In a resplendent event celebrating the 2023 edition of the Epe Kayokayo Festival’s Quranic recitation and Quiz Competition, co-sponsored by the Kosoko family, the Oloja-Elect of Lagos, His Royal Highness, Prince Abiola Kosoko, has emphasized the family’s unwavering commitment to propagate the Islamic religion and preserve the legacy of their esteemed forebears.
Kaklistiq.com reports that the festival’s Quranic competition was held at the iconic First Epe Central Mosque in Oke-Balogun, Epe, Lagos State on Saturday, July 29th, and was a grand spectacle of culture and religion.
The Oloja-Elect recounted the historical significance of Epe, harking back to the era of King Kosoko, who, in 1851, led a migration of over 1500 followers to the region. Within six months of their arrival, the landscape transformed remarkably with the establishment of two groundbreaking factories. Epe swiftly evolved into an administrative center, surpassing other trading posts like Porto Novo by generating an impressive annual revenue of 33,000 pounds. The King’s leadership was hailed for shifting the spirit of commerce from Lagos to Epe.
“Based on the verifiable documents cited, within 6 months of King Kosoko’s arrival in Epe, the first of its kind, two factories sprung up. Epe became an administrative headquarters, raking in 33,000 pounds in a year, a sharp contrast to that of Porto Novo, which wasn’t making up to 10 pounds. They told him that he had shifted the base of commerce (spirit of commerce) from Lagos to Epe. That’s why he was persuaded to return to Lagos with the promise of building for him a befitting royal edifice.”
According to HRH Kosoko, King Kosoko’s decision to stay in Epe was intertwined with the profound impact of Islamic clerics in the region. He entrusted the protection of the town to two formidable warriors, Balogun Ajeniya and Iposu. He also left the Islamic Chiefs while departing with his traditional Chiefs back to Lagos. This decision proved pivotal as the clerics played an instrumental role in the transformation of Epe. The town became a focal point for the study, recitation, and translation of the Quran, solidifying its position as a unique hub of Islamic heritage.
Speaking about the future of the Kosoko family and the Epe community, the Oloja-Elect expressed a determination to preserve the rich cultural and religious heritage of the region. He announced plans to institutionalize Epe’s history by establishing a cultural and religious bank, ensuring that the community’s historical perspectives endure for generations to come. The 2023 Epe Kayokayo Festival, in his view, heralded a new beginning for the Kosoko family, with a focus on benefiting present and future generations.
Looking ahead, the Oloja-Elect revealed that King Kosoko had meticulously planned for the development of the mosque and the entire community. Citing verifiable documents, he assured that the legacy of the past would guide them in making appropriate decisions for the future. He added that the forthcoming days, in collaboration with the Epe leadership, would see the family working to bring these plans to fruition, ensuring that the cultural and religious heritage of Epe remains a beacon of reverence and admiration.