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Digital Journal Reports

article imagePhoto Essay: Hustle and bustle of the yuletide in Ibadan Special

Ibadan - The Christmas/New Year season—the yuletide—coincides with the harmattan or dry season in Nigeria, during which dusty and dry trans-Saharan trade winds blowing across the Gulf of Guinea in late November to December bring the rainy season to an end.
The end of the rains is signal for the commencement of the season for inter-regional trading activities. Trading activities are at a low ebb during the rainy months, and almost grinds to a halt at the height of the rains in July and August.
The planting season begins with the rains and while the rains last, the myriads of small and medium businessmen who come from the inland regions to the coastal region for trade turn to farming. Trading businesses in the coastal regions of the south experience a lull in business during the rainy months for this reason.
Iwo Road is a major terminus to and from Lagos. Early morning traffic
Iwo Road is a major terminus to and from Lagos. Early morning traffic
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This terminus is the last major stop before Lagos for travelers from the  hinterland
This terminus is the last major stop before Lagos for travelers from the hinterland
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Iwo road is a major trading center in its own right
Iwo road is a major trading center in its own right
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Heavy traffic on Iwo road
Heavy traffic on Iwo road
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Iwo road is also a major financial district. Banks are conveniently situated for travelers and trade...
Iwo road is also a major financial district. Banks are conveniently situated for travelers and traders who may need banking services
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Just after dawn  Ibo traders are already on the streets in anticipation of  the day s business
Just after dawn, Ibo traders are already on the streets in anticipation of the day's business
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Iwo road is a major center for building materials. Major building materials importers in Iwo road in...
Iwo road is a major center for building materials. Major building materials importers in Iwo road include the famous Uchekinze & Sons.
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Beside the effect of the farming season on business, the rainy season is not the best time for commercial traveling, especially when you deal in goods that are liable to spoilage or damage in rain. In a country where the railroad haulage service is non-existent, poor road network that becomes waterlogged or even entirely washed away in floodwater increases the risk of commercial travelling during the rains. Thus, most traders stock during the dry season and decrease the frequency of their trips to the coast to restock for sales during the rainy months.
Building materials: bathtubs  kitchen sinks  floor ceramic tiles  pvc pipes etc.
Building materials: bathtubs, kitchen sinks, floor ceramic tiles, pvc pipes etc.
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Motorcycle importers at the  Olowo t in f owo s anu  building. The merchant shops import both brand ...
Motorcycle importers at the "Olowo t'in f'owo s'anu" building. The merchant shops import both brand new and second-hand Japanese motorcycles. Note the second-hand TV sets displayed
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Second-hand house hold electricals: fridges  TV sets  irons  washing machines.
Second-hand house hold electricals: fridges, TV sets, irons, washing machines.
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Machine parts mall on Iwo road
Machine parts mall on Iwo road
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Car and motor cycle spare part dealers at Gate. They import parts mostly from the Far East: China  T...
Car and motor cycle spare part dealers at Gate. They import parts mostly from the Far East: China, Taiwan and Singapore
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Spare parts market at Gate  Ibadan
Spare parts market at Gate, Ibadan
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But once the rains are over and harvest done, northern farmers hit the road again as traders and flock to the coastal region. The influx of traders from the inland during the dry season stimulates commerce and there is a general increase in the tempo of activity in the southern cities of Lagos and Ibadan.
The women buy items such as brake and gear fluids  engine oil  small car parts from importers for re...
The women buy items such as brake and gear fluids, engine oil, small car parts from importers for resale
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Second-hand cars for sale
Second-hand cars for sale
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The never-ending stream of humanity at Gate. Gate is famous center for second-hand goods. Note the w...
The never-ending stream of humanity at Gate. Gate is famous center for second-hand goods. Note the woman with the baby strapped to her back. This is the customary method for carrying babies. Nigerians never carry their babies in prams.
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Imported Second-hand clothing and vehicle parts are available at Gate. Gate is also a major transpor...
Imported Second-hand clothing and vehicle parts are available at Gate. Gate is also a major transport terminus
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More people  in a rush
More people in a rush
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A small market. Note the man striking a pose dressed in a stylish  Dansiki  robe
A small market. Note the man striking a pose dressed in a stylish "Dansiki" robe
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Early morning buying and selling
Early morning buying and selling
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Lagos is the major port of entry of goods to Nigeria and the Lagos metropolis is the ultimate destination for commercial travelers from the inland wishing to purchase essential commodities and businessmen restocking ahead of the next rainy season. The hustle and bustle of life in Lagos during the dry season is due mostly to the increase in inter-regional human traffic related to trading activities, rather than to the fact of Christmas and New Year festivities.
Ibadan enjoys the spill-over effect of commercial activities in Lagos during the dry season. Major trading centers in Ibadan such as Iwo road and Agbeni market have importers and wholesalers. Many commercial travelers from the northern hinterland stop in Ibadan to make their purchases.
Commercial banks at the Idi-Ape end of Iwo road
Commercial banks at the Idi-Ape end of Iwo road
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The traffic in Iwo road at this time of the year is heavy. A continuous stream of traffic on an aver...
The traffic in Iwo road at this time of the year is heavy. A continuous stream of traffic on an average day
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Traffic on Iwo road
Traffic on Iwo road
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Traffic at Idi-Ape
Traffic at Idi-Ape
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Thus, the increased tempo of business activities in the Lagos-Ibadan axis is not due to the Christmas-New Year festivities per se, but because the dry season is the time traders from the northern regions come down to the southern coast to restock ahead of the next rains.
A little less than fifty percent of Nigerians are Muslims,and they are largely indifferent to the Christmas festivities. The major festival seasons for Muslims are the Eid-el-Adha and Eid-el-Fitr festivals fixed on the Arabic lunar calender which shifts constantly relative to the official solar Gregorian calender.
Traffic at the Idi-Ape end of Iwo road
Traffic at the Idi-Ape end of Iwo road
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A traffic hold-up just before Basorun Market
A traffic hold-up just before Basorun Market
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Traffic jam at Basorun Market.
Traffic jam at Basorun Market.
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Eben Fast Food really is an event planner. This is the season for weddings.
Eben Fast Food really is an event planner. This is the season for weddings.
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Near dusk at Iwo raod
Near dusk at Iwo raod
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Among the Yoruba, for instance, the Christmas festival is often almost derisively referred to as "odun kekere," that is, the "small festival" because it is not considered an important festival. Christmas celebration tends to the low-keyed even among Nigerian Christians who look forward to the New Year as the major festival, termed "odun nla," that is "big festival."
For Muslims, Eid-el-Adha ("Ileya") is the ultimate "big festival," not Christmas or New Year.
article:338908:24::0
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