Gov. Ambode, Jagaban, Others Celebrate Eyo In Lagos
Heavy as the early morning rain was in Lagos on Saturday May 20, 2017, thousands of Lagos State residents braced it to witness this year’s Eyo Festival. Those from Yoruba extraction believe the ritual is used to welcome their own “Adamu Orisa’ popularly called Eyo festival. But students of modernism admonished that if Lagos were to actually be a contemporary mega city, festivals or events that promote human rituals should be condemned in its entirety.
Coincidentally, this year’s edition of the annual event coincided with 50th birthday of Lagos State. Days to the event, a good number of corporate organisations in the metropolis issues caution to their staff to be extremely careful during the festival, which got discerning minds worried.
The Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, which is a festival held every year in Brazil before Lent and considered the biggest carnival in the world with 2 million people per day on the streets attract millions of people from all over the world and at no time do companies issue warning or caution to their staff for fear of being killed for rituals during the festival, which is why a lot of people still worry why people still get scared in Lagos anytime Eyo or Oro festivals are celebrated. The first festivals of Rio date back to 1723 while historians believe that the first procession in Lagos was on the 20th of February, 1854, to commemorate the life of then Oba Akintoye.
By the way, Governor Akinwunmi Amobode marked this year’s festival with fanfare. Deservedly so given the number of projects he was able to accomplish in his two years in office. And so he was joined in the celebration by Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, All Progressives Congress (APC) national leader, Senator Bola Tinubu and thousands of Lagos State residents that are happy with the performance of the governor so far.
Lagos State was created from the old Western Region on May 27, 1967 by the then Military Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, who appointed Brig. Gen. Mobolaji Johnson to serve as the first military governor of Lagos State. People described the rainfall as a sign that the gods of the land were pleased with the celebrations and with the present administration of Lagos State led by Governor Ambode.
Mr Jacob Kehinde, an indigene of “Eko’ the Yoruba name for Lagos city, told NAN that the array of white regalia and costumes was a true replica of the culture and traditions of the indigenes of Lagos Island. According to him, the festival was a theatrical display and pageantry that highlights and showcases the rich indigenous history of the people and Lagos city. “Everything done in this festival is showcasing what we have as a people and what our culture entails.
“Lagos is a tourist attraction centre and we must use this medium to showcase sites while we celebrate Lagos as a state,’’ he said. Also, Mr Taofeek Adebisi, a freelance journalist, advised Africans and the general public to seek knowledge rather than attributing Eyo festival to a fetish practice. “I was born and breed as a Muslim on the mainland of Lagos and over the years I have been made to believe that Eyo masquerade dance is diabolic. “On the contrary, it is not true because I have been going around town with the guys dancing since 10p.m. on Friday night and I have not seen anyone pouring libations to any deity. “Eyo is all about fun and nothing else, but, pure fun,’’ he said.