The 2016 edition of Abuja Carnival which began on Saturday recorded poor turnout of FCT residents due to the economic hardship in the country.
This year’s carnival was devoid of the usual funfare that used to characterise the event.
In the past, the streets used to be lined up with residents of the FCT who created time to watch the event, while others simply closed down their businesses just to catch a glimpse of the street procession.
It was also observed that some designated streets of the FCT that were usually decorated for the carnival were left bare as they were not decorated.
Some of the residents who spoke on the poor turnout said that the carnival should not be the priority of the Federal Government, adding that measures should be taken to alleviate the sufferings of Nigerians.
Samuel Olawale, who was at a newspaper vendor’s stand while the street procession was going on, said that though there was a bit of awareness on the carnival, “the citizens are hungry’’.
“I am aware of the carnival, flyers were distributed, but it is not masquerade dance that people want to hear.
“The president should know that people are hungry and are more interested in putting food on their table,’’ he said.
Similarly, Afolabi Alade, a taxi driver around Area One, however disagreed with the respondent above, saying that there was no awareness on the carnival, and it didn’t hold in 2015.
“Other years when the carnival held, you would have seen the obvious signs on the road that carnival is holding.
“This time around, we did not see the signs compared to other years where the Police would have barricaded the roads and vacate us from our parks,’’ Alade said.
The carnival is expected to end on December 6.