Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State yesterday unveiled the Asa traditional festival to further promote the tourism and culture of the people of Ikorodu division in the eastern axis of the state. Also unveiled same day is a statue of Asa, a masquerade that walks on long stilt sticks, erected at the Ogolonto end of Ikorodu road.
The elaborate event was graced by many traditional rulers led by the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, who was ably represented by his staff of office brought to the ceremony by a team of royal father from Osun State. The Lagos State acting Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Hon. Mrs. Adebimpe Akinsola, who represented the governor, said the state government has decided to recognize the festival as an annual event.
The ceremony also featured the launch of “Asa Arokolo”, a book on the practice and culture of Asa, published by Ikorodu Division Rebirth Foundation. Dignitaries and other guests at the event lauded the initiative and urged the foundation to urgently beam its searchlight on other endangered cultural and tourism potentials in the area.
“Asa is a popular cultural heritage in Ikorodu which had been long forgotten. As an indigene of Ikorodu, I have known Asa since my childhood days as one of the cultural practices of our people all over Ikorodu. But suddenly it started to fade away. Ikorodu is blessed with so many cultural endowments and the government of Lagos State is grateful to those who helped to revive this culture,” Akinshola said while presenting a certificate of recognition to IREP.
Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, Majority Leader, Lagos State House of Assembly and convener of the foundation, who initiated rebirth of the festival, thanked the Lagos State government for encouraging the effort. “We have revived this culture in the six divisions of Ikorodu. Just like Eyo festival is celebrated on Lagos Island, we want to be celebrating this too in our community annually,” he said.

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