Aareonakakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Abiodun Ige Adams, has assured Lagosians, particularly, indigenes of Badagry that the 2019 edition of Olokun Festival will boost the economy of the state and enhance eco-tourism of the host community.
Speaking yesterday in Lagos, at a briefing to unveil the programme for this year edition of the Olokun Festival, Adams, who is also the chief promoter of Olokun Festival Foundation, (OFF) revealed that the annual fiesta has made significant impacts in boosting the economy of the ancient town and the entire state.
Adams also affirmed that the Olokun deity has a special blessing for Lagosians.
“Not a few people will agree with me that Lagos is one of the most prosperous states in Nigeria.”
” It is gradually becoming the city of everybody’s dream,and a smart city because of the Olokun diety’s phenomenon. In the spiritual realm, Olokun is in charge of the wealth of the nation and it controls the wealth That is why it is important to rejoice and celebrate the festival”
“This year’s festival is unique because it will open up the tourism space of the historic town. About 50, 000 people, including tourists and traditional rulers will grace the grand finale and you know what that means in terms of business opportunities. We are ready to beef up the security and the atmosphere will be conducive for visitors that are coming from every part of the world, “he said.
Part of the activities lined up for this year edition of Olokun Festival, he said, include: Prayer to almighty God, holding at White House Hotel in Ikeja on Wednesday, October 16. A quiz competition for selected primary schools in the state will also come up on Thursday October 17, at the News agency of Nigeria’s (NAN) media Centre, Iganmu, Lagos. Arts exhibitions will also hold on Friday October 18,at CBAAC headquarters in Lagos, while the Beauty Pageant will be coming up on Sunday, October 20,at R/A hotel, Ikeja, Lagos. The Beach Soccer, festival float, Boat Regatta and Olosa Gala night will come up simultaneously on Tuesday, October 22 and Wednesday,October 23 at Sultan Beach, Badagry, with the grand finale coming up at the same venue on Thursday, October 24.
Chairman of the Olokun Festival planning committee, ambassador Muyiwa Oshinaike, in his remarks said:”A window of opportunities will be provided for traders to do their businesses and visitors will also know more about the Badagry ancestry, culture as well as the tradition of the people.The event is basically, to explore the potentials of nature and revive the tradition of the people of the ancient town, and I think with the programme coming up as scheduled, we are going to make the best use of our time.
He thanked the chief promoter of Olokun Festival Foundation, Iba Gani Abiodun Ige Adams, for the support so far.
“It has been almost two decades since the OFF became the official and sole sponsors of the Olokun Festival and other festivals across the southwest”
“It involves alot of sacrifices and commitments because for a non- governmental and non profitable organisation to have sustained this kind of cultural project for almost 20 years without any support from government, either at the state or federal level . So, we need to commend all members of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) and the entire members of the planning committee for going this far and for bringing to fore, the best of Yoruba culture and tradition, “he noted.