Lagos Converge To Celebrate Colourful Eyo 2009
…The best of Lagos is yet to come - Fashola
Apr 25, 2009 - All roads on Saturday led to the historic Tafawa Balewa Square TBS which was the venue of a spectacular display of colour, dance, excitement, culture and tradition by various Eyo groups with Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) declaring that the best of Lagos is yet to come.
Every available seat was taken up at the area by gaily dressed Lagosians from all walks of life who had come to witness the Orisa play organized in honour of Chief TOS Benson, a prominent Lagosian and the nation’s first Minister of Information.
Not left out of the fun filled day were members of the diplomatic corps, foreign tourists and children who turned out in very large numbers in the uniquely designed double decker tourist buses called Eko Oni Baje.
Governor Fashola, who spoke after the well co-ordinated march of the various Groups belonging to prominent families in Lagos and the five deities, said the hugely successful event had been largely realized.
According to Governor Fashola, the Eyo day celebration was aimed at creating a family day for a very rich and proud festival and rich heritage of Lagos as well as develop opportunities to place it in its rightful order and position.
He said that entrepreneurship has also been promoted through the various fabrics and hats that have been designed for the Eyo groups, the decorations as well as the cooking and the drinks provided.
Governor Fashola described the day as twelve hours of funfair and a whole family day that has shown the true colours of Lagos in terms of its dressing and culture as well as the fact that it is the ancestral home of festival and theatre.
Governor Fashola added the Eyo masquerade is one of the richest and proudest statements of the colour, flamboyance and elegance of Lagos which must not die.
The Governor explained that the objective of the innovative provision of a central viewing place was to provide for larger viewership within a relaxed, safe and entertaining atmosphere without distracting from the delicate intricacies of the craft or elegance of the culture.
According to Governor Fashola, in this way families will get involved in what is usually a day for fun and splendor, and the children will connect with their heritage while the guests will understand the indigenes better.
Reiterating his ultimate vision for the festival, Governor Fashola declared: “With pride tempered with humility, I have come to appreciate the festival and the need for its upliftment for the benefit of the state and as an addition to the world map as an international tourist destination”.
The Governor also said the uniqueness of the Eyo festival stems from the fact that it cannot be run by express calendar, saying: “sometimes we have had five festivals in one year and there were times we have not had any in a number of years. But I think the most important thing is to let the people see what it portends”.
The Lagos State helmsman reiterated that the Eyo festival is a festival of honour to celebrate great men, Lagosians ,Obas of Lagos as part of their coronation rights and other Lagosians who have rendered sterling services and deserved to be honoured.
Governor Fashola who said he felt good about the occasion added that the Tafawa Balewa has come to stay as venue for the Eyo carnival.
The Eyo festival featured a procession by several Eyo groups who were beautifully dressed in colourful hats, robes and wrapper with a staff. The groups danced and chanted various songs while greeting people by touching them with the tip of the staff they held.
Among the Eyo groups which featured in the procession were Asogbon, Suenu, Bashua, Erelu Kuti, Egbe, Shaasi, Asajon, Eletu Odibo, Aromire, Obanikoro, Oshodi- Bukku, Onisiwo, Bajulaiye, Oloto, Onilado, Akogun Olofin, Olorogun Adodo and Onimole
Others are Bajulu, Olumegbon, Eletu Iwashe, Akitoye, Arobadade, Ogunmade, Onikoyi, Jakande, Etti, Oshodi, Ajiwe Forisha, Onisiwo, Salawe, Faji, Kakawa, Sogunro, Taiwo Olowo and Bajulaiye while the five traditional Eyo deity groups are Eyo Agere, Eyo Ologede, Eyo Oniko, Eyo Alakete Pupa and Eyo Adamu Orisha.
Prominent among those present at the occasion were the First Lady of Lagos State, Mrs Abimbola Fashola, Deputy Governor Sarah Adebisi Sosan, Aremo Olusegun Osoba, Speaker of State House of Assembly, RT Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji, Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, Ambassador Dehinde Fernandez, foreign diplomats and members of the State Executive Council, House of Assembly among others.
The capacity filled Tafawa Balewa Square was lightened during the show by traditional music of Lagos and top acts like Wasiu Ayinde Marshall, D Banj and Fatai Rolling Dollars among others.