Following the announcement of a 50 day activities for the commemoration of the much talked-about Lagos@50 by the Planning Committee, stakeholders in Ikorodu Division have condemned the non-inclusion of the division in the unveiled strings of programmes lined up for the 50-day event to celebrate the State’s Golden Jubilee anniversary.

Addressing a world press conference on Monday, 27th March, 2017, at the Banquet Hall in Lagos House, Ikeja, Co-Chair of the Lagos@50 Planning Committee, Mr Habeeb Fasinro, revealed line of events scheduled to kick off on Saturday, April 8th, 2017, arranged to commence the commemoration of the world class event, which would terminate also on Saturday, May 27th, 2017, signaling the 50th and last day of the ceremony.

Mr Fasinro had revealed that the event would kick off on the start date with a special Musical play tagged “Wakaa”, to be produced and directed by Austen-Peters, at the Muson Centre in Onikan, Lagos. The Co-Chair also had further disclosed during the press conference that a Boat Regatta Parade would hold on April 15th, in Epe, Badagry and Lagos Island, to showcase the state’s aquatic asset to residents and visitors.

He also stated that the commemoration would continue on May 1st, 2017, with a Special Workers’ Day celebration by both active and retired civil servants in the state, billed to take place at the Agege stadium. He added that on the evening of May 5th, five of the highest box office films and evergreen films would be screened to local audience in the five divisions of the state, which includes Ikeja, Badagry, Ikorodu, Lagos Island and Epe.

Mr Fasinro further revealed that All past Governors of the state would join Governor Akinwumi Ambode in council for a special State Executive Council Session, while the Judiciary and House of Assembly would hold same session on May 18th and 22nd respectively.

Going by the above timetable, Ikorodu Division is conspicuously missing on the programme of event, apart from its inclusion on movie screening. Many of the division’s stakeholders have therefore expressed their displeasure and disappointments on the anniversary programme. Many have gone on social media platforms to express their displeasure of what they tagged, marginalisation of the division by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and the 50th anniversary planning commitee.

A notable young politician and youth advocate, Mr Owolabi Anifowoshe expressed strong reservations for the composition of the committee, which included the post of its Chairman, noting that if the Life and Music of Fela Anikulapo Kuti would be on display, Ikorodu- born music greats such as Bobby Benson, Nosiru Atuwon, Bombata and Muse Agbaku should also get same recognition.

A stakeholder said he felt deep sadness after carefully looking through the programme schedule, only to see that the Ikorodu, which is one of the founding divisions of the state would not host any of the programmes, as against Epe, Badagry and Lagos Island, which would be significantly busy during the event.

Another concerned stakeholder, Princess Aderoju Ladega who said she wished the marginalisation of the division was a dream, condemned the action of the Planning Committee for over-looking the rich cultural heritage of the division, which he said could have been easily showcased to the rest of the world through such an occasion. Another also noted that the recently-concluded Liwe festival, held in Ebute-Iga, was all about showcasing boat regatta and traditional dance and songs, which was also ignored by the committee.

A community journalist and publisher of The Impact Community Newspapers, Kunle Adelabu advised concerned stakeholders in the division if it was not too late, should write a joint letter to the state government on the oversight of the committee, informing the government that the division could participate in the water regatta through Ebute-Iga or Ijede, and Igbogbo/Baiyeku water line, which links Ikorodu to Victoria Island and Ibeju Lekki.

It is instructive to note that, apart from its rich cultural and tourism heritage, Ikorodu Division also boasts of great economic potentials that is strategic to the prosperity and development of Lagos State as a whole.

It could be recalled that the Chair of the planning committee and widely renown academia; Professor Wole Soyinka with his entourage had visited the Ayangburen of Ikorodu, Oba Adewale Shotobi, in January, to seek the cooperation of the division towards the success of the Eko@50 commemoration.


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