‘Credit of our success goes to Alale of Ajilete, others’

From 2013, the Badagry Ayeye Ileya Fiesta has turned a major social activity which boosts economy of the historic Lagos State town. President of the group behind it, Mr Olabisi Yusuf speaks with TheTabloid.net. Excerpts

When did you form it and under what circumstances?

I want to give thanks to Almighty God for sustaining us (members of the group that started the Badagry Ayeye Ileya Fiesta since the inception. At this juncture, I would like to give honour to whom it is due in person of His Royal Majesty, Oba Kazeem Aderibigbe Amosu, the Alale of Ajilete. Prior to his ascension to the throne, at a gathering during Ileya festival celebration in Badagry 12 years back, he  muted the idea which was immediately supported by all us. This singular move heralded the birth of the fiesta which today has become a household name in Badagry.

Who was the first president?

The revered kabiyesi, of course, led us for about six years before he rose to the throne.

How did you emerge?

Few months to Kabiyesi’s selection to the stool of his forefathers, he nominated me to continue to provide leadership to this group of dedicated individuals that had been spearheading the Badagry Ayeye Ileya Fiesta”.

How cooperative are your members?

To God be the glory, and through His grace, I have provided good leadership, and with cooperation of every member, the fiesta has become what people of Badagry now look forward to every year.

What is the socio-economic importance of the fiesta to Badagry?

Badagry Ayeye Ileya has become a platform to socialize by indigenes, non indigenes, Muslims and Christians alike. Old friends renew their friendship and new friendship are forms. We usually secure the service of top musicians to entertain at the occasion. The event attracts thousands among which are royal fathers, politicians and eminent personalities from within and outsides Badagry. It also unites most Badagrians who hitheto were divided. It creates opportunities for traders to exhibit and sell their products such as soft drink, beer, wine and food. Interestingly, guests also come with food and drinks. The event usually cost us millions of naira which we raise through members and well wishers’ donations

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How far have you gone in the club stability?

Since commencement of Badagry Ayeye Ileya Fiesta in 2013, the group has not missed any edition. This attests to the leadership quality of the Alale, our pioneer leader and in whose style I continue.  Again, the successes achieved over the years could also be attributed to the maturity, dedication, commitment and resourcefulness of all members who put in all efforts in ensuring successful outcome of the event every year. The Ayeye Ileya Fiesta is usually held every second day of Ileya. Apart from contributions from individual members, we equally enjoy both financial supports and otherwise from some eminent Badagrians and chiefly among them is Hon Ibraheem Layode, the current Commissioner for Home Affairs in Lagos State.

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