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Christmas: Nigerians Defy Second Covid-19, Economic Hardship To Travel Home

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Zainab Sanni

Nigerians, mostly Igbos, are known for returning to their villages from wherever they may reside, including those in the Diaspora to celebrate the Christmas and New Year holiday with family.¦

There have been speculations that the rising insecurity, the impending second wave of COVID-19, economic hardships and increase in transport fares, would drastically reduce the number of Igbo travelers this year

Findings by An24.net however reveal that individuals and families are defying the odds to be with their kinsmen in their villages this holiday season.

A park manager at Okeyson Motors, Ogba, Ifeoma Obi , who spoke with our correspondent says the sales recorded beat their expectations this year and even surpassed the sales in previous. She noted that they lead as many as nine buses to full capacity daily.

She said, “People are travelling more. We are loading eight to nine buses daily. Our drivers also told us that there has been heavy traffic and the road is blocked. This is an indication that people are travelling more than they did last year.”

She opined that the realities of COVID-19 might have spurred people to go home so that they will be with their kinsmen to avoid being stuck in Lagos during another lockdown.

READ ALSO: Lagosians At Risk As COVID-19 Testing Centre Refuses To Test Suspected Cases

“I think it is even because of COVID-19 that people are travelling more. They are also scared that there might be another lockdown and want to take the opportunity to be with their family,” said Obi.

An employee of God is Good Tansport, Iyana-Paja, Sheila Ahnum who spoke to our correspondent said since people began to travel home for the holidays, there was no day they did not load all their vehicles.

She noted that most of the travellers were people relocating from Lagos unlike before where most the travellers only went for the holidays.

Sheila said, “If we have even more vehicles, I am sure we will get customers to fill them everyday. Even as the fare is expensive, people are still travelling.”

“People are really travelling. I think COVID-19 seriously affected a lot people. Imagine an entire family coming with all their household items to say they are returning to the east. That is what see daily,” she said.

She also noted that the cost of transportation was higher because of social distancing and fuel price.

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