• On Christmas eve, moments of pain and struggling as residents scramble to celebrate the Yuletide, reports COSMAS OMEGOH
‘Christmas comes to bless the earth With its wondrous heavenly birth vibrant and excessive the dawning mild Burning in the course of the gloomy night’
The lines above are extracts from the primary stanza of the song, Christmas comes to bless the earth. It was finished by way of a composer whose name has long past extinct. but now not his work. At a second like this, this tune and others like it wing their manner during the waves into many homes and hearts, bearing unspeakable gladness.
Blasting at boulevard corners and in most houses, they devise this frenzy that seems to see one flowing and floating within the whirlwind of ecstasy. this is the sensation of Christmas that the general public could be celebrating the following day.
prior to now weeks, many Nigerians had been taking their time to prepare for the get together. Even the corporate community shouldn’t be omitted on this moment of severe practise. With Christmas activities spilling into the new 12 months celebrations,
everyone is in for moments of happiness. however no longer without an enormous price.
In Lagos, preparations for Christmas on a regular basis hit their feverish pitch when December crosses the 20 mark. everybody who has one thing to promote brings it out to generate income from the horde of individuals desperate to make final minute purchases. for individuals who supply essential services and products – business motorists, tailors and plenty of others, Christmas Eve is the peak of the season.
then again, all what the rush for Christmas leaves Lagos is chaos and ache. From Lagos Island to the city’s many suburbs, it is ‘struggling and smiling’ as said with the aid of legendary afro beat king, late Fela Kuti. individuals are inflicting pains on others yet people are enduring the ache and carrying on as if nothing is misplaced.
For now, nearly all the markets within the city are experiencing strange influx of individuals.
buyers are streaming into them in droves to purchases their desires, largely food and apparel gadgets, sneakers and equipment, present objects and more. Some moms carry their youngsters to the markets to check footwear to make sure that they match completely. Many merchants who don’t have stores spread their wears on the bottom, ringing bells to attract the eye of willing clients. What that suggests is that the majority roads and narrow methods inside and outside of most markets on the moments are taken up by way of merchants desperate to show their wares on the market. guests to the more than a few markets simplest squeeze during the on hand areas as they make their approach to purchase their wants. the effort in some places will not be different from a tug of struggle, as ever one has to literally tear in the course of the human maze to succeed in more than a few locations after spending quite a bit and lots of precious time.
From Alaba world in Ojo, ASPANDA, (former world alternate truthful complex), Oshodi, Yaba to Idumota markets, it’s same scene of merchants and patrons carrying out frantic transactions. Most merchants at ASPANDA deal generally in motor spare elements, however there are pockets of dealers in imported wines an spirits which people wish to have a good time. There are equally traders in other gadgets which shoppers are rushing to purchase. At Oshodi market, virtually at the streets nook around the publish place of job area are experiencing phenomenal presence of merchants and their buyers. The story is similar in Yaba shoe market as folks, mostly the women, scramble to buy sneakers for his or her youngsters and wards. In Idumota and Balogun markets proper in the heart of Lagos Island, there is an extraordinary inflow of individuals. that is prevalent annually as the markets host merchants selling nearly the whole lot under the solar. visitors into and out of the markets and other adjoining streets are expectedly extra bizarre.
A dealer in Balogun Market, Olalekan Adesina, aka June 12, who deals in males’s sneakers, advised day-to-day sun that the visitors available in the market the day before today used to be moderately heavy, despite the fact that he insisted it was a little short of what the traders used to expertise prior to now 12 months. “The market is reasonably busy; each person, including merchants and their purchaser are busy. but the situation isn’t like what it was prior to now years.”
alternatively, not everybody streaming into the market is a genuine consumer. Olalekan said in Balogun market, differ many thieves have been on the prowl. They ranged from pickpockets to faux load carriers. “we have viewed a number of incidents of ladies crying after they lost their money to thieves. it’s rampant. just the day past a girl was once weeping like a baby after the burden provider she hired to carry her load disappeared. it will had been a deliberate act or a mistake, but that was once the grim state of affairs the girl was once left to handle.”
Corroborating his story, some other trader, Olasukanmi Akande lamented that there were a number of thieves out there. “we’ve got numerous them,” he stated. “Pickpockets are in every single place. they’re benefiting from people. Some go into stores pretending to be genuine consumers and do you in in case you are careless. on the other hand, the most important problem we’re having are traders who display their China wares all over the place available in the market; consumers are rushing their items as a result of they are low-cost.”
other markets in Lagos the place food gadgets are offered are equally witnessing large turnouts of consumers. Mrs. Mordi, mother of four informed our correspondent that “most meals objects in Ojuoye Market in Mushin are experiencing slight will increase in prices,” but it used to be not clear which gadgets specifically have been affected.
