World Tourism Day 2022: Eko Oni Baje Festival highlights Culture, Peaceful Co-existence In Lagos
The 2022 edition of Eko Oni Baje Festival will be highlighting culture and peaceful co-existence in Lagos as its core focus when the grand finale of the annual event opens on September 27 to October 2, 2022.
The event, which will hold at the Festival Ground, ABAT CBD Market, Elesakan, Ibeju Lekki, Lagos, as one of Nigeria’s offerings to the World Tourism Day event, has outlined programmes that will foster peaceful co-existence amongst the various ethnic nationalities in Lagos, and would feature activities such as: New Yam Festival, Soccer Competition, Children’s Art Competition/Exhibition, Beauty pageantry and Traditional Wrestling contest.
Unveiling the 2022 programme, the Project Coordinator of Castledown Arts Centre, curators of the festival, Ozo Chinedu Idezuna, said this year’s edition is strategic, considering that Nigeria is preparing for general elections a few months from now.
“We are excited to announce that everything is set for the 14th annual Eko Oni Baje New Yam Festival, which has over the years served as the cultural hub of Lagos State, where the various ethnic groups in the state, gather to celebrate our cultures by understanding our differences and strengthening our bond of unity as a nation. As we head into a crucial election year, the event will no less stress our common purpose as a nation, which is to foster peaceful co-existence amongst all the tribes co-habiting in Lagos.”
“We will continue to stress that while making our political preferences, peace must be at the back of our minds. Our message remains that Nigeria is one. The Festival has always highlighted what unites us as Nigerians, and that is our culture, expressed through sports, our cuisine, the yam as a crop and our beautiful women. The average Nigerian has no problem with people from other ethnic groups. He interacts with his compatriots as neighbours at business places and in the various estates. We should not allow anyone divide us with politics. We need peace.”
The 2022 edition of the festival is being held in partnership with the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, NTDC and Grandmaster range of drinks.
It will be recalled the the Eko Oni Baje New Yam Festival started 18 years ago and has become an important part of the tourism calendar of Lagos State because its strategic role during the annual World Tourism Day celebration. Its essence has been to highlight the rich cultural heritage of Nigeria, using the yam crop, which holds a special place amongst the various ethnic groups in the country.
Castledown Arts Centre, ounded by Chinedu Idezuna, the centre, which acts as the curators of the popular Eko Oni Baje Festival, has been at the forefront of promoting arts and tourism in Lagos, with a multicultural council of stakeholders who are driven by the passion to keep Nigeria united by celebrating her rich cultural heritage.