There was a heavy presence of security personnel in and around Oba Akran Avenue, Ikeja, venue of the ongoing Lagos Street Carnival on Sunday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Lagos State Government is the organiser of the carnival holding on Lagos Mainland for the first time since its introduction some years ago.
Previous carnivals were usually held on Lagos Island where by participants would then dance round the major streets of the Island ending at the popular Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS).
NAN also observed a beehive of activities such as selling of souvenirs at the venue ahead of the formal opening of the carnival.
Security personnel present at the venue include: the Lagos Neighborhood Safety Corps, soldiers, the Nigeria Police, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, all were seen patrolling Oba Akran Avenue and its adjoining streets to maintain peace.
Some officers of Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and the Vehicle Inspection Office were on hand to control human and vehicular movements.
A security officer, who preferred anonymity, said that the heavy presence of security agencies was to forestall any possible breach of law and order.
He said that the security agencies were being proactive to nip in the bud any possible security threat to the success of the carnival.
Another officer from the Lagos Neighborhood Safety Corps, who preferred anonymity, said that all hands were on deck to ensure a safety and peaceful environment at the venue.
The officer said that there were adequate personnel on ground around the venue to ensure that every where was calm and in order.
“As you can see, our officers are parading the street on their bikes while some are positioned at strategic corners ensuring a peaceful environment,” he said.
Mr Ladi Olaoluwa, the band leader of the Indigenous Cultural Band, said that his men were on hand to provide cultural music that visitors and guests could dance to at the carnival.
He expressed optimism that this year’s carnival would be more entertaining than the previous editions because of efforts put into its organisation.
A student, Mr Ayo Lawal, said that the carnival was also in furtherance of the Lagos State Government’s objective of uniting all the indigenes of the state and several other ethnics groups in the city/state together through entertainment.
“This is another avenue to promote our culture as one nation, one big family but with different cultural backgrounds but living in unity.
“I am proud to be a Nigerian with what I am seeing in the carnival,” he said.
A food vendor, Mrs Taira Adeoye, said that although this was her first time of participating, she was filled with joy for being part of the show and impressed with the patronage of her food items.
“I had never sold in such a crowded environment like this before; I am happy with the sales I have so far made,’’ she said.
Traders at the carnival were making brisk business as contingents from different parts of the state were patronising them.
Also, there was no right of way on Oba Akran Avenue while traffic was diverted to Obafemi Awolowo Way which caused light traffic gridlock there and its environ.