In spite of the current security challenges in the country, activities marking this year’s Valentine’s Day got to a peak in many parts of the country on Val’s Day, as lovers renewed their love or moved on to new ones.
In Abuja, Kaduna, Port Harcourt and Lagos, the story was the same as fun seekers practically took over the several hotels and relaxation spots. At Nyanya, a suburb of Abuja, for instance, fun seekers painted the city red.
Many people believed that Valentine’s Day is a day to show love, giving to the less privileged, affecting lives positively and putting smiles on the faces of people.
Izuchukwu Nwanjesus, the manager of a pharmacy shop at Nyanya, said he sold about 3,860 packets of condom yesterday, Valentine’s Day.
According to him, he made good sales of condoms on every Valentine’s Day, even as he admitted that his pharmacy also sold reasonable figures in other days.
Nwanjesus said that, apart from condoms, people have also been coming for sexual enhancement drugs like Vega 100. “We have sold more than 20 packets which contains four tablets each,” he said.
Another pharmaceutical shop owner in Utako District of Abuja, who pleaded anonymity, said his shop exhausted its stock before the evening of Val’ Day.
“For over three years now since I opened this pharmaceutical shop, I have noticed that the rush for condoms and contraceptives by both married and single people doubled. On Val’s, for instance, I ran out of condoms and, for several hours, my shop was besieged by people who wanted condoms but I couldn’t make any more provisions,” he stated.
An attendant at a store in Gwarimpa, Third Avenue, explained that condom sales and prices went up. He said: “Between 13th night and Val’s Day afternoon, we have sold more than 25 packs of various condoms, unlike other days that we barely sell more than five packs of condoms in 24 hours.”
Iwono further disclosed tous that, on days like Valentine’s Day, there is equally a high demand for contraceptives by women.
“Most of our customers are male, but surprisingly this valentine’s day, about six females came to purchase condoms and lubricants,” said Abu, another salesman at a store in Kado Estate, Abuja. “Generally, condoms have been purchased by customers in larger quantities during the valentine’s celebration and we made good sales.”
Some hotels also revealed that 90 per cent of the rooms were totally booked up before noon on Val’s Day. Some hoteliers who spoke on the condition of anonymity said this had become the tradition in their hotels during festive periods, especially Valentine’s Day celebration.
Our correspondents who visited some hotels in and around Ikeja, the Lagos State capital and the Garden City of Port Harcourt were told that many of the economy suites had been fully booked from as early as 12 noon on Val’s Day by fun seekers who spent the night with their lovers.
For those on the very low budget or who could not afford to sleep outside their homes and had expected to use some of the rooms for the ‘short time service’, they had to pay more, as the various hotel facility owners arbitrarily increased their rates from the usual N1,500 to N2,000 and beyond per hour.
Meanwhile, The AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), a US-based organisation, on val’s day distributed free condoms and also conducted free Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) tests on residents of Nyanya.
The project director of the foundation, Dr. Olawale Salami, said the exercise was in commemoration of the International Condom Day (ICD) tagged “Protect yourself, protect your partner, use condom”.