Following the inflow of Lagosians into the markets to make final minute purchases, all roads resulting in such markets had been chaotic. On Lagos Island, activities in the various markets expectedly affected the site visitors on Carter and Eko Bridges. within the evening, commuters were trapped in gridlock for hours.
it is usually a tale of struggling at Alaba Rago market along the Lagos-Badagry limited-access highway, where the site visitors state of affairs was nerve breaking. A business motorcycle operator, Mr. John Anyaso who lives in Okokomaiko however plies his exchange round Mazamaza space of the city informed daily sun that merchants from the northern part of the united states that usher in more than a few farm animals and farm products into the market have their lengthy vehicles blockading the way. “I trekked from Okokomaiko to Barracks Bus stop prior to I might break away from the stagnant traffic,” he stated. “right from Iyana Iba as much as Okokomaiko, there are trailers from the north bringing items and obstructing the street. It’s terrible.”
Coupled with a few ongoing road development works throughout Lagos State, the traffic state of affairs on some major roads is step by step becoming a nightmare. as an example, the Lagos-Ikorodu dualisation project is inflicting commuters untold problem. Many living in Ikorodu now leave their properties even earlier than 4 am to avoid being caught in the grueling traffic web. The snail motion and total gridlock that has characterised movement on the road spills into the southern part of Lagos-Ikorodu and the Ojota-Oworonshoki roads inward the 0.33 Mainland bridge. along with, the street development work around Cele Bus cease and the a large number of failed parts on Oshodi-Apapa limited-access highway are but other sore factors motorists would avoid like an epidemic if most effective they had the chance.
for many whose businesses lie in Apapa, and different areas around it, their case is a lot more pathetic. With the presences of hundreds of articulated automobiles hauling containers from the Tin Can and Apapa harbours, and extra trucks coming to load petroleum products from the numerous tank farms inside the space competing for the precise of manner, the axis has turn out to be an imperative no go area for those who love to use their time neatly. in the meantime, business motorcycles, otherwise knoiwn as okada are actually the easiest approach of entering into and coming out of Apapa within an inexpensive time. however that comes at a very big chance as the operators audaciously ply one way to the risk of their lives and those of their passengers, a convention that leaves many questioning whether Lagos State had at ease its past ban on okadas on major roads and bridges in the state.
meanwhile, bus fares on many roots in the city are step by step on a gentle upward thrust. business bus operators are starting to cash in on residents’ rush to purchase their wants. Even routes which don’t link major markets are starting to see a gradual raise in bus fares. for instance, operators of business mini busses popularly referred to as Danfo alongside Oshodi to Mile 2 are starting to charge N200 as towards N100 on a excellent day from a one-manner bus experience.
Ifeanyi, a driver who plies Lawanson – Tafawa Balewa route, stated he and his colleagues have been now taking N250 as in opposition to N200 they previously charged. “many individuals are speeding to the Island now to purchase issues because of Christmas. So we’re having an upsurge in passenger traffic. therefore now we have to raise the fares fairly in order that we too can have one thing from Christmas,” he mentioned.
however even with the mild increases in bus fares, and chaotic site visitors situation, Lagos is experiencing huge exodus as its residents proceed to leave in droves to enjoy Christmas and New year party of their homelands. against this backdrop, the entire non-public and public motor parks in the metropolis are coping with huge surge in passenger visitors. many people, particularly from the South East and South-South areas of the u . s . a . live town in their numbers.
At motor parks and bus terminals in Maza-maza, many are seen hauling luggage of rice, more than a few food and electronic items, luggage and containers as they board various sprinter and luxury buses out of the town. John, a bus conductor working with probably the most prime transport corporations in Mazamaza instructed our correspondent that on Monday, his firm demanded N6,000 for a bus journey to anywhere in the East. He, then again, left generous suggestions that the fares have been perhaps to rise as more passenger troop out. This used to be established when our correspondent overheard a lady cuddling her baby lamenting that N7,500 was once merciless for a bus fare just because one wished to celebrate Christmas at dwelling.
“this is simply merciless,” she lamented, cursing and kicking as she protested the demand. then again, the bus operators had been simply unfazed as they engaged other passenger anxious to embark on their journey.
while the passengers and bus conductors haggled over bus fares, a mobile tune save operator burst unto the scene, blaring some Christmas carol songs principally accomplished via late Bonny M. an identical operators ply their trade within the city unhindered. With the song blasting at very excessive decibels with the attendant prospect of inflicting impaired hearing to the operators and many round, they still receive large patronage from those dancing to the beat and those purchasing the musical items, leaving everyone with a strong perception that the price of Christmas particularly in Lagos is huge.