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Lagos @50: We Can't Celebrate Until The Chibok Girls Are Back-Wole Soyinka

Lagos State unveiled the logo of the Lagos at 50th anniversary at the Freedom Park, Lagos Island, on Friday, May 27. The co-chairmen of the anniversary committee are Professor Wole Soyinka and Rasheed Gbadamosi.

During the opening remark of Chief Gbadamosi, he said the anniversary would foster unity amongst the cosmopolitan residents of Lagos State. He also told the audience that the event of the day is a culmination of several months of hard work and planning by the organising committee. He appreciated the committee for their commitment to the success of the event and the series of events that would follow.

Wole Soyinka unveiled the logo, members of the organising committee, and children cultural troupes which Soyinka described as “symbolic to the traditional art and culture and the evolution of the traditional culture which was represented in the text of the logo of Lagos at 50.”  

Professor  Soyinka also expressed disappointment on the missing Chibok girls. In his words; “it’s a sad day, at the same times, one of the reasons I decided we should restrict this as much as possible, virtually and almost exclusively to the children is that, all of us here who have any kind of sensibility, we have a cloud hanging over our heads, and I refer to our children the Chibok girls who were snatched under our noses and two years after we have absolutely no answer as to that question ‘when will they be back?’ What we have is an apprehension of what condition they would be when we eventually find them. It is not pleasant to have to celebrate while that goes on but, what answer do we have? Culture, Arts, creativity, all these form a complex of defiance to those philistines among us who think it is proper to abduct children.” 


In throwing a jab at those who rose against the appointment of Professor Soyinka as a co-chairman of the organising committee, the Nobel Laureate expressed his excitement when he found out that the winner of the competition for the logo is not a Lagosian.

Mr. Etim Dennis, the artist who designed the logo, told SharaReporters he has been painting since he was a child. The competition was keenly contested, but Mr. Etim emerged winner for the creativity and the uniqueness of his artwork.

Soyinka also expressed his fulfilment in the fact that despite the many challenges facing Nigeria. She is still a place with a lot of creativity. 

“There are lots of creative materials in this country. It compensates for many of the agonies we have to endure at the hand of sometimes incompetent, sometimes indifferent, sometimes complacent leadership, but the very fact that there is so much creativity in this nation gives us some solace and gives the outsiders who visit the nation some elements of hope and interest in the nation.” He said. 

Also at the event, Mrs Chika Balogun, a member of the Committee, unveiled the Speakers’ Corner at the Freedom Park. The minstrel seat is a symbolic representation of every man who had lost his life speaking the truth, and it is strategically placed under the hangman’s tree at the old prison turned Freedom Park. 


Speakers’ Corner is a monthly event held every second Tuesday; people from different walks of life sit to speak the truth on various happenings. Mrs. Chika Balogun said; “speakers can speak freely at the speakers’ corner without any form of intimidation or oppression from the government and people of higher authority” She also admonished everyone to always say the truth all the time but respectfully. “We all must always speak the truth wherever we find ourselves, and we must speak it respectfully because as Africans respect is very important to us. We must speak our own truth, not the truth that someone else narrated to us because we cannot validate the authenticity of someone else’s truth.  We must speak the truth that we know for ourselves.”

The Lagos at 50 celebration is going to be 12 months of planned activities. Lagos state was created on 27th of May, 1967 and would be 50 next year 27th of May, 2017. The Launching of the event was done by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode at the Civic Centre, Ikoyi, later in the day.  

The governor in his speech said that “the opportunity of the golden jubilee is one we must use not only to celebrate our past achievements but also to showcase to the world our immense potentials for future growths and development.”