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Review cost of Lagos-Calabar coastal highway, Gani Adams tells Tinubu

Aare ona kakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams, on Friday, appealed to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to review the cost of the Lagos-Calabar Coaster highway, considering the country’s present economic situation.


Iba Adams also urged President Tinubu to open Seme Border and complete the Lagos Badagry Expressway for the overall benefit of Nigeria and Nigerians.


The Yoruba generalissimo made the twin appeal during the celebration of the grand finale of the 2024 Edition of the Eledumare Festival, which took place in Ifako, Lagos.


He pointed out that as it stood right now, the budget proposed for the coastal road, which would serve the commercial interests of the South, spreading from Calabar to Cameroon, “is too costly,” and therefore, there is a need to review the cost.


“I am appealing to the Presidency to review the cost of the project considering the present economic situation in the country now,” Adams said.


Regarding the Seme border, Iba Adams, while making the call for its reopening, quickly recalled that former President Muhammadu Buhari, during his eight-year rule, constructed the rail and road from the North to Niger Republic to serve the economic interest of Nigeria and Nigerians.


He, therefore, called on President Tinubu to open the Seme Border and also complete the Lagos Badagry Expressway for the overall benefit of Nigeria and Nigerians.


“For instance, during his eight-year administration, former President Muhammadu Buhari constructed the rail and road from the North to Niger Republic. The ex-president told us that the rail project would serve the economic interest of Nigeria and Nigerians.


“On this note, I appeal to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to open the Seme Border and also complete the Lagos Badagry Expressway for the overall benefit of Nigeria and Nigerians,” the Yoruba generalissimo said.


Iba Adams described the Eledumare Festival as the mother of all festivals, insisting that the Olokun Festival Foundation (OFF) had been celebrating the festival for the past 12 years, with various programs running daily for 21 days across Lagos and Ogun states in respect of its 2024 Edition.


He also pointed out that this year’s program had cost over N50 million, adding that the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) under his leadership had done well in promoting the culture and tradition of the Yoruba race.


Meanwhile, Iba Adams has charged the Ondo State Governor, Mr. Orimisan Aiyedatiwa, and his Ekiti State counterpart, Mr. Abiodun Oyebanji, to join other states in the Southwest to recognize August 20 as Iseese Day. He said such an appeal became imperative as doing so would engender peace and unity in the two states.


The Yoruba generalissimo, while making the call, noted that governors in the six states in the Southwest were brothers and partners in progress, and therefore, there was a need for synergy among them, especially on issues that can engender regional growth and development.


This was just as Iba Adams described as commendable the official recognition of August 20 as Iseese Day in Lagos, Osun, Ogun, and Oyo states earlier, saying that the Olokun Festival Foundation (OFF) headed by him applauded the efforts of the four governors for creating the sense of identity for the traditional believers.


Speaking further, Iba Adams urged Yoruba Obas not to abandon the traditional beads, describing beads otherwise called Ileke as purely traditional adornments for the Yoruba.


Besides, he also charged various organizations, clubs, community groups, and associations across the towns and communities in Yorubaland to get themselves involved in the celebration of festivals and cultural activities of their respective towns and communities. He said they should raise funds and come up with ideas that can help in sustaining the cultural heritage of their respective communities and towns.


“In Yorubaland, the beads (Ileke) are purely traditional adornments for the Yoruba. The beads significantly bring to the fore the best honor and respect for the traditional institution.


“We can easily identify our kings and chiefs by their crowns and beads. It is this sanctity of our heritage and belief that prominent Juju musician – King Sunny Ade showcased in one of his evergreen songs when he said: ‘Ade Ori laa fin mo Oba, Ileke orun laa fi nmo ijoye,’ literally meaning: ‘A king is known by his crown and the chiefs are known by their beads.’ This is the truth about the beauty of our heritage as a race.


“But it is unfortunate that some of our traditional rulers today go out to public places without using their beads. They use chains instead.


“This is not too good for us as custodians of Yoruba culture and tradition. In Yorubaland, the beads (Ileke) usually take prominent precedence over other traditional attires and adornments. The beads usually project and also preserve modesty in our tradition. The beads are also instruments of honor. It is a complete symbol of respect for every Oba in Yorubaland.


“The beads remain the true symbol of our culture, tradition, and heritage, and we must see it as such. We can also add the chains and other modern adornments to the beads if we so desire.


“It is about the promotion of the Yoruba heritage. It is about the promotion of our culture. It is about the promotion of our identity as a race. Yoruba is blessed with many traditional attires that reflect the beauty of our culture. We stand out as a race that is very comfortable with our rich culture and tradition,” he said.


“On this note, I am appealing to all our traditional rulers to restore the dignity of the Yoruba traditional institution by putting on their traditional beads at all times, especially in public places. The beads are complete when they are used to decorate the two wrists of both hands. And it is also very beautiful as a complete symbol of Yoruba culture in dressing, fashion, and modernization,” he added.


In his remarks, the Onifako of Ifako Kingdom, Oba Oyeyinka Fatusi, urged Yoruba Obas across the Southwest to support Iba Adams in the promotion of culture and tradition.


The monarch represented by his wife, Ayaba Taiwo Fatusi, stated also that efforts should be made by all traditional rulers in Yorubaland to support the OPC in their efforts to sustain the cultural identity of Yorubaland.


“As custodians of Yoruba culture and tradition, we should be involved in the promotion of our culture and tradition, and that is exactly what Iba Gani Adams has been doing across Yorubaland for the past two decades.


“Therefore, we need to support this initiative and further explore the tourism potentials of our race,” Oba Fatusi said.


Apart from members of the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) National Executive Council (NEC) and the National Coordinating Council (NCC), royal fathers and prominent chiefs, others that graced the event include members of the Aare Onakakanfo Chiefs-in-Council, the Olokun Festival Foundation (OFF) ambassadors, among others.


They include: The Onifako of Ifako Kingdom represented by his wife, Ayaba Taiwo Fatusi.


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