The Ayangburen of Ikorodu, Oba Kabiru Shotobi, on Friday urged the Lagos State Government to assist Ikorodu town in building infrastructure that could boost tourism in the area.
According to realnewsmagazine.net, Shotobi made the plea during a familiarisation tour to his palace by the Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture.
The three-day tour with theme, “bestoflagosfamtour22”, which began on March 30 and ended on April 1, was organised by the ministry to familiarise tourism operators with attraction sites within the five divisions of the state.
The traditional ruler said that the town lacked the needed fund to put such infrastructure in place, even though Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu had given approval to build chalets.
He said that Ikorodu needed to have charlets, recreation parks and hotels, due to the limited number of such tourist attractions in the community.
He said that Ikorodu had been known as a community with beautiful festivals but limited tourism infrastructure.
“Please, we seek your assistance to build charlets, recreation centres, 5-star hotels and other infrastructure that can attract tourists to Ikorodu community.
“We have the land already and we will give every support needed on our part, and you know this will also create employment opportunity to our youths,” he said.
Shotobi urged his local chiefs to support the government through provision of land at their various jurisdictions.
He said plans were underway to build tourist waterfront and recreation centres on a 12-hectare of land on the lagoon.
According to him, there were also plans to convert all cultural centres in Ikorodu to amphitheaters, where masquerades can perform to the delight of tourists.
“We don’t want to be only known for our festivals but to be known for all forms of tourism.
“By the time we are done with these tourism infrastructure, we will calendarise our tourism activities so that tourists can plan their time to visit Ikorodu during their choice tourist activity,” he said.
The traditional ruler who tried to allay tourist’s fear during their annual Oro festival, said that the community had made arrangements to always conduct the exercise at some restricted areas.
He noted that the Ikorodu community would never jettison that ritual exercise which was used to stop the activities of a cult group that operated in the community years back.
“Our usual Oro festival is our core tradition here, and we are not ready to abandon it, this was what we did when we had a group terrorising us, we had sleepless nights conducting this festival of Oro to drive them away.
“Then, the state government did not assist us,we fought the war ourselves. So, I advise women to always stay off whenever we are conducting the ritual,” he said.
Earlier, Mrs Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf, Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, appreciated the traditional ruler’s hospitality as she promised to look into his request.
NAN reports that some of the sites visited during the three-day tour were: Freedom Park, Afrika Shrine, Vlekete Slave Market, Lagos Threatres in Epe and Badagry, Nike Art Gallery, Oshodi Art gallery, Ikeja and Oshodi bus terminals, among others.