in Lagos Island and the Governor happens to be the highest ranking person. They have come to do what is called the Ikapa ceremony which precedes the Eyo Festival”.
The Commissioner said the State Government has put in place a machinery to ensure the security of people throughout the festival adding that special routes have been designated for the Eyo and others for visitors to the Island so that there would not be any unnecessary contact between the two.
“If you take the Inner and Outer Marina, you will not come in contact with the Eyo. If you come through the Muson Centre towards the Tafawa Balewa Square, which is the centre of activities, you will not encounter an Eyo”, the Commissioner said.
The Commissioner, who said that the masquerades have been advised to be of good behaviour if they come in contact with people, however, warned that people wanting to watch the ceremony, should observe the rules of the Eyo which include not putting on shoes, carrying an umbrella or riding an Okada.