Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, the Founder/Scout Master, IREP – Ikorodu Division Rebirth Foundation and the Majority Leader, Lagos State House of Assembly, has assured the traditional rulers, stakeholders and other residents of Ikorodu Division of Lagos State, Southwest, Nigeria, that this year’s Asa festival will permanently place the cultural values of the division on global tourism map.
The lawmaker, who has been representing the people of Ikorodu Constituency II since 2007 at the State House of Assembly, made this assurance in an interview with THE IMPACT during the unveiling of 2019 Asa festival’s logo.
He stated that the focus of this year’s edition coming up in November would be to resonate and propagate cultural values of the people in Ikorodu division.
The logo for this year’s festival was recently unveiled by the six royal fathers in Ikorodu Division at the Ayangbure palace in Ikorodu.
The IREP team had on Thursday, July 25 , 2019, visited the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to intimate him on the preparations for this year’s state recognized Asa festival .
Mr Tayo Ayinde, the Chief of Staff to the Governor, who hosted the IREP team led by its Co-Chairman, Kunle Adelabu, assured the team of government’s support for the festival.
There had also been visit to His Royal Highness, Oba Timothy Oyesola Akinsanya, Orungba II, the Ewusi of Makunland, and Asa families in Makun.
Hon Agunbiade stated that this year’s Asa festival wou be used to propagate the Asa cultural display and as well as the culture of Ikorodu people.
“For this year’s festival, we are celebrating ‘Asa’, (the man on the delicate still sticks) and ‘Asa’, our culture. The focus is to ensure that we resonate, propagate and develop the culture of Ikorodu division.
“This year, we are going outside Lagos State to bring people with same cultural background from Ogun State to Ikorodu to participate in the festival. Our research has shown that they also have communities practicing Asa as part of their culture.
We also have those outside Nigeria like Dublin, Haiti and other Carribean Islands. We have also traced the history to the fact that those that practice Asa in the Carribean Islands and other areas have their roots in Nigeria”, he revealed.
While assuring that the festival would be peaceful, Hon. Agunbiade also added that necessary attention would be accorded to providing maximum security at the festival.
“Asa means a lot of things to the people and unifies them as long as Ikorodu division is concerned.
“I do not foresee any security challenge at all because festival brings people together and they are usually happy when staging it. The last time that we staged the festival, we had enough security apparatus on ground and we are going to improve on it during this year’s edition.
“It’s a time of joy, solidarity, unity and you will see that people will come together voluntarily and happily and everything will be amicably done. There are going to be lots of pomp and pageantry. I can assure you that people will comport themselves and they will be happy with the development”.
He also stated that massive publicity will be deployed for the festival.
“In 2017, we had people that came from abroad to attend the festival and we are still expecting sons and daughters of Ikorodu and tourists to attend this year’s festival in November. The only thing is that we are trying to keep the information to ourselves because we are yet to brief our kabiyesis but now that we have done that, we will be rolling out massive publicity.
“Publicity will continue after the unveiling today. More information would be out and we are expecting more participants from other parts of the country and in diasporas. Our publicity will be on all social media, daily newspapers and other avenues.
“We are really going to ensure that this Asa festival becomes a foremost festival that Ikorodu division will bequeath to the world and the focus is to give our identity to the world because a people without culture have no identity. We are trying to let people know that this is what we are as a people “.