•It is celebration of freedom, cultural fusion, shared heritage of Lagosians, says Sanwo-Olu
It was a celebration of the rich culture, heritage, and tradition of Lagos State on Saturday, as residents of the State converged on the Agege Stadium for a Cultural Display and Appreciation Carretta 2023.
Lagosians trooped out in large numbers from across the five divisions of Lagos State – Ikorodu, Badagry, Ikeja, Lagos Island, and Epe, to celebrate the inauguration of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and deputy, Dr Obafemi Hamzat for a second term in office.
The kaleidoscope of colours, sounds, and emotions celebration encapsulates the rich diversity and cultural dynamism that defines Lagos as a metropolis.
During the event tagged “Lagos Cultural Extravaganza,” there were various displays, parades and dances from different masquerades, arts and cultural groups from each of the five divisions in the State.
Among the masquerades, arts and cultural groups that performed during the event, which lasted over four hours were Egungun, Igunnuko, Angere, Gelede, Agbo Remireke, Agbo Orugbo, Kori, Meu Boi, Asarokulo Agere, Zangbeto, Woro and Sato as well as Footprints of David Arts Foundation and The Brazilian Descendants Association Lagos.
The participants dressed in different costumes to showcase the rich culture, heritage and tradition of the five divisions in Lagos.
The event was attended by the First Lady of Lagos, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu; wife of the Deputy Governor, Mrs. Oluremi Hamzat; Chairman of the Inauguration Planning Committee, Mr. Tayo Ayinde; traditional rulers, Body of Permanent Secretaries and party chieftains, among others.
Governor Sanwo-Olu in his goodwill message on the Cultural Display and Appreciation Carretta 2023, described the event as a truly pan-African celebration that symbolises unity in diversity and a testament to the shared history of Lagos.
The Governor said the Lagos Cultural Extravaganza is a celebration of freedom, cultural fusion and shared heritage as Lagosians, adding that it is also a manifestation of unity amidst diversity.
He said: “Indeed, this event is more than just a festival. It is a testament to our shared history, our resilience, and our ability to transform our cultural differences into a vibrant expression of unity. It mirrors the spirit of Lagos, a city that thrives on the strength of its diversity and cherishes its unique blend of cultures.
“The myriad of costumes, the infectious rhythms of drums, the exuberant dances and the tantalizing flavours of our diverse cuisine that grace the events are all symbols of the rich cultural tapestry that is Lagos. They present the harmonious blend of various cultures that have found a home in this great city and contribute to its unique identity.”
Speaking to journalists at the event, the Chairman of the Media and Publicity Sub-committee of the second term inauguration, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso noted that the event is an indication of the commitment of the Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration to the promotion of culture and the creative industry.
He said the event is part of the activities put together by the inauguration committee headed by Mr. Tayo Ayinde to celebrate Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, and to appreciate Lagosians for re-electing them.
Omotoso said the event is a forum to show the unity and diversity of Lagos, as well as the spirit and strength of Lagos and the diverse culture in the State.
Footprints of David, a children’s arts and education advocacy group from Bariga, clinched the first position for the display of culture and performance at the end of the competitions among the masquerades, arts and cultural groups that participated in the Lagos Cultural Extravaganza, while the Zangbeto from Badagry and Ajojimale masquerade from Epe came second and third respectively.
Meanwhile, the 11-day inauguration programme will be rounded off tomorrow, Sunday with the post-inauguration Church Thanksgiving Service, which will be held simultaneously across the five divisions in Lagos.
Church services will hold on Sunday at Archbishop Vining Memorial Anglican Church, Ikeja; Freeman Methodist Cathedral Church, opposite Oba’s Palace, Badagry; Methodist Church, Ikorodu; Cathedral Church, Marina, Lagos Island; St. Patrick Anglican Church, Epe and Christ The Light Chapel, CBD, Alausa, Ikeja to round up the eleven-day activities.