Nov 10, 2022 | Tradition & Culture | 0 comments

Written By Fakunle Sheriff Ekundayo

NAFEST 2022: AJEROMI-IFELODUN DAZZLES WITH EGUNGUN ELEMELE, EMAR DANCE AT NATIONAL FESTIVAL IN ONIKAN

  • Team Rivers steal the show at NAFEST with 1,000 colourful delegation
  • Enterprising HOU on Tourism and Culture, Olajumoke Disu, Supervisor on Chieftaincy Affairs, Taofeek, makes a bold statement with a first national event in Ajegunle
  • As Ayoola continues to set the pace in grassroots administration with cultural integration, unity and peaceful co-existence

Fakunle Sheriff Ekuindayo reports

Thursday, November 19, 2022

The Mobolaji Johnson Arena in Onikan, the venue of the event, was a haven of cultural celebration as Lagos State declared open, the annual National Festival in Lagos, tagged ‘Eko Nafest 2022’.

The 35th anniversary of the event hosted under the administration of His Excellency, Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, had in attendance, delegations from over 30 States across Nigeria.

The event also afforded the 57 local governments and local council development areas in Lagos State to display the cultural heritages peculiar to each of the communities in the State.

As tradition demands at National Festival for Arts and Culture, each State shall have the rare privilege to parade before an array of dignitaries in attendance, led by the State Governor, Mr Babajide Olusola Sanwo-olu.

Team Rivers with a 1,000 delegation stole the show in what appears to be a colourful dance and marched past. They wowed and received applause from the crowd who appeared impressed at their royal regalia and flamboyant cultural display.

Speaking on the importance of the national festival, the Head of the Unit on Tourism, Cultural and Heritage Maintenance Unit, Mrs Olajumoke Disu, said Ajegunle should serve as one of the primary objectives that Nafest has continued to portray across Nigeria, adding that Ajeromi-Ifelodun Local Government is a mini Nigeria that encompasses various tribes.

“We are here today to showcase the different tribes’ culture and heritage with the display of Egungun Elemele from the Yoruba tribe and the Emar dance from the Urhobo tribe in Delta State,” she added.

On a colourful grand opening for Eko Nafest; she commended Mr Governor, Sanwo-olu for maintaining Lagos’s historical and commercial status as the centre of excellence. In her words: “Lagos is notable for showbiz, and Mr Governor didn’t disappoint with such a colourful event like this.”

She rounded off by applauding the efforts of Hon. Fatai Adekunle Ayoola, executive chairman of Ajeromi-Ifelodun Local Government, noted that his administration has successfully integrated the various cultural heritages in communities across the local government to embrace unity and peaceful co-existence.

“My boss is committed to making the culture and heritage in Ajegunle preserved and attractive for visitors to patronize, as an act of tourism,” she said.

On his part, the Supervisor for Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Taofeek, extols the importance of Egungun Elemele and Igunnu Ko, which were performed during the parade. According to him, he said: “Our culture and tradition are unique, and we are glad the younger generations are beginning to understand the importance of preserving our culture.”

Other notable dignitaries at the opening of this year’s National Festival include His Royal Majesty, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, the Olowo-Eko and Oba of Lagos, the Onirisa and Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi {Ojaja II} CFR, His Excellency Dr Kadiri Obafemi Hamzat, Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa,  Commissioner for Arts and Culture, Mrs Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf, the Erelu of Lagos, Chief Abiola Dosunmu, Director General, National Council for Arts and Culture, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, representatives of the Lagos State Ministry of Arts and Culture, lawmaker representing Ajeromi-Ifelodun constituency 2, Hon. Fatai Olatunji Oluwa, and several other invited guests.

The National Festival for Arts and Culture is an annual event designed to enhance cultural integration, and respect for tribal values and norms, in order to foster peaceful co-existence and unity across the over 500 tribes in Nigeria.

Written By Fakunle Sheriff Ekundayo

Fakunle Sheriff Ekundayo is the editor at Project 3:16 Metro, an online news platform for rural and urban areas. He is also the Principal Partner and Editor-in-Chief at Project 3:16 Metro Newspaper. His youth advocacy and academic drive have made him discover the need to bridge the gap between youths, communities, and government institutions through his journal; Project 3:16 Metro. This he has also modified with the company’s website page, www.metro316.com.ng.

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