The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Saturday put on hold the “Greater Lagos Fiesta” over the COVID-19 scare in the state.
The state’s Commissioner for Tourism, Arts, and Culture, Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf, who announced the suspension of the fiesta, said the governor took the decision over the possible onset of the fourth wave of COVID-19 pandemic in the state.
Akinbile-Yussuf said the suspension was necessary as Europe, the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic had reintroduced restrictions to tackle the fourth wave of the pandemic.
According to her, the suspension of the fiesta followed advice from health authorities who had warned the government on the danger of going ahead with the event considering the mammoth crowd that would be at some of the gatherings.
The commissioner said: “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.”
She thanked all the corporate organisations who had so far indicated interest to support this year’s edition of the fiesta