Calabar Christmas Village Opens Without A Bang

The Calabar Xmas Village as captured by our reporter.
The Calabar Xmas Village as captured by our reporter.
While several people in Cross River State and beyond will hopefully be visiting Calabar, the state capital for the annual Calabar Christmas Festival, it is looking unlikely that the crowd pulling Calabar Christmas village concept of the Festival will attract high visitor turn-out, investigations can reveal.

By late evening, December 1, 2015 when our reporter visited the Christmas village, staged this year at the Calabar Botanical Gardens, those charged with putting the village together were unable to provide electricity and water at the village. In the course of further investigations, our reporter discovered that while money was quickly collected for rented kiosks by agents of government, the same money was not ploughed back into providing electricity and water, factored into the charges. One woman who has a kiosk there was heard lamenting that having to go provide water and light for her food vending business was unacceptable and will take away what profit she would have made.

The location of the village is also a serious issue for most people. A few persons spoken to quickly impressed it on that the areas bordering the village; the Calabar Hausa settlement called Bogobiri, Target and Goldie Streets as well as the Mary Slessor Avenue, have in recent times been fingered as high crime areas in the Calabar metropolis. “Yes, there is a high fence around the village, but I am sure that if you park your car around Target Street in the night, you should be prepared to take what you see from the miscreants who roam the area once they spot you”, one source said.

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