LAGOS CELEBRATES ITS 50TH ANNIVERSARY IN GRAND STYLE
By Orhungul ‘OD’ Usha
The history of Nigeria and its beautiful people is littered with historical events with some glorious, noteworthy, and joyful while some others, tragic. The year 1967 would be forever etched as one of the darkest years in Nigerian history in the hearts of Nigerians as the massacres that would go on to birth the Nigerian civil war took place. 50 years later and Nigerians are celebrating the date, not because of its tragedies however but because the country’s most enterprising state, Lagos state was created.
Brief overview of Lagos State
Lagos, sometimes referred to as Lagos State to distinguish it from Lagos Metropolitan Area, is a state located in the southwestern geopolitical zone of Nigeria. The smallest in area of Nigeria’s 36 states, Lagos State is arguably the most economically important state of the country, containing Lagos, the nation’s largest urban area. It is a major financial centre and would be the fifth largest economy in Africa, if it were a country.
Lagos, the city, along with other towns in the region were captured to create the state of Lagos on 27 May 1967, with the State becoming fully recognized as a semi-autonomous administrative division on 11 April 1968. Lagos served the dual role of being the State and Federal Capital until 1976, when the capital of the State was moved to Ikeja. After the full establishment of the Federal Capital Territory, the seat of the Federal Government was also formally relocated to Abuja on 12 December 1991. Nevertheless, Lagos still remains the financial centre of the country, and also grew to become the most populous city in the state and the country.
Lagos @ 50
To celebrate the milestone that is Lagos @ 50, the Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode began preparations as far back as last year with the inauguration of the 10 man committee for Lagos @ 50 celebrations which is headed by Nobel laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka. It is reported that the budget for the planning and execution of all the events in the celebrations ran over 4 billion naira!
The festivities begun proper this year however in “The Final Weeks” spanning from April 8 through to May 28 beginning with “Wakaa: The Musical” at the Terra Arena, Victoria Island and culminating in the Golden Jubilee concert on Sunday night.
Golden Jubilee Concert
The Golden Jubilee concert was a lively rendition of Nigerian musical talent as some of the countries best acts such as Tuface Idibia, Banky W, Terry G, Dj Spinall amongst others graced the stage to climax the spirit of the entire Lagos @ 50 celebrations. Social media was left agog in the wake of the nights performances.
Another occasion of note which attracted international interest during the festivities was the Eyo festival that saw lagos fully embrace it’s cultural heritage as there were masquarade displays and parades from the likes of the Eyo Olegede & Eyo Etti.
The International Conference
What would all the celebrations and parties be doing for the future of the state without an interactive and educative forum to drive the state to new heights? Enter the “International Conference: Towards a Smart Lagos”. The conference lived up to it’s promise as it was very insightful, educative and informative, Senior Professors from varying walks of life were in attendance and spoke about different ways of creating a smart and efficient Lagos. Dignitaries also present at the conference Include; Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, Prof. Wole Soyinka, The Commissioner For Finance Lagos state, Chairman, Lekki Free Trade Zone Company amongst others.
Lagos @ 50 Anniversary Gala Night
As part of the 50th anniversary celebration of Lagos State, the state Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode hosted a gala night to round up the months long event. The event had in attendance several dignitaries including the former governor of the state and National Leader of the All Progressive Congress, APC, Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Others at the event include the Acting president of the country, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo and the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu I. The Gala Night held at the Lagos House, Ikeja, on Saturday, May 27, 2017.
About the author
Orhungul Usha is a sucker for blogging and social media trends. Meme Over-lord and John Grisham wanna be who listens to music 25 hours a day. He is Also pretty handy with art and graphic designs.