Abuja Carnival commenced over the weekend and ends today. Abuja residents don’t know and wouldn’t care anyway.

Posted on November 27, 2012 by


On Saturday, the 24th of November 2012, the annual Abuja Carnival, tagged ‘Carnival of Peace and Harmony’, was declared open by the Dame herself, Patience Faka Jonathan.

When the word carnival is used, what comes to mind are festivities, public parades & dancing, street parties & street food, months of preparation, elaborate costumes and even masquerades. Unfortunately, few of these words could have been used to describe the events surrounding this year’s Abuja Carnival. The Guardian described the preparations as “shrouded by unusual calmness,” peppered with the Nigerian staple of “late preparation due to late release of funds.” While one Abuja resident was quoted as saying “Publicity was zero. I’d given up, that it wasn’t happening this year…”, another observant resident noted that “…the arena is so empty and the participants are the ones filling the place  because they go to seat [sic] after they parade.”

Children attending a funfair organised yesterday as part of the carnival were left wondering what the hell happened to the masquerades and parties their young naive minds expected to find at the ‘carnival’. One rather patriotic child blamed it on the security challenges in the country, another attributed it to unpaid civil servant salaries and another to governmental policy to keep the event low-key. But one student’s explanation stood head and shoulders above all others; inadequate publicity.

In light of these statements, I decided to visit the event’s website, none existed. So I went to its Facebook page and it was last updated 9 months ago. No other words are needed to describe this year’s highly successful event. Perhaps it will end better than it started. Did you attend the Abuja carnival? Leave us a comment, we’re dying to hear all about it.


Posted in: Culture