By Idris Olukoya
Tourists and cultural enthusiasts across the globe on Thursday thronged the ancient city of Agbowa in Epe Local Government Area, Lagos State for the grand finale of Agbo Remireke festival.
The tourists and the enthusiasts included those from Nigeria, U.K, U.S, Brazil and other parts of the world.
The festival involves various socio-economic and cultural activities, including the display of artefacts and traditional dishes, dancing, singing by indigenous groups from Agbowa, Ikosi and Ejirin in Epe division.
Scores of devotees early on Thursday morning were seen rushing to the Ikosi beach to receive blessing by the river goddess before the commencement of the programme at 9.00 a.m. The event also witnessed traditional masqueraders with their followers chanting, singing and dancing along the streets of Agbowa.
hief Oladayo Sosanya, Balogun of Agbowa, said that the festival was originally meant for women.
He said that during the festival, masqueraders such as Eleku-Ilu Agbowa, Eleku-Aledo and Eleku Oriwu would come out to celebrate with the indigenes and guests.
Earlier, Mr Samson Onanuga, Chairman, Ikosi/Ejirin Local Council Development Area, urged Lagos State Government to support the celebration of the festival.
Onanuga decried the poor funding of the festival by the Lagos State Government, saying that the festival was an opportunity to showcase the cultural heritage of the people of the state.
According to him, the paucity of funds had affected the extent of the programme. Onanuga said that the socio-economic impact of the festival could not be over- emphasised.
Food vendors, souvenir sellers and other related business enterprises took advantage of the festival to market their goods and services.
The event, which started on Dec. 24 ended on Dec. 27 with a young maiden, Kosoko Agbo Remireke, who went to the river to welcome the goddess of the river.
For the people of Agbowa land, the festival represents traditional cleansing of the town and cultural reunion of the people with their ancestors and founders of the festivals.