By Nkiru Ifeajuna
Lagos – Some residents of Lagos State have appealed to the government to lift the ban it imposed on street carnivals some years ago ,especially, during Yuletide.
They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that carnivals used to spread brotherhood and faith among residents living within a particular neighbourhood.
They also said that they strengthened the spirit of reunion among relatives and relations who used to look forward to meeting themselves on such occasions.
They said that Yuletide without street carnivals was like a soup without salt and other condiments that would make it taste delicious especially for youths.
According to them, carnivals are important because they are the oxygen of society and life of any society.
NAN reports that the Lagos State Government (LASG) banned streets carnivals in the state some years ago saying that such used to be avenues for hoodlums and thugs to unleash terror on innocent citizens.
The government had since introduced “One Lagos Fiesta’’ usually celebrated in the five old divisions of the state: Lagos, Ikeja, Badagry, Epe and Ikorodu respectively.
Peter Nwafor, popularly known as “Dj Peezy’’ who participated in the 2017 “One Lagos Fiesta’’ told NAN that such events always happen annually and that they used to serve as sources of reunion among families.
“Most carnivals now celebrated in forms of festivals bring people of different ethnic groups living within the same environment together to rejoice with one another.
“It promotes diverse cultures by bringing people from different ethnic groups together and begin to regard themselves as one indivisible entity,” he said.
He said that government should illuminate every street with street-lights and put security in place to guide against street urchins hijacking street carnivals.
“Different local governments can organise carnivals within their council areas to promote what they are best known for that can impact positively on them and the state,” he said.
Nwafor said that such events could also attract tourists and boost the tourism industry sector.
A dancer, Promise Idiala, who also participated in the `One Lagos Fiesta’ advised organisers of the festival to always be transparent in relating with those they would recruit to work for them.
He said that would bring sanity and orderliness to carnivals and festivals.
He also suggested that there should be meetings where all the relevant stakeholders should agree that their followers would maintain peace and security during the shows.
Mr Femi Odulami, who had organised youths for festival in the past, told NAN that stakeholders should engage in proper planning for them to achieve success.
He advised youths recruited as ad-hoc staff to always exercise patience with the organisers so that the events could go as planned.
“However, when you want to explain the situation of things to the youth, they will not have the patience to listen to you and they will start destroying things,” he said.
Also, a musician, Ismael Lawal, popularly known as “King Songo’’, told NAN that besides a festival being to for fun, well-managed ones and events offer economic and social benefits to the host communities.
“It boosts the economy of the host community, because its residents will produce souvenirs such as: caps, T-shirts and cups for sales to visitors and guests,” he said.
Lawal said that carnivals should be encouraged but with well-thought-out plans so that there would not be problems during and after it.
“Street carnivals bring community together and youths can from there begin to organise themselves to do something meaningful for themselves and their community,” he said.
NAN reports that carnivals usually include concerts, music, competitions, contests, games, fairs lectures, meals eating and drinking parades.
These are usually organised by youths within communities mostly during Yuletide.