Saturday, November 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.
It was a celebration of songs, chants and colours at the 2011 installment of the Annual Eyo Festival.
The event was graced by the Lagos state governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola, the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, and many other dignitaries.
The relatively peaceful event saw a parade of different Eyo groups all clad in the regular Eyo robe while spotting unique colours on their hats and decorations on their canes.
Opening the parade were the lesser but flamboyant groups including the Eyo Iga Bajulaye parading it’s warlord on a horse, the Akogun green spotting a green theme on their robe and the Olokun group coming out in all white as they clap their canes in rhythm to their chants.
The five major different Eyo groups came in tow afterwards in an ascending rank order. The Eyo Agere appeared in their thematic purple coloured accessories while the Ologede followed with green patterned hats and cane. The Oniko and Alakete Pupa followed with yellow and red decorations respectively.
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.
While speaking at the cultural festival unique to only Lagos Island, governor Fashola described the festival as a cultural celebration of transition. He implored Lagosians to be introspective during the celebration and remember the significance of the festival and also highlighted the economic gains of the festival.
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 festival was closed by the head of the Eyo group, the black hat Eyo Adimu.