The Five Divisions of Lagos State are agog following the take-off of the five-day activity packed One Lagos Fiesta (OLF) on Sunday as children and adults are seen trooping to the various centres in the divisions to participate in epic programme meant to make Lagosians celebrate the end of year 2015 and enter the New Year in joyous mood.
From as early as 10am, adults and youths alike are seen trooping out in their hundreds to participate in the unique Fiesta holding simultaneously in all the Five Divisions, showcasing popular artistes with their soul lifting renditions, aside other attractions.
At the Epe Youth Centre, venue of the event in Epe, community leaders, youths, children and traders were full of appreciation for the State Government for giving them the opportunity to see, feel and enjoy the best of entertainment and fun hitherto restricted to metropolitan Lagos.
Children of all ages were also seen playing various games with some inside bouncing castles at the kiddies arena, while sponsors and traders are having swell time providing products and services and marketing promotions laced with fun to the delight of enthusiastic audience.
Major artistes such as Sound Sultan, Oritse Femi, Baba Dee, Konga and over 20 upcoming artistes thrilled the audience all day on Sunday, aside from the cultural and traditional plays and dances provided intermittently to promote the culture of the people of the area and also meet the expectation of older population and the hip hop infested youths.
A unique feature of the first day in Epe is the discovery of hidden talents, as youths displayed unique skills in dance steps, hip hop and local music genre, such as fuji.
Economic activities in the town is also upbeat following the presence of scores of traders making brisk business to over 5,000 fun seeking people who have thronged the venue from 10am till 12 midnight.
Expressing his view on the Fiesta, the Executive Secretary of Epe Local Government, Hon. Hammed Seriki lauded the State Government for ensuring an all inclusive, purposeful and unifying festival in the sleepy town of Epe, adding that the programme is a complete departure from the previous event whereby only those that can travel to Lagos Island during this period participated in the celebration at Lagos beach.
While calling on the government to make it an annual event, Seriki implored all the residents in Epe to fully participate in the five day fiesta in order to make it successful.
In Ikorodu Division, residents have unanimously commended Governor Akinwunmi Ambode for given them the unique opportunity of participating in the One Lagos Fiesta (OLF).
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the event on Sunday, the representative of Ikorodu Constituency at the Federal House of Representatives, Hon. Jimi Benson, gave kudos to Governor Ambode for decentralizing the Annual Fiesta, thereby making it possible for the grassroots to benefit from the fun and entertainment.
He acknowledged that the fiesta is in fulfillment of the campaign promise made by Governor Ambode to impact the grassroots positively and by extension align with Federal Government programme of positively engaging the youths in all its activities and programmes irrespective of location.
On his part, Majority Leader, Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. S.O.B Agunbiade stated that OLF shows the important place the youths occupied in the programme of the present administration in the state and admonished Ikorodu youths to reciprocate the kind gesture by cooperating with the State Government.
In her speech, Special Adviser to the Governor on Culture and Arts, Hon. Akinsola Adebimpe said that the decentralization of the OLF by Governor Ambode is to promote tourism at the grassroots and create a platform for the upcoming young artistes to express themselves.
The Special Adviser further stated that the OLF has afforded the Ikorodu people the unique opportunity of watching live popular artistes like Tiwa Savage, Korede Bello and Don Jazzy whom they have hitherto been watching on the small screen.
Some of the artistes who performed on Sunday at Ikorodu are Bukola, Princewill, Peace Song, Extra, Luis Summy and A.B.
Also in attendance at the fiesta were top government officials such as the State Commissioner for Tourism, Hon. Folarin Coker; Executive Secretaries; Hon. Taiwo Orenuga (Igbogbo/Baiyeku), Hon. Muyiwa Adesanya (Imota), Hon. Ajetumobi O. Abdulrasak (Ijede), Hon. Adeola Banjo (Ikd North), Hon. Wasiu Adeshina(Ikd L.G.A), Princess Adunni Oyefusi (Ikd West), Chief Amos Ayodele, Comrade Ayodele Elesho, and Alhaji Monzor Olowosago.
Ikorodu Division compromises Ikorodu Local Government, Ikorodu West, Imota, Ijede, Igbogbo/Baiyeku and Ikorodu North Local Council Development Areas.
Also in Badagry, the people and residents of Badagry town and its environs have also expressed their joy and gratitude to the State government for decentralizing the annual Lagos Countdown as they trooped out on Sunday to the Badagry Stadium for the commencement of the expanded and improved version of the Countdown.
Declaring the event open in the area, the representative of the Governor, Special Adviser on Environment, Hon. Babatunde Hunpe, thanked the good people of Badagry for their support and understanding for the present administration, reiterating the administration’s commitment to providing the dividends of democracy for all and sundry.
He stated that the decentralized One Lagos Fiesta is part of the State Government’s fulfillment of its electioneering campaign as well as efforts at bringing the Yuletide celebrations to the grassroots in order to ease the stress of people attending the end of year celebration at a centralized location which is very far from them.
On their part, the Executive Secretaries of Badagry Local Government and Badagry West Local Councils Areas, Mrs. Elizabeth Kappo and Prince Agoro Adeoluwa Joseph respectively, have expressed profound appreciation to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode for the hosting of OLF in Badagry.
They both remarked that the Fiesta is a clear indication that the present administration in Lagos State is determined to ensure equal development across all the divisions of the State.
While Kappo disclosed that her Local Government has cancelled all sectional or street organized Christmas and New Year carnivals to ensure maximum attendance at the OLF, Prince Joseph on his part said he had directed that the council’s buses to be used to convey the people to the venue for the entire period of the show to achieve the objective of the fiesta of ensuring that all Lagosians feel the impact of the Ambode administration.