Rivers residents lament poor preparation for Christmas

Lorine Emenike

Just few days to Christmas day, Rivers residents have bemoaned their poor preparation towards this year’s Christmas celebration.

Reacting in an interview with our correspondent, some residents including civil servants and business owners blamed this year’s poor Christmas preparation on the covid-19 pandemic which has not only slowed down businesses but has also robbed many of the good life they once had.

A civil servant who pleaded anonymity said this year’s Christmas preparation is different and worst compared to previous Christmas she had experienced.

She said most of her colleagues are basically concerned with what to feed themselves and their immediately families with rather than being bothered with the celebration.

“This year’s Christmas preparation, things are very difficult, things are not moving well because of the covid-19 pandemic. Lots of persons are just managing to survive. You see people that bought goat, fowl, cow, Turkey, bag of rice to celebrate last year’s Christmas with their family and friends, same people are unable to afford ice fish today, very bad economy caused by covid-19 pandemic.

“We are just managing this year all because of covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown we had for months. During the lockdown, people stayed indoors, many businesses were tied down. This Christmas, people are struggling to survive, nobody is talking about Christmas, an average man in Port Harcourt can not feed well.

“The incentives we get during this yuletide season just to celebrate Christmas as staff of Rivers State government, we no longer get, covid-19 affected our economy so bad.

“Civil Servants today depend only on their merger salaries which are promptly paid, because that is the only thing we get. Like now that Christmas is by the corner and they pay you your basic salary, you just use your money for these items (rice, meat, etc), but if you use up your salary to buy items just to enjoy Christmas with your family, you and your family will die of hunger come January, so you have to manage”

On his part Princewill, a 35 years old pharmacist said ” this year’s Christmas preparation is very poor, to me I have not seen this kind of Christmas. I am not sure this year’s Christmas celebration will be fun compared to previous Christmas. We don’t even know if the entire town will be on lockdown on 25th being Christmas day”

Also, Ada, a beautician who owns a beauty parlour in Port Harcourt said that before, around this period, her saloon was usually flooded with women of various ages who come to either make their hair, nails, pedicure, manicure etc just to look good for Christmas.

However, she said this year, the patronage is very poor and blamed covid-19, as customers are complaining of lack of money.

Also, Mrs. Amewhule, a middle aged food stuff seller at the Mile 3 market also complained of poor patronage this year.

According to her: ” I didn’t bother to stock up my shop for Christmas, no money to restock shop.

“Even I am still mourning my loss, most of my goods got spoilt during the lock down so there was no money to restock my shop, abeg let’s this year end, I seriously pray 2021 will compensate for 2020”