Lagos Witnesses Colourful Displays At Eyo Carnival
…As Fashola underscores role of festivals in stimulating entrepreneurship, economic opportunities
Nov 26, 2011 - A spectacular display of colour, dance, culture and tradition was on Saturday showcased at the Tafawa Balewa Square TBS by various Eyo groups as Lagos held the Adamu Orisha play in memory of Chief Yesufu Oniru.
Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) in his address after the filing past of the various Eyo groups affirmed that the Adamu Orisha play is a festival that the State Government will continue to cherish and uphold from generation to generation.
Also not left out of the fun filled day were foreign tourists and children who turned out in very large numbers in the uniquely designed double decker tourist buses.
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 his administration is mindful of the economic effects of festivals and tourism destinations, adding that the Adamu Orisha has not been an exception in stimulating entrepreneurship and other economic opportunities for the people.
A large crowd of people made up of gaily dressed Lagosians from all walks of life thronged the venue to witness the Orisa play organized in honour of a former Chief of Iruland and Olori Oloye of Lagos, Chief Yesufu Oniru who lived between 1864 and 1984.
According to Governor Fashola: "the Eyo festival is one of the foremost festivals which identify us as a people ; they are part of our beliefs and distinguishing emblems. Our culture is a summation of our beliefs and learned behaviours that must be jealously guarded and transmitted from the present to future generations".
Governor Fashola said the Adamu Orisha play which is also known as Eyo Festival is a cultural experience that is unique to Lagos Island within a multi-cultural Nigeria where different cultures and traditions abound.
He explained that the play is staged to celebrate the transition of an Oba of Lagos or in recognition of the contributions of a great Lagosian to the development of the State.
"The Adamu Orisha is one of the richest and proudest statements of the flamboyance, elegance and colour of Lagos State", he added.
He recalled that the late Chief Yesufu Oniru in whose honour the Eyo was being staged was a leader who through the instruments of law sought to ensure that his people were not deprived of what was theirs.
The Governor added that the late Chief who was also the father of the present Oniru of Iruland, Oba Idowu Abiodun won many legal battles against the acquisition of his ancestral property by the then emerging colonial authorities.
"As in Eyo TOS Benson, which was held in April 2009, this festival is different from other performances since it is also designed to accommodate a larger audience without diluting the precepts and core values of the play".
"Whilst the Eyo festival provides an occasion for us to celebrate, it is also important for us to be introspective. We should remember this festival's significance which is largely within the context of preparations and performance of formal acts by the Oba of Lagos and the elders of the craft", he reiterated.
The Governor also used the occasion to appeal to the people to complete the Adamu Orisha play by engaging in a massive cleanup of the State starting from Saturday evening.
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 Jakande, Elegushi, Ajiweforisha, Oshodi, Etti, Salawe, Faji, Kakawa, Sogunro, Taiwo- Olowo, Bajulaiye Asogbon, Suenu, Bashua, Erelu Kuti, Egbe, Shaasi, Asajon, Eletu Odibo, Aromire, Obanikoro, Oshodi- Bukku, Onisiwo, Bajulu, Onitana, Oloto, Onilado, Akogun Olofin, Balogun okolo
Others are Apena, Oluwa, Alaagba, Saba, Aiyemosan, Olorogun Ide, Olorogun Adodo, Onimole, Olumegbon, Sasore, Onilegbale, Eletu Iwashe, Eletu Ijebu, Ologun Agbeje, Opeluwa, Akitoye, Sobaloju, Ashesi, Ogunmade, Olusi, Modile, Onisemo, Kosoko, Onikoyi, Awise, Ojon, Ojora, Onitolo, Olokun and Oniru.
The five traditional Eyo deity groups of Eyo Agere, Eyo Ologede, Eyo Oniko, Eyo Alakete Pupa and Eyo Adamu Orisha rounded off the displays.
Prominent among those present at the occasion were the First Military Governor of Lagos State, Brigadier Mobolaji Johnson (Rtd), members of the State Executive Council, members of the National Assembly, State House of Assembly, Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu I, the Oniru of Iruland, Oba Idowu Oniru, the Ojomu of Ajiranland, Oba Yekini Akinloye, the Elegushi of Ikateland, Oba Saheed Elegushi of Ikateland and the Asoju Oba of Lagos, Chief Molade Okoya- Thomas.
The gaily turned out people from all walks of life within and outside te country were also entertained during the show by traditional music and oldies of Lagos from top acts like ageless Pa Fatai Rolling Dollars among others.