17th December, 2021
By Adepote Arowojobe
Thousands of residents and indigenes of Ikorodu, Lagos State on Friday came out in colourful outfits and costumes in celebration of this year’s Asa Cultural Festival in the city.
Various cultural groups displayed their indigenous dances to the delight of visitors and dignitaries, including royal fathers from Lagos and Ogun states.
Among major attractions at this year’s Asa festival, organised by Ikorodu Rebirth Foundation (IREP), were displays by stilt walkers at the fiesta.
Speaking with newsmen on the sidelines of the cultural fiesta in Ikorodu, Sanai Agunbiade, Majority Leader, Lagos State House of Assembly, urged the state government to develop the festival into an annual tourism event.
According to him, the festival is almost going into extinction because of lack of patronage and encouragement before it was revived recently.
Agunbiade said the event would promote tourism, culture and unity among the communities in Ikorodu division.
“The Asa festival is an indigenous festival of our forefathers participated by all the people in Ikorodu division.
“Major towns like Ijede, Agura, Okeletu, Ipakodo, Odonla and others participated in the event which is also meant to unify people in Ikorodu division,” the lawmaker said.
Also speaking at the event, the state Commissioner for Tourism, Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf, said the state government recently flagged off Community Based Tourism with pilot offices in all the divisions to boost tourism and provide tour guides for tourists in the state.
According to Akinbile-Yussuf, the state also put together a documentary to showcase all the tourist attraction sites in all the divisions, including Ikorodu.
“The ministry also met with the Ikorodu LG and the LCDA’s about the pilot offices and motivation as well as conducted training for tour operators and guides on how to take visitors to different places including the Oba’s palace.
“We have done training for the tour operators and guards so that any tourist that comes will be taken to different places.
“We have also discussed with our traditional rulers to encourage anything that will be of tourist concerns,’’ she said.
In his remark, Mr Kaoli Olusanya, former Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, commended the convener for reactivating the abandoned cultural heritage of Ikorodu, adding that it would promote unity among the regions.