By Femi Mustapha
The Christmas celebration in Kaduna state was marred by Insecurity bedeviling the state and the resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Investigation reveals that ‘Joints’ that are usually beehives of activities during this celebration looks like a ghost of itself.
The Gamji gate which usually witnesses fun loving citizens of Kaduna state trooping in the area to catch fun was virtually under lock as personnel from the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corp turned back visitors.
Similarly, the most popular under the ‘Mango tree joint’ along Ibrahim Yakowa way was a ghost of itself as few people were seen in the area unlike the previous year that it is a must go joint for people from Karji, Kamazou, Refinery Junction and even Sabo.
A shop owner, Linda Auta, who expressed her concern about the low patronage of customers attributes this to general Insecurity, especially kidnapping and banditry ravaging some communities within the vicinity.
According to Mrs Auta, people are more concern today about the security of their lives and Families than catching guns with friends and loved ones.
In Angwan Gimbiya, Chikun Local Government area of Kaduna state where kidnappers struck on Christmas eve and whisked away some residents, people were seen moving out of the community to a safer area.
A resident, Ishayku Kantiok, said he is living his property and moving out with his family because of the fear for their life, saying they don’t know when they will come back again.
Similarly, Kuregu in wusasa district of Zaria LGA which was hit by bandits on Christmas day is now a ghost town as residents have migrated to the main Wusasa town and other vicinities.
Shops in the area are under lock and key.
A trader who will not want its name on print said” My brother, it is only the living that does business, make we protect our lives first before we do business”.
The situation was worsened by a directive from Kaduna state Ministry calling on all residents to adhere strictly to COVID-19 safest protocols during the Christmas and New year celebrations.
The statement signed by the Commissioner of Health, Dr. Amina Muhammed Baloni advises residents to wear Facemask, observe Physical distance, Maintain good hygiene and avoid crowded places.
This warning was not taken lightly as most residents keep strictly to their own during the period.
The ever busy Ahmadu Bello way, especially the Central Market and some supermarkets that witness in flow of customers that came in with their families for shopping are witnessing a reverse case.
The general population of Kaduna residents that spoke with this correspondent that these two monsters; the Security Challenges and COVID-19 pandemic affected source of income of many of the residents living them with little or no money for celebrations.
All said and done, the atmosphere in Kaduna metropolis and environs is that the 2021 Christmas celebration will go down as one of the most low key celebration ever witnessed in the crocodile city.