Being a warrior of note when alive, remembering Lisabi, a legend of the Egba people, without the booming of guns could amount to a disservice. It would be like celebrating Ogun the god of iron without palm wine or Sango the god of thunder without invoking fire.
But the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, and the organisers of the annual Lisabi Festival did not offend the legend’s memory recently when the 2016 edition was held in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
Like many other traditional festivals, the event brought together the king and his chiefs, the people, the Ogun State Government and Globacom, which sponsored it.
Although the festival featured dances, traditional games (including ayo), homage and a seminar, the grand finale provided a spectacle that many will remember for a long time.
A statement from the organisers said, “The atmosphere was electrifying with sporadic gun shots by hunters, banters and music by local artistes combining to form a somewhat pleasing cadence. Club after club paid homage to the Alake who addressed the gathering and thanked all for making the weeklong festival a unique one.
“This year’s edition, which is the sixth consecutive edition to be sponsored by Globacom, broke all records and got a pass mark from the people who described it as the biggest ever to be staged. The monarch, who was impressed by the standard of Globacom’s organisation of the festival, commended the company.
“He said the company had elevated the festival to the highest level ever imagined by Egba indigenes. Oba Gbadebo was gratified that Lisabi is now listed on the world map of festivals as a result of Globacom’s support and yeoman’s efforts of its Chairman, Dr. Mike Adenuga Jr., who he described as a living legend.”
Lisabi was the hero of the Egba liberation struggle from the dominance of the old Oyo Kingdom. His celebration chronicled the strategic way that he organised the emancipation.
In his address at the festival, Adenuga described the theme of the 2016 edition, ‘Wealth creation through Small and Medium Enterprises’, as germane and vital to the revamping of Nigeria’s economy.
He noted that small and medium scale enterprises were the engine of the growth that Nigeria needed to embrace, cultivate and stimulate at this crucial period in order to wade through the myriads of economic challenges confronting the nation.
While congratulating the Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun and Oba Gbadebo on the 40th anniversary of Ogun State and the transformation that the state in general and Abeokuta, in particular, has witnessed in various ways, Adenuga explained that Globacom collaborated with the organisers of the festival to keep the legacies of hard work, courage, integrity, honesty, love and patriotism alive in order to imbue the young ones with these noble values.
In his remarks delivered in Yoruba language, Amosun called on indigenes of the state, at home and in the Diaspora, to join hands to develop it by bringing investments.