By Vanessa Obioha
The Lagos state government has reiterated its commitment to ensure that Lagosians enjoy premium entertainment at its upcoming week-long fiesta tagged ‘Greater Lagos Fiesta’ without fear of loss of life and property. The Honourable Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Shuli Adebolu made this known to newsmen at a press briefing at Alausa recently.
“Security and crowd control is very paramount to us so we have ensured that all hands are on deck to ensure that the fiesta is a smooth sail. We have contacted all emergency units, security agents, as well as the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) to ensure cleanliness of the selected parks for the fiesta. Regarding traffic, there will be traffic management officials on ground to ensure that there will be no traffic congestion. We have no intention of shutting down any route to allow others to go about their businesses without hindrance.”
The Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso who was present at the briefing added that “everything is being thrown into it so that we will have no negative incident, because in this kind of events, we are expecting thousands of people and we have ensured that security is guaranteed.”
Adebolu further stated that the fiesta which will kick off on Christmas Day, December 25 and reach a climax on New Year Eve, December 31 with the countdown show is poised to change the narrative. “We are changing the narrative. It is no longer a narrative that suggests a rowdy gathering. It is not a place where people will come and fight. It is a place for family to come and unwind. As such, we have lined up activities for everyone. The children can visit the Christmas Grotto where they can get gifts from Santa Claus. Everybody needs to own this as a true asset that we have, cementing our position as the entertainment hub of Africa.”
Omotoso also asserted that the whole aim of the fiesta is to use entertainment to drive the economy. “This is going to show the potential of entertainment as the big game changer in the economy.”
Apart from the musical performances that will be delivered by music superstars like Patoranking, Niniola, Naira Marley among others in the select parks in Ikeja, Lagos Island, Badagry, Ikorodu and Epe, Adebolu revealed that the show will showcase the best of our culture in food.
“We are taking the fiesta as a holistic arts and cultural thing. What we have done this year is to inject food stalls. Each venue will have 100 slots for vendors who will display our original cuisine such as local delicacies like amala and jollof rice. We generally want to inject our food and beverage and this will put the spotlight on our culture.”
Greater Lagos Festival is this administration way of continuing the long held tradition of the state to mark the yuletide season with festivities. This edition will witness 35 concerts happening simultaneously at five zones throughout the scheduled period.