By Kazeem Ugbodaga
The popular Oba Akran in Ikeja, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria will be shut down for the Lagos Street Carnival on 3 December.
Special Adviser to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode on Tourism, Arts and Culture, Adebimpe Akinsola disclosed on Sunday that the venue of the carnival would be shut down but that adequate preparations had been made for alternative routes to mitigate the impact of the road closure on motorists and residents.
Dubbed, “Lagos Street Party’’ in its maiden edition last year, the event has grown into a carnival to mark the start of the Ministry’s end of the year activities.
It is also designed to celebrate the multi-cultural nature of Lagosians and reposition the State as a formidable cultural destination.
On security, Akinsola said, “To this end, several adjoining roads would be closed on the day of the carnival while alternative routes could be accessed by road users. We like to assure Lagosians and visitors that efforts are in place to ensure that the venue and environs are safe and incident-free.
“We expect more visitors this year and a lot more will be coming. In terms of security and crowd control, the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture is not working alone. We are working with the police, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Fire service, LASAMBUS and the Lagos State Waste Management Agency (LAWMA). All of them are onboard and people are not going to see Oba Akran on Monday in a dirty state.”
“Last week, we rolled out our end of the year programme. The Lagos street carnival is to herald the yuletide season. When you talk of carnival, it is to showcase all the diversity of cultures in Lagos State.
“There is going to be an overflow all through Oba Akran; people dancing, eating, showcasing diverse cultures from different local governments and other estate groups that are resident in Lagos State.
“That was how it was done on the Island and this year we are bringing it to the mainland and of course next year, we would be looking at another location because the aim of government is to take this carnival all round Lagos.It is not a programme that would be static, but would move round across Lagos State, why because the Governor in his acceptance as the helmsman of the State promised Lagosians that he is going to run an all inclusive government where no one would be left behind, not in infrastructure alone, but in every sense of governance and he has been doing that systematically since he assumed office,” she added.
She said that through project THESE which stands for Tourism, Hospitality Entertainment and Arts and Sports to achieve that Excellence, the State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode had been turning around the State and ensuring excellence in the true sense of the word.
According to her, “Through the project, the Governor changing the narrative of Lagos as a tourism destination.
“The carnival is not only just for adults alone, the children will have their own corner where they can have fun. We have engaged a lot of artistes from different genres not only hip hop; we have hip hop artistes, Fuji, Waka, Juju, Gospel and the best of it and at the same time we have cultural groups that would be on display on that day. The carnival will start from 12 noon all through 12 midnight.
“Apart from coming to enjoy yourself, I know that small scale businesses will have the opportunity to showcase their businesses. So, aside creating an enabling environment for entertainment, we are also creating a vehicle for people in business to sell their wares.”
The line-up of artists include Olamide, Lil Kesh, Queen Salawa Abeni, Malaika, Tope Sax amongst others.
The Lagos Street Carnival is powered by the private sector to ensure that the event remains on Lagos State cultural calendar even with the succession of new administration.