By Giwa SHILE
The traditional ruler of Epe in Lagos State, Oba Shefiu Adewale, has called on political leaders to promote the unity and peaceful coexistence of the various ethnic groups in the country.
Adewale made the plea on the sidelines of Kayokayo Cultural Festival in Epe.
The week-long festival which started on Sept. 14 will end on Sept. 22.
The festival which has been in existence for over 150 years, is a cultural, religious and historical event indigenous to the people in the area.
The monarch advised political leaders to settle squabbles among them and not to allow it affect the citizens’ welfare and the nation at large.
“The nation will know peace and will progress when the leaders work collectively and in harmony regardless of their political differences.
“As leaders at the forefront of the nation’s affairs, there is need for them to unite for the common purpose of developing their states and the nation,” he said.
Adewale said one of the objectives of the festival was to drive tourism and cultural development of the ancient town and Lagos State.
According to him, the religion aspect of Kayokayo was to herald the new Islamic Year for Muslim faithful.
He said the cultural angle of the festival was to commemorate King Kosoko’s arrival in Epe from Lagos in 1851 while the social aspect was to celebrate communal bonding by making and sharing food to all.
“It is designed to provide a platform for indigenes and non-indigenes to appreciate the cultural heritage of the community.”
Other activities being observed during the festival are free medical services, raffle draw, Islamic lectures and Quranic recitation, visit to historical sites and a football competition.
Kayokayo carnival also featured a display of Noah’s Boat and King Kosoko’s Boat.
It will be rounded off on Sept. 22 with a procession and entertainment by the popular artist, Zeynab Abib, and others.