Xmas: Ezimo Carnival, Palm Wine Among Reasons Enugu Returnees ‘Borrow’ To Travel Home

Despite high transport fares and economic hardship in the country, Igbo travellers residing in Abuja have vowed to return home during this year’s Christmas celebrations.

Malachy Okonkwo, residing in Abuja, Thursday, told THE WHISTLER that he would return on 27th December purposely to participate in the forthcoming Ezimo Carnivals. Our correspondent learnt that Ezimo is in Udenu LGA of Enugu State.

Okonkwo said, “The carnival is added enjoyment. I may not come with my family due to obvious reasons. I hope the carnival will be sustained so that next year, all of us will be home to enjoy it.

“Specifically, I want to watch how our dying culture is being revived through the carnival. Time was when we watched echariricha, akatakpa masquerades etc. I also want to eat our local delicacies like utara okpa. I can’t wait to watch these and more from 26th December till after New Year.”

For Ikechukwu Mba, “I’m simply returning home to see my loved ones. Things are difficult, but we do our best to return home during festivals. I also look forward to witnessing the Ezimo Carnival. Particularly, I want to visit the famous Ezimo Waterfalls.”

Cele Eze, also residing in Abuja, said, “I can even borrow to return home to see my old friends. The main reason however is to drink palm wine. I enjoy drinking it, and I can’t find the Enugu Ezike quality elsewhere in Nigeria. And the best time to drink it is during Christmas.”

Our correspondent reports that transport fares from Mararaba in Nasarawa State to Enugu, which hitherto were between N3, 000 and N4, 500, currently range from N9, 000 to N12, 000. Despite the hike, Igbo travellers surge motor parks to return home.

A transporter, identified as Chinedu, said they were making huge profits, especially ‘because there is no petroleum products price hike’. Transporters however called for repairs of roads to make the transport sector smoother.

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