Monday, June 18, 2018

Free Sunday Entertainment at Ikot Ekpene Center Plaza in Akwa Ibom State

Free Sunday Entertainment at Ikot Ekpene Center Plaza in Akwa Ibom State

ICMS, Inc Reports
By Tom Okure, Ph.D

Throughout Nigeria Sunday is devoted to worship and relaxation in many states. In towns and cities in Akwa Ibom State as is common in many other places all over the country including IKot Ekpene, people return home after church service to relax, eat, visit with friends and relatives and later look for ways to unwind and entertain themselves.  A popular way of entertainment is to hang out with friends in open air sit outs to drink and listen to popular hip-hop and religious music by popular Nigerian artists.

A Welcome Sign To Visitors at the Plaza Entrance

Unwinding on Sundays is recognized by all ages as a way to ease body stress and tensions built up due to work, school and business related activities. 

Free Local Government Music Entertainment For the Public Every Sunday At Ikot Ekpene Center Plaza Park

Evening Atmosphere and Relaxation Sit Out inside Ikot Ekpene Center Plaza

Many cities like Ikot Ekpene recognize the value of providing especially the youth free events and music entertainment every weekend in the park for them to enjoy and relax while visiting the park.  
IKot Ekpene Plaza Center Park provides youth and the general public an avenue to walk around, sit, listen and dance to the latest hip-hop music from late afternoon to the late evening hours of the day on Sundays.  There is a paid sit out area for visitors to the park to sit, drink and enjoy local favorites like suya and barbecue grilled meat and fish. There is also a section of the park where the youth congregate to dance and let everything go especially the stress of everyday life. The park is usually busy with young lovers courting and taking pictures with their lovers. Paid photographers are around to capture their special romantic moments. It is indeed a very pleasant sight to see and a busy place in town every Sunday afternoon and evening.

Policy Notes and Comments

Ikot Epene City Plaza Park is a very welcome and entertaining place for any visitor to visit while in Ikot Ekpene. The State government’s decision to create a park plaza in Ikot Ekpene and Uyo was well thought out and is a successful government policy.  The success of Uyo Plaza and Ikot Ekpene Plaza cannot be disputed and is being replicated by the Udom administration in other cities in the state including more recently in Eket (under development). The creation of Ikot Ekpene Plaza is one policy ideas that has proven to have merit by providing a place of entertainment, relaxation and an avenue for large public gathering. 

Ariel View of Ikot Ekpene Center Plaza and Round About
Evening Atmosphere Around Ikot Ekpene Center Plaza Showing Four Point Sheraton in the Background

The Ikot Ekpene Center Plaza is situated in the heart of the city at the city’s central round about next to Four Points by Sheraton Hotel in Ikot Ekpene and the Ikot Ekpene town hall. Youths all over Ikot Ekpene local government travel far distances from rural and remote areas to congregate and enjoy themselves at the plaza on Sunday.

This writer, recommends that Akwa Ibom State government should go further as a matter of public policy to promote the creation of more parks especially localized community and neighborhood parks.  In Ikot Ekpene and Uyo, the creation of more parks of various sizes in each of the local government wards is recommended and is needed as development expands into the rural areas.  These “community parks” are needed to cater to the specific needs of the population especially the youth of each local ward. Not only will it serve as a focal point for recreation, relaxation and entertainment for residence of each ward, it will help to reduce the congestion currently witnessed on a typical Sunday at the Ikot Ekpene City Plaza.