Eyo Festival to meet modern standard - Oba Akiolu
By NKIRU EVONGWA
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
•Photo: Sun News Publishing
The Oba of Lagos State, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, has assured Lagosians and lovers of the Eyo Festival that this year’s festival is going to be modernized to meet today’s standard.
The Oba, who said this at a press conference on Tuesday at the Iga Iduganran Palace gave insight into the forthcoming festival, which would be held at the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS), assuring that adequate provisions have been made for security to avert crimes and break down of law and order.
According to him, the festival would not only usher in good tidings and blessings for Lagosians, it would also expose to the entire world the rich cultural heritage of the nation.
His words: “Eyo ushers in good tidings, blessings and the best for Lagosians and Nigeria as a whole. The Oba-in-council in his wisdom decided that since the world is now global, the 2009 Eyo Festival is going to be modernized to meet modern standards. We want to expose to the entire world the rich culture of Lagosians; we want people to sit in relaxed atmosphere at the TBS to see what the festival is all about.
“In Eyo Festival, you hear – moyo fun e, moyo fun ara mi- (meaning I rejoice with you and with myself.) Eyo is a festival of peace and blessing, far from the rough way people see it,” urging all participants to keep peace, take every thing lightly and obey rules and regulations of the day as he prayed for a successful festival.
In his contribution, the Chairman organizing committee of the event, Mr. Disun Holloway, said although the security level on Lagos Island with particular emphasis on the TBS would be noticeably increased from Friday evening to Saturday mid-night, other things, which would spark up troubles, should be avoided.
Enumerating the rule to guide the day, Holloway said: “It is forbidden to take photographs of the Adimu, Alakete Pupa, Oniko, Ologede and Agere groups,” saying this could spark up trouble from these groups of eyo which may be disastrous.
Other rules include that, “slippers are not worn near the Eyo masquerades, smoking of cigarettes or pipes near the masquerades, bicycles and motor bikes must not be ridden near the masquerades, and wearing of caps, hats and other head wears near the masquerades, except for the exemption of religious head wares.
Arrangements, according to him, have also been put in place to provide free buses to convey people from various destinations in the state to the venue of the event. The buses which are more than 300 in number would commence operation from 6.30 am to 2.30 pm on that day and they would be loading at strategic places at Epe, Badagry, Ikorodu and greater metropolis to TBS.
In his address, the official sponsor of the event, Globacom, represented by Mr. Fola Aderibigbe said: “The Eyo Festival constitutes one of the best cultural export potentials from Nigeria as a whole. The advantage of this is that it is both propitiatory and celebratory in nature.”