By Benjamin Njoku ''Vanguard" The renewed onslaught of armed bandits across the metropolis has heightened fear of possible attacks on public places by terrorists . Besides, despite the dwindling economic fortune, night crawlers and other fun seekers in the city of Lagos are obviously not giving up their old ways, as the saying goes “old habits die-hard.”
From Obalende to Victoria Island, Ikeja to Surulere, Festac, Okota and Ipaja, the story has not changed. Notwithstanding the threats by gunmen across the country and the sky-rocketing cost of living in the metropolis, Lagosians are patronising their old ways as fun-loving people.
A recent visit to some of the popular night spots on the mainland on a warm Friday night, by Saturday Vanguard proves the obvious that Lagos is a city that rarely sleeps at night.
In Ikeja, which is known to be the centre of nightlife in Lagos, nightfalls in this suburb is as good as the noon day. Judging from last year when the three strip clubs that were shut down by the Lagos State House of Assembly were re-opened to business, Ikeja unabatedly transformed into the most lively place to catch fun at night.
At The Page and Options Night Club, located along Opebi Road, each night is as good as the other.
With mostly crowd beseiging these clubs and good music, it’s hard not to have a great night filled with fun.
Underaged prostitutes were seen hanging along the streets, in twos and threes, seeking attention from male fun seekers. You are accosted by no fewer than 12 sex workers who would make sexual advances as one walks down the street. “I will do you well, back and front. You will surely enjoy it. A trial will convince you,” they keep muttering, while displaying what they have to offer.
Unfortunately, these highbrow areas have been declared as ‘a sex zone’, following the fact that it attracts prostitutes and their patrons from all other areas such as, Festac, Ikotun, Apapa, and Ikorodu to ply their trade.
One of the night crawlers, who wouldn’t want his name in print, said he came from far away Festac town to catch fun in Ikeja. “I don’t see anything wrong with coming down here to catch my fun; take some bottles of beer and look around.” he said.
Apparently, apart from the highbrow Allen Avenue, and Opebi road , other upbeat night spots can be found in such areas as Isaac John Street, in GRA; Okota; Festac and Ami King Nightclub amongst others.
On Isaac John Street where three swinging night clubs;The Place,Continental Bar, formerly Sandra’s Bar and Metro Park are competing for patronage from fun seekers. Here commercial sex workers of all sizes, shapes and heights ply their trade indiscriminately. Clustering around the area like bees around a honey pot, the half-naked prostitutes display their boobs, hips and whatever will give them edge over their colleagues.
The presence of all three night spots seem to have transformed Isaac John Street from a quiet business district, replete with shopping malls, fast food outlets and branches of commercial banks into an emerging hub of night life in Lagos.
The nightclubs have their fair share of the booming sex trade too. Of course, skimpily dressed hookers constitute a reasonable proportion of their clientele.
At Metro Park, the dancing bar on the upper floor was crowded with women who wore seductive dresses. Most of them were dancing and hitting the bottle, even as their eyes roved randomly in search of potential male customers.
Also, at Ami King Nightclub, a well-appointed outfit in Oyun Isefun area of Ipaja-Ayobo, popularly known as So Easy, the story is not different.
Until Ami King became operational, night life was virtually non-existent in the area. From its ample parking space, something lacking in nightclubs in heavily populated areas, to the impressive building that houses the main dancing hall, Ami King offers something close to what obtains in clubs with reputations. And a little more: the gate fee is N500. The club, naturally, attracts girls–nubile and otherwise–in droves. Patrons brand them “take away”. Take-aways cost between N3,000 and N5,000 per night. Close toAmi King are Haglact and Bobbies nightclubs. Haglact is a hotel, but operates a nightclub on Fridays. Men pay N500 as gate fee, while ladies get free entry. A patron told Saturday Vanguard that he is attracted to Haglact by the quality service he gets.
Another nightclub in the area is Addidas. It is located on the road leading to Ipaja from Ayobo. At Isheri/Igando, another suburb liesMiclara Regency Hotel located opposite Idowu Egba Esatte. The club within the hotel opens two nights a week–Thursday and Friday.
However at an eatery outlet, along Isolo Road, Okota, it is an unstoppable regular night joint. Until 1 am to 2am, the place remains lively as long as the stand-by live band dishes out old familiar tunes to entertain guests who throng the place to catch their fun.
Some of these men, come in posh cars to pick their favorite girls. Along the street, apart from the commercial sex workers and their patrons, there were other people whose businesses thrive at night. There are the mallams, who sell petty items at night just to make ends meet, food vendors and taxi drivers who are on hand to provide quick service to whoever needs them.
Though, at D’ Palms, a newly established night club, activities have not commenced as expected. The residents however would acknowledged losing their peace to the regular visitors at the club, especially during its Ladies Night, which comes up at every Friday and other activities packaged by the management.
But despite police patrols, some residents are worried that the resurgence of night life in the city could not only lead to increased insecurity in the city but also, moral decadence in our society.