As the stage is set for the 2021 Asa Carnival, royal fathers in Ikorodu Division of Lagos State, Southwest, Nigeria, have given their blessings and prayed for the successful staging of the annual event in Ikorodu.
The event, which showcases the rich cultural heritage of the lkorodu people, is being organized by IREP- Ikorodu Division Rebirth Foundation.
The traditional rulers also commended the Majority Leader, Lagos State House of Assembly and the initiator/convener of IREP – Ikorodu Division Rebirth Foundation, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, for his contributions to the development of tourism in lkorodu division and Lagos State through the festival.
The Asa Arokolo festival was approved by the Lagos State Government in October 2017, as one of the state-recognized festivals.
The festival, which was last staged at the Ikorodu Ferry Terminal at Ebute – Ipakodo in Ikorodu West Local Council Development Area (LCDA) of the Division, will hold at the Ikorodu Town Hall this year while popular fuji musician, Alhaji Sule Alao Malaika has billed to entertain the expected crowd of dignitaries and residents that would be in attendance.
Meanwhile, royal fathers across lkorodu division gave their respective blessings in their various palaces during the visitations led by the Co – Chairmen of IREP, Otunba Dare Odufowokan and Kunle Adelabu.
His Royal Majesty, Oba (Engr.) Kabir Shotobi, the Ayangbure of Ikorodu, who gladly welcomed the team to his palace, said that the festival has come to stay.
He commended the initiator and members of his team for sustaining the festival and contributing in no small measure to the development of tourism in Ikorodu.
The revered monarch, who prayed for a successful outing during this year’s Asa festival, also called on the state government to give more support to the development of monuments and festivals in the division.
“Asa, which is a festival that is being practiced across the Ikorodu Division, is helping in promoting our culture and tourism. It is a commendable initiative by the Opomulero of Ikorodu Kingdom and his team”, Oba Shotobi said.
The royal father said that it would be a welcome idea if the state government can take over the sponsorship of Asa to further develop it.
The Ayangbure also hinted that he has commissioned the redevelopment of Ita-Efulase to further promote tourism in Ikorodu.
The Adeboruwa of Igbogbo, Oba (Barr.) Semiudeen Orimadegun Kasali, while welcoming the IREP team to his palace, also commended them for the sustenance of the festival.
He said that the IREP – Ikorodu Division Rebirth Foundation, under Hon. S.O.B Agunbiade is doing a great job through the festival and also prayed for the success of the festival this year.
He affirmed that the entire traditional rulers in the Division are firmly in support of the effort to develop Ikorodu Division’s tourism and make it a global attraction.
The Odofin of Igbogbo, who led a special prayer session during the visit, affirmed that young people are now taking to the Asa practice in Igbogbo since the commencement of the festival by IREP.
At the palace of the Ranodu of Imota, His Royal Majesty, Oba Ajibade Bakare Agoro, FCA, wowed the IREP team with his deep native intelligence, oral tradition and sense of traditional music as he dished out various Asa songs to the admiration of his visitors.
He also sang special local songs for the Majority Leader of the Lagos Assembly and sponsor/initiator of Asa festival, Hon. S.O.B Agunbiade whom he commended for his representation and efforts in developing tourism.
The Ranodu of Imota, who also prayed for the successful outing at this year’s Asa festival, equally commended the IREP team for sustaining the tradition.
His Royal Majesty, Oba Bashir Shotonwa, the Sekumade of Ipakodo, who was very enthusiastic about seeing the IREP team like other traditional rulers, commended the team and also assured them of the support of the entire Obas in the division.
“I welcome you all to my palace and indeed commend the Majority Leader, Hon. Agunbiade, for initiating the annual festival. It has been a wonderful festival since its inception”, Sekumade said.
“We are proud of the initiative because it has propagated Ikorodu to the outside world.
“It has been a way of developing our tourism potentials and making other people outside Ikorodu be aware of our cultural heritage.
“We are going to support you because you deserve necessary support for what you are doing. Let us know which area that we can come in to further promote the festival but for this year, I am going to support you in my personal capacity”, the royal father said.
Sekumade in support of the cultural promotion by IREP gave a handsome donation for the staging of the Asa festival this year.
It was also a rousing welcome at the palace of the Obateru of Egbin , where His Royal Majesty, Oba (Dr) Akeem Adeoriyomi Oyebo, hosted members of the IREP team.
The culturally versed traditional ruler also commended the team and prayed for a successful Asa festival this year.
IREP team also visited Isiwu to get the blessing of His Royal Majesty, Oba David Raji Balogun, the Eweye of isiwu.
At Ijede, the IREP team was received by the Regent/Olisa of Ijede, His Chief Musediq Alliu when the team visited the Alajede palace.
The traditional high chief also commended and prayed for the team.
IREP – Ikorodu Rebirth Foundation announced the staging of this year’s Asa Arokolo festival about two weeks ago by unveiling its logo online.
The socio – cultural group also unveiled Alhaji Sule Adio Malaika as the official musician for the festival as well as the local fabric (Ankara) which is the official attire for this year’s festival.
The fabric, according to the organizers, is available for sales at the Hon. S.O.B. Agunbiade Constituency I Office, situated along Grammar School, Oke Ota-Ona, Ikorodu.