Some community leaders in Epe Division, Lagos state, have expressed their optimism that Epe would be the most preferred arts, culture, tradition and tourism destination in Lagos state and indeed Nigeria as a whole.
They told the News Agency of Nigeria in separate interviews in Epe, on Monday, following the outcome of the just-concluded kayokayo festival, an Indegenous/heritage festival celebrated annually in Epe to mark a new year Islamic calender.
They said that the influx of visitors, tourists, investors and government present in the just-concluded kayokayo festival has shown that Epe would be the most tourism destination in Lagos state and Nigeria at large.
According to Ms Surah Animashaun, the Chairman, Epe Local Government, she would do all humanly possible to promote the traditions, arts, culture and tourism potential of Epe Division to the world.
She said that Epe has all it takes to put its tourism potential/assets to the world map.
Animashaun mentioned some of the tourism and heritage potentials as; Eebi, Kilajolu, okoshi and kayokayo festivals.
Others includes: tourism sites such as; Sungbo eredo, marina waterfront, Epe fish market, Iroko sacred tree, hotels, restaurants, first post office in Nigeria, Oja Ejirin, waterfall to mention but few.
“All the aforementioned tourism potentials are capable of putting Epe into the world map, if properly utilised.
“I will support and promote the tourism potential of Epe to the world.
“One of my administration ‘s topmost priority is tourism sector, I am ready to reposition the industry to enviable heights,” she said.
Prof. Nosirudeed Onibon, Provost, Michael Otedola College of Primary Education, expressed optimism in the development of culture, arts and tourism industry in Epe Division.
He asserted that the face of tourism in Epe Division is wearing a new look now.
Onibon commended the upcoming young and vibrant youths who put up a stage play on the journey of King kosoko to Epe at Lagos theatre hall in Epe.
“The stage play is a chronicle of King Kosoko, a divine voyager, a dramatic journey, travails and settlement in Epe kingdom.
“The cultural group are students of Michael Otedola College of Primary Education. Their stage performance is commendable.
“I will support the cultural group in the area where necessary, ” he said.
Also, Mr Olabode Gabadeen, the former Commmissioner, Local government service commission, urged the government to support and promote cultural heritages and festivals across the state.
“The government are doing their best but they can still do more.
“We have other areas of tourism, arts and culture yet untapped. The government needs to look inward and tap from the tourism potentials at the grassroots,” he said.
Gabadeen called on private, public organisations and individuals to imbibe the culture of maintaining government/public properties.
“The Lagos theatre hall used for the kayokayo festival stage play needs to be maintained at all times.
“We need to imbibe the culture of maintainance. If government properties are well maintained, it will help to generate more revenues,” he said.
Mr Wale Raji, Member, house of representatives, Epe Federal Constituency, said that the ancient Epe community has been witnessing tremendous changes and development under the leadership of this present administration, led by Ms Surah Animashaun, Chairman, Epe local government.
He said Animashaun was the first female chairman in the history of Epe Division and she has proved herself worthy and capable to handle the seat.
“Surah is the first female local government chairman in Epe Division and I am happy with what the female folks is doing towards the community development.
“She is a tourism enthusiast and she has been performing well in that regards and in other areas of socioeconomic development,” he said. (NAN)