Christmas: Abuja parks record low turnout amid security threat

Operators of recreational parks within the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, on Thursday complained of low patronage as Nigerians celebrate this year’s Christmas.

In separate interviews with News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, in Abuja, the park operators attributed poor patronage to the current security challenge facing the country.

A NAN correspondent who visited some of the parks reports that there was lull in activities at the facilities in spite of the festive season.

Abdulatif Olausebikan, Head, Programmes and Events, FCTA Parks and Recreation Department, told NAN that the parks had provided numerous experiences for Nigerians during festive occasions.

Mr. Olaosebikan said the security situation in the country might have contributed to the low turnout of people at the parks.

He, however, advised Nigerians to be security conscious and support the Federal Government in the fight against insurgency for peace to reign supreme in the country.

“The parks and recreation department is collaborating with the Jabi Lake users to package some events basically for the festive season.

“But it is obvious that the turnout is a bit low and the only reason for this is the security situation report that we have gotten in the country.

“I will rather advise Nigerians not to panic but only be security conscious and support the government in its fight against insurgency,” he said.

A fun seeker in the park, Atinuke Ademola, expressed shock over recent security developments in parts of the country.

Mr. Ademola, who was out to celebrate with her family, however, attributed the low turnout to paucity of money to celebrate the Christmas.

“It is obvious that many civil servants are yet to be paid their salary and if this is so, how do you expect them to come out and celebrate with their family.

“Celebration is all about money and the government should fast track a means to pay this salary as there is still more time to celebrate because the New Year is still there,” she urged.

She further pleaded with Nigerians to know where to go and ensure vigilance in their movement.

On his part, Ifeanyi Uche, a banker, told NAN that the low patronage was due to the fact that many residents had travelled out of Abuja for the Christmas.

He also said the low turnout could be attributed to the fact that most people could decide to rest at home with their family for fear of attack.

Mr. Uche, however, expressed hope that the present security threat posed by the insurgency would soon become a thing of the past if only the government would act appropriately.

Jacobs Akin, Operations Manager, Assorted Foods and Integrated Park, Jabi, ascribed he low patronage on cash crunch.

He said despite the discount given to customers during the festive period, there was still low patronage.

He added that money would have been the barrier for most families not able to come out to celebrate.
Omololu Ibitayo, a 10-year-old girl, also told NAN that she was unable to get the best of the fun because most of her friends had travelled out of Abuja.

“My friends have travelled out of Abuja and most of them are not going to come back until after the 2015 election.

“One of my friends told me that her mother insisted they were not coming back until the election is over for fear that the Boko Haram might want to strike.

“Though I am also afraid, but I believe that God will keep those of us who are still around in this town,” she said.

She, however, urged government to end to the security challenge to enable Nigerians enjoy their lives. (NAN)


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  • amazing2012

    ……. Because they are afraid of insecurity under ineffective Jonathan !

  • luku

    Any gospel different from what Jesus christ and his 12 disciples preached is false,adulterated and untrue. Jesus christ never told us to serve him. He was only asking us to believe him as son of God(the saviour who takes away the sin of the world). Jesus christ never asked for tithes and offerings and gifts from people he and his disciples witnessed to. Jesus christ,unlike the pastors,bishops and deacons of the 21st century,was not hungry and after materials and monies. Rather,Jesus christ and his disciples fed the hungry,woke the dead,healed the sick and preach the gospel to the poor in spirit.

    • Bourgas

      Luku, ehat is your point? Aribisaka is a confusionist, antichristian. Only read his padt articles in Vanguard newspaperers.

  • bigboss

    I can’t seem to really figure out the importance of this write up to the body of Christ. Whether or not Paul is an apostle. His contribution to the scriptures has immensely blessed the body of Christ.

  • akanbi odeku

    Clarification without going into all the details discussed by Aribisala.
    1 Corinthians 10:33 says ” Just as I also please all men in all things, NOT SEEKING MY OWN PROFIT, but the profit of many, that they may be saved”(NKJV).
    How did this translate into Paul contradicting himself when the entire chapter is about “all to the Glory of God”? Besides, Paul HAD to establish his own “credentials” as an Apostle based on his previous life as a persecutor.

