Mr Adeleke Akadiri is a former Chairman, National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), Ikorodu Lcal Government Chapter, a notable beer distributor in Ikorodu and a partner of IKODASS and one of the initiators of Beer Village at the just concluded Ikorodu-Oga Day Carnival. In this interview with THE IMPACT Publisher/Reporter-in-Chief, Kunle Adelabu, he bore his mind on the idea of using cultural celebration to positively impact on the economic and social lives of residents in Ikorodu, the idea of Beer Village during the annual Ikorodu-Oga Day Carnival, Market Expo and future plans for the annual cultural celebration in Ikorodu. Excerpts:
IMPACT: As a major stakeholder in the annual Ikorodu-Oga Day Celebration, what is your view on this year’s edition of the celebration that was just concluded?
Akadiri: First and foremost, we have to thank God Almighty because every good idea and initiative comes from Him. What we are witnessing now in Ikorodu has been foresaw years back. Thank God for the leadership and frontrunners of Ikorodu-Oga Development Association who have seen part of what we discovered then that we must use the cultural celebration to empower people economically. That was what brought about the Beer Village initiative and also the partnership with International Breweries, the makers of Trophy.
We are working on other organisations to take over the sponsorship of the daily activities of Ikorodu-Oga celebration, both indoor and outdoor programmes, from next year. What we are just seeking for is understanding, cooperation and support from all and sundry in Ikorodu.
IMPACT: You mentioned that the annual cultural celebration (Ikorodu-Oga Day Carnival) was reviewed in order to use it to economically empower the people. In this wise, what is your view about the Ikorodu-Oga Market Expo introduced last year as part of the celebration?
Akadiri: The Market Expo is a welcome development. It is part of the economic empowerment through culture. What brought about the Market Expo is the Beer Village initiative. During the Ikorodu-Oga Day celebration, people normally go back home in the afternoon when programmes are over but we thought that people must feel the festive nature of celebration and since we have introduced this innovation (Market Expo), people usually crave for Ikorodu-Oga Day celebration months before its actual celebration in November. The invention of the Market Expo is a welcome idea that has come to stay. By next year, we would see to it that it is repackaged and taking beyond what we are having now. It is a very good and laudable idea, but we must focus more on promoting local products and services.
IMPACT: What should residents of Ikorodu, fun seekers and others be looking forward to in the 2020 edition of the Ikorodu-Oga Day celebration in terms of new innovations?
Akadiri: What we should be thinking about now is how all of us can rally round IKODASS and see how to make the association succeed. The association needs money to sustain itself. We are expecting more support for the body through our contacts and external relationship with multi-national companies which some of us have started working on. We are looking at ways of making different companies take over the sponsorship of one programme or the other during the annual Ikorodu Oga Day celebration and at the level, the platform would be enough for everybody to leverage on.