Notwithstanding the much touted economic downturn affecting not a few families today, Enugu residents yesterday, October 1 trooped out in droves to celebrate the 55th anniversary of Nigeria’s Independence with the Enugu State Government calling on all Coal City residents never to shirk their responsibilities to the nation.
As a matter of fact, Wednesday evening through the night provided an insight into what was to expect the following day, (Thursday). Masquerades of different attires flooded the streets, causing traffic congestion, especially in Obiagu district, New Layout, New Haven, Coal Camp, Abakpa Nike and Uwani.
Motorists had hectic time in the attempts to manoeuvre and swerve towards their destinations as some of the masquerades engaged passersby in fisticuffs. As if deliberately planned, various open spaces and amusement parks were suddenly converted into arenas for masquerades display, and of course residents relished the ensuing exhibitions by the youths of the Coal City.
Some of the youths leading the masquerades told The UNION that, “poor economy or not, we do this two times in a year; during our community’s New Yam festival and October 1.” Amaechi Ugwu who hails from Ibagwa Nike explained: “Masquerading affords us the opportunity to make some money and take care of ourselves thereafter. We move about, entertaining people, even tourists who are watching our kind of displays for the first time, and they appreciate what we are doing by throwing money at us.
– Amah Baldwin, Enugu