-Our aim is to revive, document and make Asa, other cultural displays tourism attractions in Ikorodu division– Hon. Agunbiade
The Governor of Lagos State, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, the Ooni of Ife, Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudasiru Obasa, among other dignitaries will grace the inugural edition of Asa Carnival slated to hold tomorrow (Saturday, November 4,2017) at the Ferry Terminal, Ebute, Ikorodu by 10am.
Also expected to attend the cultural display is the acting Commissioner for Tourism, Arts & Culture, Hon. Adebimpe Akinsola as well as royal fathers in Ikorodu division and across Lagos State.
As part of the activities lined up for the event, Governor Ambode and other dignitaries would commission the 13fts Asa statue sponsored by Hon. Sanai Agunbiade on behalf of IREP-Ikorodu Division Rebirth Foundation, the organiser of the carnival.
More so, members of the Lagos State House of Assembly, members of the state executive council, members of the international community, especially the diplomatic corps, academia, tarditional chiefs and other dignitaries from all walks of life are expected to grace the event.
According to the press release by the organizer, the socio-cultural and research-based group was formed to revive the dying cultural values of Ikorodu division and develop there tourism potentials.
“It was formed to connect the past to the present for the future. Hence, it’s aimed to revive and propagate festivals and monuments of cultural values and tourism potentials in Ikorodu Division.”
The release also stated that IREP decided to embark on the Asa Project “to revive and propagate the dying culture of Asa in Ikorodu Division, to get the Government of Lagos State to recognise and approve Asa as a cultural festival to be celebrated in Ikorodu Division and to document for the world and the generations yet unborn the cultural values, socio – economic and tourism potentials of Asa culture.”
In preparing for the festival, IREP, which is an initiative of Hon. Agunbiade, the Majority Leader of the Lagos State House of Assembly, has “erected a statue of Asa at the Ogolonto point of entry to Ikorodu, produced 40 pieces of miniature statue of Asa to serve as official gift items of Obas in the division to important dignitaries and also produced a 120-page book on culture and practice of Asa (to be launched at the event).”
The group has also suceeded “in reviving Asa culture across Ikorodu Division, especially in Imota, Ijomu, Isele, Agura, Odo-Nla and Igbogbo,and these towns are equipped and ready to parade Asa on the carnival day.”
According to the group, before embarking on the project, only Aga area of Ikorodu could boast of enggaing in Asa display at minimal level.
Also, “it has mobilised close to a hundred Asa to perform in different colours at the Carnival and has also succeeded in getting Asa festival registered as an annual cultural festival in Ikorodu Division of Lagos State. This is a feat we achieved with the assistance of one of our own, Hon.(Mrs) Adebimpe Akinsola.
Appealing for the support of the entire residents of Ikorodu division, the Convener/Scout Master of IREP, Hon. Agunbiade stated, “We plead with the good people of Ikorodu division to accept and support this initiative and gesture as our own modest contribution to the cultural image of the division, capable of boosting the economic and tourism potential of Ikorodu division.
“I declare so publicly here that all expenses so far made in respect of this Asa project and carnival are personal finances. We plead with those currently going about to incite the public against the project to please desist. We frown at the unsuccessful attack on the statue at Ogolonto junction and the destruction of the carnival banners around the axis. This callousness is unfair to the selfless efforts we have invested in this community project”, Hon. Agunbiade stated.
The much awaited event will witness cultural parades by different Asa groups.
Among the artistes expected to perform at the carnival are Alhaji Wasiu Alabi Pasuma, Fatai Akande Valentine, Qdot and Fabo among others.