Lagos to shut down Oba Akran Avenue for street carnival

Adebimpe Akinsola

The Lagos State Government on Sunday said plans have been concluded to stage the 2017 edition of the Lagos Street Carnival scheduled to hold on December 3 on Oba Akran Avenue in Ikeja.

Special Adviser to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode on Tourism, Arts and Culture, Adebimpe Akinsola, in an interview with journalists said the venue of the carnival would be shut down but adequate preparations have been made for alternative routes to mitigate the impact of the road closure on motorists and residents.

Dubbed Lagos Street Party in its maiden edition last year, the event has grown into a carnival to mark the start of the state’s end of the year activities.

It is also designed to celebrate the multi-cultural nature of Lagosians and reposition the state as a formidable cultural destination.

Speaking on arrangements already put in place, Akinsola said, “Several adjoining roads would be closed on the day of the carnival while alternative routes could be accessed by road users.

“We like to assure Lagosians and visitors that efforts are in place to ensure that the venue and environs are safe and incident-free.

“We expect more visitors this year and a lot more will be coming. In terms of security and crowd control, the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture is not working alone. We are working with the police, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Fire service, LASAMBUS and the Lagos State Waste Management Agency (LAWMA). All of them are on board and people are not going to see Oba Akran on Monday in a dirty state.”

While giving details about the carnival, Akinsola said: “The Lagos street carnival is to herald the yuletide season. When you talk of carnival, it is to showcase all the diversity of cultures in Lagos State.

“There is going to be an overflow all through Oba Akran; people dancing, eating, showcasing diverse cultures from different local governments and other estate groups that are resident in Lagos State.

“That was how it was done on the Island and this year we are bringing it to the mainland and of course next year, we would be looking at another location because the aim of government is to take this carnival all round Lagos. It is not a programme that would be static, but would move round across Lagos State, why because the Governor in his acceptance as the helmsman of the State promised Lagosians that he is going to run an all-inclusive government where no one would be left behind, not in infrastructure alone, but in every sense of governance and he has been doing that systematically since he assumed office.”

Artistes expected to perform at the carnival include Olamide, Lil Kesh, Queen Salawa Abeni, Malaika and Tope Sax.