As a way of promoting indigenous festivals, culture and tradition for the development of Lagos tourism and culture, the State Government recently supported the celebration of the Ebi Festival in Epe area of the State.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Princess Adenike Adedoyin-Ajayi, who led some officials to witness the celebration recently, said that the involvement of the Ministry was in furtherance of preserving the culture and heritage of the people of Epe and its environs.
She expressed the willingness of the State Government to continue to support the Ebi festival because of its viability to sustaining the peace already being enjoyed by the people of Epe and also advance the progress of the ancient town.
Princess Adedoyin-Ajayi stated that the intention of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture is to be more involved in the annual celebrations with the aim of bringing the festival up to international standards and use it as a means of attracting more foreign tourists to the State.
The Oloja of Epe, Oba Kamorudeen Animashaun, who was in attendance during the Ebi festival, commended the involvement of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture in the programme.
He appreciated the support of the State Government in ensuring the successful hosting of the festival in the past few years, saying that government’s involvement served as a source of encouragement for the organisers of the annual festival.
The Oba affirmed the recognitions which the festival had received both within and outside the country, thereby promoting unity and peace within Epe environs as well as progress and prosperity for the indigenes of Epe in Diaspora.
He, however, pleaded for more government support towards the revival of other customs and festivals of the people of Epe, stressing that the government must intervene in salvaging the various cultural norms and practices from going into extinction.
Beyond using the festival to promote spiritual and ceremonial relations in the community, the traditional ruler added that the Ebi festival also serves as an avenue for entertaining individuals and groups who travel from far and wide to witness the festival.
Oba Animashaun appreciated the Lagos State Government for the preservation of the Ebi and resuscitating the festival in Epe Division, stating that it places Lagos State in a vantage position to harness myriads of benefits from promoting the rich cultural heritage of the town.
Ebi festival is a unique celebration associated with the indigenes of Epe. The celebration featured various groups including the Osugbos, the Iyalaje’s group with the Igba Aje among others.
There was a dance display, horse riding, praise-singing of deities and several other cultural activities that showcased the rich cultural heritage of the people of Epe to the attendees.