The maiden edition of the annual Arewa Festival and Awards (AFA) will hold in Lagos in the shape of Dinner and Award on December 28, while the Festival and Exhibition is to hold on December 30, at TBS Lagos. Already, the organisers have hosted a press conference where they made their plans and why they are holding the festival known to the general public early in the month.
According to a statement by the organisers, “over two centuries ago, the Hausa made their first contact with the Yoruba of the southwest. The story behind the migration of the Arewa people to Lagos led to the coinage of the name ‘AGEGE’ which justifies the history of the socio-economic ties between the Hausa and the Yoruba”.
The statement further explained that Arewa migrated to Lagos basically for trade.
“This was aided by the railway line which bridged the gap between the north and southwest. History says trains brought cattle from the north, and conveyed Kola nuts up north from the southwest.
“In no time, the Arewa people in Lagos established socio-economic relationships with their host communities thereby contributing immeasurably to the growth of the state. It is altogether pleasant to mention the political contribution the Arewa community and its political loyalty to her wonderful host, the Yoruba,” said the statement.
His Royal Highness, Alhaji Mohammed Dogon Kada the seventh Sarkin Hausawa of Agege confirmed that His emirate inherited a fantastic relationship with her host community, just as he promised to continue the tradition of mutual respect and inter-relationship between the Hausas and Yorubas in Lagos.
On a visit to the Sarki Fulani, His Royal Highness Alhaji Mohammed A. Bambado, led by Director Ethnic Affairs, BOS-ICG, the Central Organising Committee of Arewa Festival and the Project Consultant; Xmedia Group, His Royal Highness equally confirmed a great history of migration to Lagos and a wonderful relationship with the Yoruba.
It is in view of the above history and the quest to maintain mutual trust, peace, and prosperity between the Hausa and the Yoruba, and most importantly to confirm sustained political loyalty to the good people of Lagos who have been a magnanimous host that the organisers say they are doing the festival.
The Chairperson for the organising committee, Barrister Hajia Fatima Bako, says the ideals of AFA are hinged on the virtues of ethno-religious cum socio-cultural mutual tolerance, as the foundation for national peace, unity, and prosperity. It is a celebration of the Arewa community in Lagos State, the settlement, socio-economic successes, and peaceful co-existence with her host.
The festival, Bako stated, is going to be a yearly event to celebrate the history and cultures of the Arewa people in Nigeria.
“More importantly; it is an exhibition of sustained loyalty to the Lagos State government.
“Royal fathers and all the major stakeholders have given their unreserved support and blessing to the success of this epical celebration of unity and prosperity”.