Lagos State Government on Wednesday announced its comprehensive plan to commemorate the attainment of 50 years of nationhood by the country with a line- up of activities that are aimed at reminding all Nigerians about the past and aspirations for the future.

The plan was unveiled at a press conference addressed by the Chairperson of the Organizing Committee of Nigeria at 50, ‘Lagos Celebrates’ and Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Princess Adenrele Adeniran Ogunsanya along with the Commissioner for Home Affairs and Culture, Alhaji Tunde Balogun at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa.

Princess Ogunsanya explained that Lagos State has decided to be involved in preparations for the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the country because it was right here in Lagos that the British flag was lowered and Nigeria’s flag hoisted to signal attainment of independence.

She added that the event will kick off with State Interdenominational prayer for Muslims at the Central Mosque, Lagos on Friday, September 24, 2010 while a Photo/Art Exhibition and Book Presentation and Review titled “Lagos Ancient to Modern, 1960 to 2010” will hold from 10am to 7pm daily at the Federal Palace Hotel, Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Also included in the line-up of activities to mark the Golden Jubilee of Nigeria in Lagos State is the handover of Old Peoples’ Home at 1 Lancaster Road, Yaba, Lagos from 11 a.m. on Saturday September 25 and the holding of a Nigerian Independence Corporate Run with the theme: “Let’s run for a greater Nigeria and Brighter Rewarding Future” from the Tafawa Balewa Square to Lagos (Atlantic) Bar Beach on Sunday, September 26 while a Boat Regatta is billed to hold on Monday, 27 September at the Boat Club Awolowo Road, Ikoyi by 10am.

The Secretary to the State Government (SSG) also listed four main plays to be staged as part of the celebrations with the titles “Yeepa! Solarin Nbo” produced by renowned filmmaker Tunde Kelani and Mufu Onifade at Muson Centre, Lagos and National theatre, Iganmu from Friday September 24 to 29, 2010; ‘Oluronbi: the musical’ showing at Muson Centre, Onikan and National Theatre, Hall 1 from September 25 to October 3, 2010; “FERE-BI EKUN: A Callous and Notorious Brigand” showing at Glover Hall, Ikoyi on September 28, 2010 written by Adebayo Faletiwhile “Ajantala” produced by Mr. Femi Robison would be screened at the Muson Centre, Lagos and the National Theatre Iganmu on October 9, 15 and 16 .

Princess Ogunsanya also said a programme to celebrate Lagos ethnic food dishes and culture with the theme, Sound Style and Cuisine of Lagos would hold in the five divisions of the State on September 29 by 6pm while on Thursday September 30, the Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) would hand over the old prison site on Broad Street which has been redeveloped into a recreation complex named Freedom Park.

Other programmes lined include are a fireworks celebration at Midnight on September 30 at the Marina Waterfront, while on October 1st which is the 50th Independence Day, an Independence Parade would hold at the Tafawa Balewa Square from 8am while an Interdenominational State Christian prayer holds at the Chapel of Christ the Light, Secretariat, Alausa on Sunday, October 3, 2010.

Also speaking, the Home Affairs and Culture Commissioner, Alhaji Tunde Balogun said the State Government decided to rehabilitate the site of the old prison because of its significance as well as to encourage people to relax as several amenities are in place at the Park where people can unwind.

While speaking on what informed the choice of stage for most of the plays to be staged during the celebrations, ace cinematographer and film producer, Mr. Tunde Kelani said the theatre remains the centre of creativity which holds the society together.

He said the plays being presented represented an opportunity to appraise and return the stage to where it ought to be, adding that the choice of the plays were meant to provoke thoughts, stimulate moral and ethical rebirth as well as entertain as the nation celebrates.

In his contribution, a foremost actor Mr. Femi Robinson commended the present administration in Lagos for bringing back the Lagos of old adding that Lagos is Nigeria and even before Independence, Lagos represented Nigeria.

He said he plans to use the staging of the play ‘Ajantala’ to expose the young ones to the significance and evolution of Lagos State over the years adding that it would be provide an opportunity telling our own stories while attracting young people to the theatres by giving them opportunity to act.

While giving an insight into what the Photo and Art exhibition would offer, the curator, Mr. Olusegun Adejumo said the exhibition will celebrate Lagos (Eko) from Independence in 1960 to 2010 through landscapes, architecture, lifestyle and fashion, music, festivals, Government and politics, markets, education, transportation and historical events.

Mr. Adejumo added that it will depict the transformation of Lagos, post independence to 2010, in pictures and paintings of old and contemporary masters and accomplished photographers.

Also speaking the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media, Mr. Hakeem Bello underscored the vital role which Lagos played even before the evolution of Nigeria as nation right through to independence and as the nation’s capital, adding that this underscores the celebration of the country’s attainment of 50 years of nationhood by the present administration.

Mr. Bello, however, noted that apart from the celebration of all that is noble in us as a people, the occasion is being used by the administration to further stimulate economic growth and facilitate the creation of prosperity as a result of the diverse professional groups that are engaged in the various programmes facilitated through public and private sector partnership