Millions of Nigerians welcomed the New Year 2020 Wednesday morning by taking part in boisterous gatherings across the country.
In many parts of the country, citizens attended crossover service at their places of worship. Heavy fireworks rang through neighbourhoods while those who could afford it uncorked exotic drinks and other libations.
At one gathering in Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State, wild celebrations rented the air as youth unleashed firecrackers on one another at the town centre.
“We are here to celebrate the New Year, we are not bothered about how the last year turned out for us,” said a resident Bolaji Adeyemi.
One man on a firecracker buying spree said he planned to use a large cache of it until dawn.
“My neighbours are going to enjoy it,” he said.
Some revelers said they looked forward to a better year in 2020 because the outgone year was marred by economic uncertainties for them.
“My new year’s resolution: to have a booming business,” Tunde Odusina, a 51-year-old home equipment retailer, told PREMIUM TIMES. “But for now, I am here to pray, drink and drink again.”
At an Anglican Church parish nearby, worshippers heralded in the New Year with plenty of good cheer. For almost a week, organisers of the church’s crossover service worked on a confetti that will fall on worshippers at exactly 12:00 a.m.
Some visitors to the church said they enjoyed the festive mood with which the service held.
“It is exciting, I am excited,” Monica Adefala, a 29-year-old banker and mother of one, told PREMIUM TIMES. “This is my first time in Ago-Iwoye since I married a son of this great town.”
The 2019 was a tumultuous year for many. The country’s economy experienced little improvement, amidst worsening inflation and unemployment. The country held a general election in February that returned President Muhammadu Buhari to power.
For some, like Esther Onadeko, 2020 cannot but be a better year.
“It has to be a better year, we appeal to those in authority to take the peace and prosperity of the people seriously,” she said.
WATCH: Governor Yahaya Bello's Roadmap to Hope 2023