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2015 carnival, tale of thrills amid low turnout



Scene from the Lagos Carnival held at the weekend.

THE last carnival procession in the life of governor Babatunde Fashola-led administration was filled with glamour and fun at the weekend, but for several empty seats and low turnout at the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS) end of the street parade.

Indeed, it was the lowest turnout ever witnessed in the last eight editions of the carnival. Several postponement of the date was though blamed for the low turnout, but participants fingered heavy traffic and tight security barricade that dotted the nooks and crannies of the TBS ground.

The security measure, it was gathered, was to ensure miscreants do not have a filled day like it was the case last year. Besides, absence of life performances by ace musicians also stole some bits of excitement from the festival of colours and displays.

The attendees, who also complained of lateness in starting the carnival, which they attributed to traffic across the metropolis as a result of the lingering fuel scarcity in the country.

Oba Owolabi Adeniyi, the traditional ruler of Igbobi-Sabe in Yaba, in fact complained that this year’s carnival started rather late at about 1:40 p.m. unlike in 2014 when it started at about 10:00 a.m. “

I have been at the venue since 10:00 a.m. because I thought they will start early. I am disappointed that this year’s edition started late,” Adeniyi said. While the waiting at TBS ground took longer than usual, the carnival spirit was felt around Lagos Island.

It, however, could not draw sizeable crowd to the TBS for the ground finale. At exactly 1p.m. Eko Samba Community led the carnival processions with sonorous drumbeat and dances.

Coming from various streets, diverse colourful groups funneled into the TBS to begin a major highlight of the Lagos Carnival 2015. The Isolo 139-man group came in with demonstration of procession typical of the slave trade era.

In a masterful performance, they broke into dance steps to entertain the cheering crowd. About 165-man group from Ketu and Ifako also followed. The team from Ifako, in all white and orange attire, staged freestyles acrobatic display.

Agege came into the arena in all yellow outfit that were revealing on several of the female dancers. Ikosi Legacy troupe also followed in Shaka Zulu fashion as the afternoon wore on.

State governor, Babatunde Fashola urged all the sponsors, participants, designers and manufacturers of the costumes to continue to work hard to expand on what the present administration has done.

Fashola described the day as a great family day where all the children, parents can come out, dance, sing, display and generally have fun, stressing that a nation that has so many young people needs many more of such activity to expend the energies that it has and to channel them to productive purposes.

He expressed hope that the participants in the 2015 Carnival have all enjoyed themselves in spite of the delays prompted by the shifting of the elections that the present administration was determined to hold the carnival nonetheless.

Citing that it was the last carnival he would be addressing a state governor, Fashola expressed optimism that the Governor-elect, Akinwunmi Ambode, would stage 2016 Carnival.

Prominent among the spectators were the Deputy Governor, Adejoke Orelope- Adefulire, Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, Chief Rasheed Gbadamosi, All Progressives Congress Woman leader in the South West, Kemi Nelson and several tourists from within and outside the country.

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