Charity Nwakaudu, Abuja
There are many Pleasure Parks in Abuja that boast of high aesthetics, good lawns, trimmed trees and and well maintained rocks. The parks operate day and night and attract the high and the mighty who come there to relax. However, some of the parks have become dangerous places at midnights.
Among other nefarious things, street urchins and miscreants go there for narcotics consumption at the end of the day’s activities. Investigations by Daily Sun showed that these activities are more prevalent in gardens in Wuse and Garki.
A businessman in one of the gardens in Wuse, George Adams, said the park where he operated was a good place for picnics and relaxation because of its cool natural features.
He also said most people visit the garden for relaxation after the activities of the day, especially people from the nearby Wuse Market, while others, mostly lovers, see the rocks as beds for fun. He boasted that he makes good
sales in the park as customers start trooping from the early hours of day till late in the night.
“The atmosphere is very good for cooling off. “It is really a love garden. Once it is 6pm, you start seeing people in pairs on almost all the rocks. Most people patronise it because of its natural features,” he said.
He, however, refused to deny or confirm the presence of hard drugs users at odd hours there.
A customer, Chukwuemeka Nkem, agreed that the park was a very good place for relaxation for lovers. He said
he normally visited the park with friends to have fun after the day’s toil.
However, he added that, despite the pleasant nature of the environs, there were some traits that discouraged him from visiting the garden, which he said included high consumption of narcotics by some people in the park.
“It is a pleasant place to hang out with loved ones but most drug addicts use it as a hideout for their nefarious activities. They smoke freely. Although there is a police checkpoint nearby, they are not harassed by the law enforcement agents. So, when people see you entering there, the impression is that you are going to do same,” he said.
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A customer of one of the top gardens in Garki, John Enejo, declared that the place was a love park. He said
one of his reasons for continuing to patronise the park was the beautiful atmosphere that pervades the place, and, after the day’s business, he usually hanged out with his girlfriend in the garden.
“Any day I want to have fun, I give my babe a call in the evening. She joins me in the garden, and after taking enough drinks and pepper soup, we relocate to one of the rocks to take another turn of fun.
“Things are also sold at the normal price in the park, unlike other parks where they increase their prices, and
their services are good,” he said.
While he did not comment on the use of the place by drug dealers and addicts, some ladies at the park complained vociferously about it. They confessed that they were afraid to visit the park alone at night because of the criminal activities perpetrated by some hoodlums in the park.
Jilly Ameh, from Maitama, said that her phone was stolen in the park one night when she went to meet her boyfriend in the garden. She said that when she got to the park that evening, she brought out her phone to call her friend to know the particular side of the park where he was. Immediately she was done with the call and returned the phone to her purse, someone tapped her from behind and snatched the pulse and ran into the dark. “ I stood still like a fool for minutes before I regained mys senses.
If not that I had called my boyfriend before the incident, it could have been difficult for me to go home because I was left with nothing,” she lamented.