Lagos State Governor, Sanwo-Olu, has handed over Badagry and Epe Theatres to residents, where he urged residents to take ownership of the ultra-modern theatres. The Badagry and Epe Theatres were built by the State Government in the two ancient towns, to boost tourism activities.
According to the statement made available on Wednesday by the Lagos State government, stated that Governor Sanwo-Olu, who handed over the Badagry and Epe theatres separately on 5th and 12th of December 2020, respectively, said that the construction of the theatres in Badagry and Epe was deliberate, considering the historical value of the two towns to tourism activities within the State and the country as a whole.
Sanwo-Olu, speaking through his Special Adviser on Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr. Solomon Bonu, said that the hand-over ceremony, which was preceded by different theatrical performances led by the cultural troupe from the Lagos State Council for Arts and Culture, was meant to provide a sneak-peek of what to expect from the ultra-modern facilities going forward.
He explained that the sudden outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic had, to a large extent, prevented the facility from operating at its optimum capacity, envisaging that a decline in the virus spread will enable tourism activities kick-off again soon.
Expressing disappointment at the looting and vandalisation of a replica of the theatres in Oregun by a government-sponsored thugs during the heat of the #EndSARS protest in Lagos, Bonu commended the youths and entire residents of Badagry and Epe for protecting government infrastructure within their domains while the protest lasted.
In his words: “Let me reiterate that government property also belongs to us. It is meant solely for our growth and development. You will agree with me that our biggest theatre stars started their career on stage. Papa Ajasco, for instance, has been in the game for many decades and we also have young people who are looking up to him by learning how to act on stage theatres”.
Also speaking at the hand-over of Epe Theatre, the Alara of Ilara Kingdom, Oba Olufolarin Ogunsanwo, described it as a world-class facility similar to that of developed countries and appreciated the State Government for the hand-over of the monument to the good people of Epe.
The Monarch also thanked all kings in the division for their incredible support to the present administration, stressing that without their continued support for the government, the project would not have been a reality.
Also reacting to the development, the Council Chairman of Eredo LCDA, Mr. Adeniyi Soliu pledged the commitment of the division to ensuring that the facility is managed for the benefit of Epe people while also maximising its revenue-generating capacity.
While stating that the Sungbo Eredo World Heritage site is dear to him, Soliu also pledged his administration’s commitment to promoting the tourist attraction through further discussions with the Ministry of Tourism to push the agenda forward.
Apart from the performance by the Lagos State Council for Arts and Culture, led by Papa Ajasco, other cultural, dance and comedy acts were staged by locals from around the community including Kuyem Theatre Troupe (KTT), Eredo Apepe Cultural Troupe, Epe Masquerade Dancers, Sito Drummers, and a host of others to delight the audience.