The Iddo Community in Lagos Mainland on Wednesday celebrated its annual Elegba Ejiwa Festival to ward off evil from the land.

The celebration witnessed a combination of cultural and spiritual activities from seven coastal communities namely Ido, Oniru, Ikate-Elegushi, Ojora, Ilashe, Irede and Ilado.

L-R: Chief Isiaka Ogundare, Apena of Lagos; Chief Ismail Folaji, Olorogun-Ide of Lagos and another white cap chief in Lagos during the celebration of Elegba Ejiwa Festival in Iddo community in Lagos, on Wednesday

Community members, especially traditionalists, from these areas came out in their numbers with colourful and spontaneous dance and musical performances.

Chief Ismail Folaji, the Olorogun-Ide of Lagos, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at the final ceremony of the seven-day festival that it was meant to encourage peaceful co-existence within the community.

Folaji, who is the chief organiser of the ceremony, added that the festival was to promote sanctity of traditions and ensure prosperity in the land.

According to Folaji, the festival is also to celebrate the remembrance of the ancient traditional ruler of the community known as Olofin Atekoya.

He said, according to history, the legend’s story resonated as a beacon of leadership, courage and strength.

“This festival is the time set aside to offer prayers for peace and prosperity for Iddo community and its indigenes, the state and the entire nation.

“It also serves as a form of reunion for the sons and daughters of Olofin, home and abroad.

“Elegba Ejiwa is an age-long festival that dates back to the 15th century.

“We are encouraged to continue this festival annually because we have received beautiful feedbacks whereby our people are making progress and living in peace.

“This, for us, promotes tourism because we have our friends from Ogun, Osun and other states coming to celebrate with us,” the chief said.

Correcting the wrong perception about the festival, especially those who believed human blood was usually used for the annual sacrifice during the ceremony, Folaji said this was not true.

He said blood from domestic animals were used and not human blood.

The chief noted that the celebration of the festival would now be done in turns by the other six coastal areas of Oniru, Ikate-Elegushi, Ojora, Ilashe, Irede and Ilado, starting with Oniru.

He said that the Elegba Ejiwa Festival had been improved on as it was now being celebrated for seven days instead of the former three days.

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