Low key Yuletide celebrations as Nigerians bemoan hard times, COVID-19

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A combination of the coronavirus pandemic and the economic hardship took the shine off this year’s Christmas across the country, giving Nigerians an unusual festival.

Gone were the Christmas carols, Father Christmas shows, merry making at selected spots and visits to friends and relatives.

Christmas Day church services went almost unnoticed.

Some wondered if it was indeed Christmas period.

Some fun seekers in Abuja who defied the warning to steer clear of recreational parks were sent back home on Friday by agents of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA).

Major markets opened for business in parts of Lagos, the chief commercial city.

Vehicular traffic was heavy in some areas.

But bars and relaxation centres were shut in line with government‘s directive.

The churches were not filled up with worshippers.

Many residents went about without a face mask.

In Osogbo, most of the churches recorded low attendance of worshippers.

These include All Souls Anglican Church, Oke-Fia; Jesus Christians Assembly, Asubiaro; Living Faith Church, Oke-Onitea; and Rehoboth Baptist Church, Okini.

An official of Living Faith Church said: “Usually, we hold three services 7:00 am-8:45 am, 8:50 am-10:25 am, 10:30 am-12 pm. But for the Christmas service of today we had only one service which started at 8:00 am and attendance was very low. We recorded 1,138 attendees,” as against the regular 1,700 per service.

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