The Lagos state government has announced the suspension of the “Greater Lagos Fiesta” owing to the fourth wave of the COVID-19 scare.
In a statement Saturday by Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf, commissioner for tourism, arts and culture, the state said the suspension was necessary just as Europe, the epi-centre of the COVID-19 pandemic, reintroduced restrictions to tackle the fourth wave.
She said the state was following the latest proactive advice from health authorities to suspend all activities earlier announced for this year’s Greater Lagos Fiesta.
“This is as well as the dangers associated with attendance by members of the Diaspora community, who may be returning from Europe and other parts of the world now experiencing the fourth wave.
“We have seen Germany, Austria, and Greece reintroduce restrictions to curtail the spread of the pandemic. Germany is particularly a country in Europe with many Nigerians, who typically return home for the Christmas holidays.
“This is what science enables us to predict to forestall the tragic experience of last December, when scores of our citizens died during the pandemic around yuletide.
“Our emotions favour going ahead with the plans but we must, as a responsible government, submit our will to the predictive intelligence and overriding power of science.
“The strategic intent of the state government in wanting to hold the fiesta was to accelerate the process of reflating the economy of Lagos State, by putting money in the hands of our people through the deluge of commercial activities planned to take place during the fiesta.
“But the imperatives of protecting the lives of our people clearly override all economic and commercial considerations,” the commissioner said.
Mrs Akinbile-Yussuf expressed her profound appreciation to all the corporate sponsors who had so far indicated interest to support this year’s edition of the fiesta.
“We will not forget your rare demonstration of goodwill towards the administration of Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, and, indeed, the people of Lagos State at a challenging time when businesses are battling with limited resources.
“You will remain our partners for this and similar initiatives that are in the works,” she said.
Mrs Akinbile-Yussuf, therefore, urged event organisers and owners of event centres with plans to host events in December to seek the guidance of the Lagos State Safety Commission, as well as the Ministry of Health.