The Governor of Lagos State Mr Akinwunmi Ambode has revealed that his government will continue to reawake the hidden treasure in indigenous traditional festivals and the originality of the culture of the people of the state. He said his Administration, will not renege in engaging and giving expression to the culture and heritage of the people of the state and set visitors mind towards appreciating our common purpose.
Disclosing this at the 2018 Zangbeto Traditional Festival held on Saturday 22nd September, 2018 at Aholu Thanji Ajido Badagry, the Governor alluded to the belief that to make appreciative progress as a people, our culture and tradition remains significant and as such must be cherished.
The Governor whose address was delivered by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr. Fola Adeyemi, declared that in ‘celebrating the rich culture and tradition of the people of Badagry and to further strengthens peace and cultural development of the environment, the government has taking initiative of making the Zangbeto festival a model of propagating affinity for all’.
Governor Ambode affirmed that in past years, ‘the festival was only celebrated by few communities in Badagry division and in instilling our policy of inclusiveness, where no one is left behind, the state government promised to organize a ground breaking festivals for all the daughters and sons of the Badagry kingdom and today, history is made’.
He said, this maiden edition of the Zangbeto festival will not only serve as a valid point for the people of Ajido town and by extension the Badagry local government but will also be instrumental in molding Badagry and making it a vocal point for tourist attraction in Lagos.
‘’I am without doubt that this festival in years to come will grow to generate meaningful economy and have a great impact in the economy of the people of Badagry. This festival promises to create employment and improve the life style of the indigene of this community and the entire Lagos State’’.
Speaking further, the Governor stated that his government is committed to the preservation, propagation and promotion of the culture and heritage of the people of Lagos State, adding that the clear promotion of indigenous culture have been demonstrated with the inclusion of Zangbeto festival in the state’s calendar of tourism event.
According to Governor Ambode, ‘’in consonance with the inclusive government policy, the state is willing to collaborate with individuals, corporate organization, other government agencies, traditional institutions to complement our efforts in promoting the rich cultural heritage of the Badagry people’’.
He however congratulated the Akran of Badagry, the Aholu of Ajido Kingdom, the Cabinet Chiefs and the indigenes of Ajido Kingdom for placing Badagry on the tourism map, assuring them of the usual government support in the next edition.
Delivering his welcome address at the festival, His Royal Majesty, the Aholu of Ajido Kingdom, Aholu Saheed Sedonu Adamson in amazement described the festival as a turning point in the history of the ancient Kingdom of Badagry, stating that it will continue to be a reference point in Lagos State and Nigeria in general.
’This event is historical and memorial because it is the first time in human history when an array of 300 Zangbeto is being exhibited made possible by the support of the state government whose desire is to make the state a destination of tourism in Sub-Saharan Africa’’
While enthusiastically highlighting the significance of Zangbeto in the community, His Royal Majesty revealed that aside the entertainment frenzy, Zangbeto is a symbol of authority as its relevance in the community peace and progress is immemorial. ‘
‘’We are indebted to the preservation and promotion of the tradition and heritage of this invaluable festival to give value and meaning to our existence, provide the coming generation the needed knowledge and deepen the voice of Africa in the global tourism community’’.
He further pointed out that the Kingdom is frantically working beyond the festival to make Ajido a clime of inquisition and inspiration for tourists, alluding to the aquatic splendor, green scenery and the dynamic people as the potential to achieve that.
‘’Our resolve in consolidating the desire of the government in proving Lagos State as the hub of tourism is a task for all and sundry as our drive to this festival include; tourism development, preservation and promotion of culture, inspiring talent discovery, promotion of economic potentials and trade exchange’’.
He expressed gratitude to the state government for the ongoing development in the Badagry region, attesting to the government proactive tendency and desire to provide good life for the people irrespective of their location.
Addressing the gathering, the Chairman of Badagry Local Government, Hon. Onilude Olusegun ascribed the festival as an expression and appreciation of human purpose, which the state government is galvanizing and portraying to the world that Africa is the theatre of culture.
‘’We are here today to celebrate culture, to celebrate tradition and to celebrate the people of Ajido for staying true to their heritage because the only link between the people and their future is their heritage, the future generation will be grateful to you’’.
While appreciating the state government for bringing the festival into reality and for keeping faith with people’s identity, Hon. Onilude assured the people of Badagry of his commitment to keep the inspiration of the people alive through cordial.