  • PATRICK OKOBIA

    No Sir. I respectfully disagree with you. Paul was/is an apostle of Jesus Christ. I will itemize it.

    First and foremost Apostles are CHOSEN directly by our Lord Jesus Christ whether before his Resurrection or after his Resurrection, the important thing is that Jesus Christ HIMSELF chose the person. Paul was chosen after HIS Resurrection and that does not diminish his Apostolic title.

    Secondly, Mathias the person that was chosen by the 11 after Judas Iscariot died was not even chosen by Jesus himself. He (Mathias) was chosen to fulfill the scripture based on the limited understanding of the 11 apostles. Jesus did not instruct them to do that even when He knew that Judas Iscariot has committed suicide and they are now 11 left.

    Thirdly, Recall that Jesus told us in John 10V16 about the other fold that he died for who are NOT part of Israel!!! Paul was the Apostle ( because he was Chosen by Christ) detailed to do that job of bringing them to the fold and he (Paul) knew clearly his unique mission. Recall when he detailed the meaning of GRACE OF JESUS to Israelites who believed and they resisted him and they took the matter to Headquarter in Jerusalem…guess what Peter told them Paul was right. See Act Chapter 15 verse1-34 ( emphasis are verse 6,13 &22.

    Fourthly, for convenience of time and Space , I want to comment on your statement so that you will understand that a Christian can be an Apostle because he is chosen DIRECTLY by JESUS CHRIST and still at same time be a minister and a brother. A man can still be a father and son and a brother all at same time…there is no conflict. I Quote you : ” Jesus called Paul as a minister and not as an apostle: “I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you.” (Acts 26:16). When Ananias went to Paul, he did not call him Apostle Saul but “Brother Saul.” (Acts 9:17). When the writer of 2 Peter also refers to Paul, he does not call him Apostle Paul but “brother Paul.” (2 Peter 3:15).” “Jesus called Paul as a minister and not as an apostle: “I have appeared to you for this purpose,(PAUL IS CHOSEN BY JESUS HIMSELF…SO THAT QUALIFIES HIM AS AN APOSTLE, IF YOU REMOVE JUDAS ISCARIOT IN THE EQUATION ONLY PAUL IS THE 12TH PERSON THAT JESUS CHOSE BY HIMSELF) to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you.” PAUL IS CHOSEN BY JESUS HIMSELF TO REVEAL WHAT OTHER APOSTLES DID NOT KNOW ABOUT GRACE, YOU CAN SEE THIS REVEALATIONS IF YOU FOLLOW PAUL’S TEACHING) (Acts 26:16). When Ananias went to Paul, he did not call him Apostle Saul but “Brother Saul.” WHAT QUALIFIES SOMEBODY TO BE APOSTLE IS IF THE PERSON IS CHOSEN BY JESUS HIMSELF BESIDES AN APOSTLE CAN BOTH AN APOSTLE AND A BROTHER ESPECIALLY WHEN IT IS LIKE THE CASE OF A NEW CONVERT” (Acts 9:17). When the writer of 2 Peter also refers to Paul, he does not call him Apostle Paul but “brother Paul.” (2 Peter 3:15). AGAIN, WHAT QUALIFIES SOMEBODY TO BE APOSTLE IS IF THE PERSON IS CHOSEN BY JESUS HIMSELF IT DOES NOT MATTER IF AN APOSTLE IS CALLED A BROTHER BECAUSE AN APOSTLE IS BOTH AN APOSTLE AND A BROTHER.

    In summary Paul is a full, sound Apostle of Our Lord Jesus Christ because he was CHOSEN DIRECTLY BY JESUS and his job description was very clear. See when Paul was insisting on benefit of Grace to converts as directed to do by his master Jesus Christ…Romans 15 verses 16-18. 16 That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.
    17 I have therefore whereof I may glory through Jesus Christ in those things which pertain to God.
    18 For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed

    • luku

      You are entitled to your opinion. I totally agree with bro Femi Aribisala on this one. I believe that your submission is out of what you learnt in theology school. That’s what happens when you have too much theology in your head. You argue truth until you are made a venerable. Am not surprised though.