Lisabi celebration was never meant to be a hero-worship of Lisabi Agbongbo-Akala as our mythical god like Sango, Ogun and Yemoja. Rather, Lisabi was a human that was physically alive and fought Oloyo to liberate the Egba people says the Alake and Paramount Ruler of Egbaland, Oba Michael Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo, Okukenu IV.
Speaking at the Lisabi Press Conference at Ake on the 34th Lisabi Festival, Oba Gbadebo explained further that although Lisabi was like Moses who was leading the Israelites from the Captivity and the oppression of the Jews by the Egyptians, recalling that Moses was fatigued and died on the long journey. According to the Alake, just as Joshua took over from Moses, Sodeke took over the administrative and military leadership from Lisabi and led Egba people to the promise land of Abeokuta.
The Alake further explained that although Lisabi, was the lead hero of other heroes that had been recognized and remembered for contributing to Egba liberation including Sodeke (Ake), Sagua; Okukenu I (Ake), Toye Coker, Anlugboa (Owu) and this year, a great Egba Community leader from Oke Ona, Chief Moyosore Abudu would be the hero of this 34th edition of the festival.
Speaking further on the wrong notion that Lisabi Festival is worshipping of idols, the Alake disclosed that at the Lisabi groove every year, both Muslim and Christian Clerics conduct special prayers for the families of the heroes, the Egba people, and Nigeria as a whole. Adding that the traditional religion priest also prayed in their own way for the peace, progress, and prosperity of Egbaland.
Speaking on other Yoruba groups staying permanently in Egbaland, Oba Adedotun enjoined them to join in the celebration of Egba past heroes who had worked assiduously to make Egbaland safe for many generations to come. He added that the Festival is not meant for the Alake alone but for all Egba Sections including Oke Ona , Gbagura, Owu and others all of which had contributed immensely in securing Egbaland.
The Alake also spoke on why it has become necessary and urgent for the Egbas to build a new City Hall to replace the old Centenary Hall built in 1930; 90 years ago. He commended the joint action committee of Egba clubs for securing seven hectares of land at the Choice Ewang Estate, which would accommodate a 3,500 capacity hall, administrative block, chalets,a library and other facilities, all of which will cost 600 million naira.
The Chairman of the Lisabi Festival Committee; Captain Rasheed Raji stated that the theme for this year’s edition is Culture; A Panacea for Sustainable Socio-economic Development of Egbaland. Adding that the development of Egbaland is Paramount in the mind of Kabiyesi and all the Chiefs in Egba.
He enjoined Egbas at home and abroad to ensure that they fully support the launching and progress of the new Hall. Obas and Chiefs present at the Press Conference included; Parakoyi Kasimawo Laloko, Oba Kolawole Sowemimo of Owode, OluOke Odo Oba Muftau Akidele, Onijade Titun Oba Nofiu Otunba, Baagbimo Akanni Akinwalw, Baatun Kehinde Sofenwa, Agbaakin Rasheed Raji, Bada Asoju Oba Wole Odekunle, Aare Baasegun Alabukun and his wife, Aare Baaroyin Chief Layi Labode, Otun Iyaloja Oloyede, Gbegbaaje Tejumade Bakre and Chief (Olori) Olufunmilola