By Collins Yakubu-Hammer
Abuja – As the Christmas celebration continued on Tuesday with ‘Boxing Day’, fun seekers at the Maitama Amusement Park in the Federal Capital Territory expressed hope that things would get better for Nigeria in the coming year.
They spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) while catching their fun in the park.
Mr Kenneth Bala, a resident of FCT, said the current hardship affecting Nigerians could not prevent them from enjoying the season.
Bala said that though its not easy but expressed optimism that things would be fine.
“After the pains, come the cheers. I believe that things will get better in the coming year by God’s grace. Life is not bed of roses. Sometime is good, sometimes is not.
“Right now its not, but I believe that the next phase will be good. Let’s always look at the positive side of life.
“Even when it is not so good, that does not mean we should be in mourning mode. I trust Nigerians, you can see a lot of people here having fun for the boxing day.
“It shall be well with Nigeria and Nigerians very soon. I have positive hope for this country,” Bala said.
Another fun seeker, Mrs Bintu Abubakar who came to the park in company of her five children, said everyone has the right to be happy.
“It is still Christmas celebration, and here we are in Maitama Amusement Park to have fun. As a human being, having fun has nothing to do with religion. We are Muslims but having fun with Christians here.
“That is how it is suppose to be, because we are one Nigeria. Even though times are hard, fuel is scarce, I am very hopeful that things will soon get better.
“Nigerians should learn to pray for the leaders. Being at the top there is not easy; our leaders also encounter temptations and distractions. Let’s pray for them to do good.
“With our prayers for them, they will perform better, because God can touch their hearts to change for the betterment of the masses,” Abubakar said.
Mrs Helen Kigbu, a housewife, also said she was in the park to celebrate Christmas.
“It is interesting to see many people in the park having fun as if there was no fuel scarcity. This is a sign of good things to come.
“I know that for some people, it is not easy, but I believe that 2018 will bring good tidings for Nigerians. I have trust on President Muhammadu Buhari to make Nigerians smile next year.
“Though it is not easy this 2017, but it will be better next year. I am sure that government is also aware that 2017 is not easy and it will try hard to make it up in 2018,” Kigbu said.
Mr Ifeanyi Ebuka, a spare parts dealer at Apo, said the country is going through hard period but added that it would give way for better things.
He expressed satisfaction with the services at the park, stressing that fun seekers have every reason to come and have fun.
“I believe in one Nigeria. We are blessed with many resources and our people are hardworking.
“Our leaders should wake up and do the right thing for the people to have confidence in the journey to the promise land.
`There is no fuel now, but I believe it will be over very soon. I believe the government has what it takes to resolve the problem and make Nigerians happy.
“I hope to see the condition of an average Nigerian improved in the coming year,” Ebuka said.
Meanwhile, the Manager of the Maitama Amusement Park, Malam Abdullahi Shettima, said he expected more crowd than what was recorded.
“Some people are complaining that it takes them time to get fuel before coming to the park. So that has affected the turnout of fun seekers.
“Also the economic challenges; people do not have enough money. There is no enough money in circulation. I think these are the reasons for low turnout.
“Nevertheless, this year is better than the last one because people are coming out now after realising that security challenges has been tackled by the government in the Federal Capital,” he said.
However, Shettima expressed hope that Nigeria would experience positive change in 2018.
“Nigeria will be better next year. The government is trying to put a lot of things in track. Now we have started seeing some level of confidence in terms of security.
“People have started getting use to situation of things, I hope that we will have a better Nigeria in 2018,” Shettima said.