It is no longer party/event as usual in Lagos again, as many Lagos celebrities are now deprived of having a massive 2000 or 5000 party guests as usual due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
We can tell you authoritatively that the new COVID-19 rules made by the Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu as a good preventive measure to curtail the spread of the virus have made many Lagos celebrities who cannot cancel or postpone their parties resolve to move their parties to Ogun State, which is the closest neighbouring state. The rule which does not permit any social gathering of more than 300 has not gone down well with the celebrity vendors and party owners. It has also become a topic of discussion among many Lagos party-goers who are used to attending large gatherings either in form of wedding, birthday, burial, housewarming ceremonies, etc.
The Executive Governor of Lagos State first made the COVID-19 rules announcement on December 18th 2020, via his social media handle saying “Dear Lagosians, you will all agree with me that we cannot afford another lockdown of the economy. Amidst an economic recession, we must find a way to delicately balance the imperatives of life and livelihood”
He explained further that Event planners must get clearance and approval from the Lagos State Safety Commission and their gathering must not admit more than 300 people. Of course, you can say 300 people is a large crowd but that is not in Lagos. Lagosians are used to throwing 2000 or more party guests and this has been so difficult for many celebrities who want to throw parties and they have had to turn to neighbouring states.
While many event centres in Lagos that flouted the Covid-19 rules have their halls under lock and keys, many guests have been seen at many parties stranded while they walk out of parties even after buying Aso-Ebi with many thousand naira.
A good example was a popular hall called Queens Park on Ligali Ayorinde, the Havens in GRA Ikeja, Eko Club to mention but a few. Just a few days ago, the Eko Club was shut down when a London celeb babe stormed Nigeria to have her father’s grand burial. The food vendors, Caterers and Decorator were locked out. They had to quickly get a smaller venue to entertain their friends at Ebute Metta.
Another good example was when a popular US celebrity had to move his father’s burial to Ijebu Ode after a popular musician who was billed to perform said he couldn’t perform in Lagos. What about a popular Lagos celeb babe whose name starts with F? Her wedding had to be taken to a border boundary of Lagos and Ogun to allow her enjoy her day.
Another Saudi-Eko popular Lagos socialite had to take his son’s wedding to Ogun State to enable the day go well after selling Aso-Ebi to over 500 guests.
Who are those cashing out? It is the big event centres in Ogun State. Mostly those within Berger and Sango Tollgate. This has even made many top event centre owners along those axes and Ogun State in general to raise their prices. While some couldn’t get a date, some had to postpone their party to accommodate the dates given to them.
What are we trying to say here? Nobody wants to have their events cancelled, knowing that all money spent will be wasted and no refund is done.
Why then is the choice of Ogun State and how effective are these measures there? According to a popular Ogun socialite, many indigenes of Ogun State don’t believe that COVID-19 is real while those who believe feel that it is overhyped.
Have these measures really worked in Lagos and have they reduced the COVID-19 deaths and index? The answer is Yes. This was disclosed by the Governor of Lagos State who said that he is ready to take down the new rules.