Aareonakakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams, has said the peace and tranquility enjoyed in Badagry and its environs was as a result of the spiritual support from the Olokun deity, adding that this year’s edition of Olokun Festival has the potential of boosting the economy of Lagos state and also enhance eco-tourism of the host community.
Speaking on Monday in Lagos at a briefing to unveil the programmes for this year’s edition of the Olokun Festival, Iba Gani Adams, who is also the chief promoter of Olokun Festival Foundation,(OFF) revealed that the annual fiesta has made significant impacts in boosting the economy of the ancient town and the entire state.
“This year’s festival is unique because it will open up the tourism space of the historic town. About 100, 000 people, including tourists and traditional rulers will grace the grand finale, and you know what that means in terms of business opportunities? We are ready to beef up the security and the atmosphere will be conducive for visitors that are coming from every part of the world,” he said.
“It will be a long week of activities, and part of the activities lined up for this year’s edition of Olokun Festival, include Prayer to almighty God, quiz competition for selected primary schools in the state, arts exhibitions and beauty pageant,
“Other programmes include beach soccer, festival float, boat regatta and Olosa Gala, with the grand finale coming up on Wednesday October 27,”
Iba Adams, also reiterated the need to use festivals as tools to project the culture and tradition of the Yoruba race, insisting that the grand finale is majorly a reflection of the sanctity of the Olokun Deity.
“This year, we want to showcase the spiritual prowess of the Olokun by showcasing the Arugba Aje Olokun as the spiritual symbol of the grand finale. Olokun Festival Foundation (OFF) would explore the beauty of the grand finale to the fullest.
“In fact, the Arugba Aje Olokun is not an ordinary creation of human thinking, it is the originating symbol of the Olokun spirit that showcases the peace and tranquility that Badagry and its environs is enjoying till date.”
The Yoruba generalissimo also stated further that the Olokun deity has a special blessing for Lagos state.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the Olokun Festival planning committee, Ambassador Muyiwa Osinaike, in his remarks said: “A window of opportunities will be provided for traders to do their businesses and visitors will also know more about the Badagry ancestry, culture as well as the tradition of the people.
“The event is basically, to explore the potentials of nature and revive the tradition of the people of the ancient town, and I think with the programme coming up as planned, we are going to make the best use of our time, “
He expressed his appreciation to the chief promoter of Olokun Festival Foundation,(OFF) Iba Adams for the support so far.
“It has been two decades of cultural transformation. It is indeed, a wonderful experience being the Chairman of the Olokun Festival committee.
“It involves a lot of sacrifices and commitments because for a non- governmental and non profitable organisation to have sustained this kind of cultural project for 20 years without any support from either the state or federal government is awesome. Therefore, we need to commend all members of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) and the entire members of the planning committee for going this far and for bringing to the fore, the best of Yoruba culture and tradition,” he noted.