By Rita Ejesieme
Between Saturday December 3 and Sunday, December4, Victoria Island, Lagos will host a large number of revellers. The event is a two-day street carnival, tagged Lagos Street party, to herald this year’s Yuletide. It’s being organised by White Stars, an entertainment promotions outfit.
Fully supported by the Lagos State government, the street party is expected to attract as many as one million fun-seekers to Ahmadu Bello Street, Victoria Island, where the event is scheduled to hold.
Executive Director of White Stars, Mr. Akin Akinyelure said the two-day street carnival would provide a forum for Lagos residents to relax and enjoy themselves for two days. The event, he explained, would be resplendent with real entertainment, great food and drinks, live music, and local games in a lovely environment.
The first day, the reporter learnt, will feature colourful cultural parades, displays, acrobatic acts and live performances by several musicians from Nigeria. Akinyelure informed that popular artistes, including Olamide, Phyno, MI Abaga, Kaffy and Ice Prince as well as disk jockeys like Humblesmith DJ Spinall, and DJ Lambo would thrill participants.
Akinyelure assured that senior citizens have been provided for at the fiesta, noting that music that appeals to the elderly would be performed at the street party. He said new artistes wishing to promote themselves would have ample opportunity to do that.
Tradesmen and artisans would also be able to exhibit their skills, as there would be an exhibition section at the carnival, he noted.
“It is the governor’s idea to help artisans and tradesmen who do not have platforms to exhibit their skill and talent. We have decided that the carnival will provide an avenue for people to exhibit their skills and talent,” Akinyelure stated.
Commissioner for Information & Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde said the carnival would showcase the state’s potential in tourism, arts and entertainment. He said at least one million people are expected at the street party.
““The street carnival is in line with Ambode’s initiative to use entertainment in driving the state economy and market the state’s potentials to domestic and foreign investors that would contribute meaningfully towards making Lagos Africa’s model megacity. It is a mega street carnival to welcome the Yuletide in an unusual way. It will also kick-start series of festivities lined up to celebrate Yuletide into New Year, he said.
He said the state government had made adequate preparation for the success of the carnival, assuring that security of life and property would be guaranteed.
“Already, adequate security arrangement has been made for the carnival with the State Police Command, Rapid Response Squad and Lagos State Taskforce on Environmental and Special Offences (Enforcement) Unit.
“Also, the Light-up Lagos initiative now gives residents confidence to drive, even walk anytime. Under the Ambode administration, almost all highways, inner-city roads and streets have been lit. Aside, security operatives patrol all nooks and crannies of the state day and night. So, we have nothing to fear at all,” he assured.
But the popular Ahmadu Bello Way, a major road on Victoria Island, would be closed for the party, even as streets Tiamiyu Savage, Akin Adesola and Bishop Oluwole would be cordoned off on December 3 and December 4. But Ayorinde stated that alternative routes would be created for motorists.
Earlier in the week, Mr. Olarenwaju Elegushi, acting Commissioner for Transportation, had said there was no cause for concern over the street party. He assured that adequate arrangement had been made to ensure that traffic flows with ease during the event.
Elegushi said traffic officers from the State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) would be deployed to the areas cordoned off to ensure that Lagos residents commute without congestion. He also explained that parking arrangements had been made around the Bar Beach to avoid undue congestion and intractable gridlock. “The premises of Eko Atlantic City have been secured to enable participants that come with their vehicles to park their vehicles,” he said.
But the commissioner advised participants not to come with their personal vehicles. “The state government has provided at least ten high occupancy vehicles (HOVs) to convey participants to and from the carnival. The vehicles will be branded and located in different parts of the state,” he said.
Noting that traffic within Victoria Island would be diverted, the commissioner explained how motorists could move with ease: “They should connect to Karimu Kotun and further to Oloosa Street with that journey terminating at the Ocean View end by Eko Hotels. Those coming from Ligali Ayorinde and Ajose Adeogun will also terminate their journey at Eko Hotels. Also, those from Civic Centre and Ozumba Mbadiwe will terminate their journey at Eko Hotels & Suites. Those residing in Eko Hotels & Suites will travel through the Roundabout to connect Sanusi Fafunwa through Akin Adesola.
“Those returning to Ahmadu Bello will use Akin Adesola from where they could connect to Falomo. Also, those going to Falomo will use Akin Adesola to connect Falomo Bridge through Saka Tinubu through Karimu Kotun and Olosa Street.”