Castledown Art Centre, an organisation registered with Lagos State Council For Arts and Culture since 2003, with the aim of promoting Tourism, Art and Cultural heritage of our people using same as a tool for National unity and cultural integration, has appealed to the Executive Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, for his audience and approval of their upcoming event.
Briefing Statesman Nigeria about plans for the 2020 Edition of their event, the man behind the mask, Ozo Chinedu Idezuna, said, “Having come this far in using arts and tourism to promote peaceful co- existence with an endorsement from Lagos State government and different Governmental Agencies, we are appealing to our listening Governor, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, to approve the acquired land for this festival. We
are willing to pay for any governmental fees for its ratification and other due processes. We do not want
this festival to go the way Lagos boat Regatta went”.
“We thank God for giving us a listening Leader like His Excellency, Sanwo-Olu. God actually ordains Leaders and it is our believe that BOS is
ordained by God.”
“Back in the year 1995, with the assistance of Lagos State Property Development Corporation, Castledown Art Centre was located at Ozumba Mbadiwe Water Front, Victoria Island, from where we midwifed the well known Lagos Boat Regatta Festival. It was at the peak of the growth of this festival and with reasonable accumulation of Art collections with works of some notable Nigeria Artists that the then State Government ordered the demolishing of the water front for greater public interest with little or no notice to quit. We were compelled out of the Water Front at the Victoria Island on the 18th 0f March, 2005, with all our work of Arts and valuables pushed to the Lagoon.”
“We appealed and complained on the short notice given to us and the wanton destruction of our properties to the then Authorities and was promised a relocation to a permanent site.”
“While we were waiting for the relocation, we joined MAIYEGUN ART CENTER, at Jakande axis along Lekki/Epe Express Road. Again on 18th August, 2007, the harsh teeth and chains of State machines came calling, leaving behind tears and sorrows to the art world.”
“Having lost all what we have as artists and the remaining broken, including our hearts, respite seemed to have come our way when the then Lagos State House off Assembly passed a resolution on 27th May, 2008, stating that we should be relocated. However, till date, this relocation never saw the light of day.”
“With the destruction of about 15,000 (fifteen thousand) works of art duly leased to us by the Lagos State Tourism and Art and others of our personal effects, we picked up our peace and pieces and moved on with life while still waiting for the promised relocation.”
“We managed to acquire about
4000 sq meters from Oshoobote Family in Ibeju Lekki, near Eleko Junction to continue with our
dream of using arts to create peaceful co-existence among different tribal nationalities in Nigeria. It was on this land that Eko Oni Baje New Yam and Beach Festival was midwifed by the man behind the mask, Ozo Chinedu Idezuna, in the year 2008. Since then till date, this festival had been growing from strength to strength with the 12th edition coming up on the 25th
– 27th of September, 2020.”
“This festival has metamorphosed into a cultural melting pot for all tribal nationalities, promoting
peaceful co-existence among the ethnic nationalities living in Lagos.”
“We’re therefore, appealing to His Excellency, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, to approve the acquired land for this festival. We put it on record that we are willing to pay for any governmental fees for its ratification and other due processes. We do not want this festival to go the way Lagos Boat Regatta went. We genuinely want to contribute our quota to the Greater Lagos Vision of Mr. Sanwo-Olu and will greatly appreciate his love for art by granting the approval for the land to host the uniquely unifying event” Ozo Chinedu Idezuna concluded.