History was made in Ikorodu, on Wednesday April 12, 2017 when the Ikorodu Renaissance Project (IREP) foundation, a research-based organization, established by the indefatigable Majority Leader of Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon S.O.B Agunbiade recorded an unprecedented feat, by hosting a 13 feet high Asa statue at the Ogolonto end of the Ikorodu Mile 12 road.
This development may have put paid to the widespread criticism and protest that followed the recent release of the Lagos at 50 anniversary event across Ikorodu division, due to the perceived exclusion of the division from the 50 day programme of activities.
The probability of a re-occurrence of the unfortunate incident may have become a foregone conclusion, with the hosting of the Asa statue by Ikorodu Division Renaissance Project Foundation, IREP. IREP is the body constituted and sponsored by Hon SOB Agunbiade since 2013, with a view to research, document and project the enormous tourism and cultural assets of Ikorodu division to the outside world.
Speaking at the site of the Asa statue, Hon Agunbaide reiterated his determination to give the entire Ikorodu division a prominent position of reckoning among other comity of divisions in Lagos state with special cultural and tourism heritage.
Revealing the inspiration behind the cultural re-birth project he said ‘I was inspired to embark on the project when myself and other delegates at the Dublin 2013 International Bar Association conference were entertained with Asa cultural display, at the opening ceremony of the conference. It then dawned on me that, what we don’t appreciate back home and is gradually going into extinction has such a great tourist potentials.
This, according to Hon Agunbiade is what gave birth to the IREP as the vehicle for driving the re-birth, documentation and projection of the cultural renaissance of the entire Ikorodu division.
Some of the custodians of the Asa cultural heritage, known as the Eleku’s from Aga, Ijomu and Parafa were full of praises for the majority leader, stating that, for the singular act, Hon Agunbiade has done what no man has ever done, in the history of Ikorodu division.
Two former Lagos state commissioners, Asipa Kaoli Olusanya and Sir Ayodele Elesho who witnessed the historic event praised Hon S.O.B Agunbiade for the initiative, stating that, at last, Ikorodu would be known for a particular cultural identity, same way Eyo festival is peculiar to Lagos Island.
Also speaking on the sideline of the historic event, Alashe of Ebute-Iga, Prince Abiola Kosoko reiterated that, Ikorodu Division is well endowed with many cultural heritages, stating that the unveiling of the Asa statue by IREP was just the beginning of many great things to come from the division.