This leisure spot may not have any special tourism attractions, like historical relic or monuments. But it releases fun buzzing adrenaline that shockingly holds night crawlers spell bound every day. CALEB ONWE reports
akibu Forest is a leisure spot located underneath a cluster of Gmelina trees in a large undeveloped expanse of land. It is within Dakibu village, Jabi District, Abuja. It is about a kilometre’s drive from the popular Jabi Motor Park and so many fun seekers have taken it as a delightful alternative home.
The forest is sandwiched by adjoining well planned housing estates, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT ) High Court and the Code of Conduct Tribunal buildings.
Obviously, the place may not have been carved out by Abuja City planners for the purpose it serves now but, some smart entrepreneurs seem to have taken advantage of its location and economic potential to create financial empowerment for themselves.
While approaching the place, a first time visitor might be discouraged by the recklessness of commercial motorcycle riders, conveying fun seekers to the spot.
If you are driving, you may have to excessively engage the horn of your car, in order to keep these cyclists in check and avoid an accident as they struggle with cars for right of way and even parking spaces.
Once you’re there, a scintillating aroma emanating from numerous smoking barbeque spots welcomes you to the forest of fun. It hosts a chain of bars, restaurants, barbeque spots and several fast food joints, all operating in makeshift structures.
Like the proverbial cat with nine lives, Dakibu forest has survived many demolition exercises of the Abuja Environmental Protection Board, whose bulldozers have reduced many of such recreational centres to rubbles.
Inside Abuja learnt that top security agents, politicians, business tycoons, and all classes of civil servants have made the place their stop over leisure home.
Not even the increasing insecurity in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT ) has reduced the liveliness of this recreation spot. It has remained one of the leading bubbling entertainment centres in town.
Inside Abuja equally learnt that the place has maintained its high patronage because of the robust services provided by commercial sex workers.
As early as 7.00pm on workdays and 4.00pm on weekends, night crawlers are already jostling for every available parking spaces that are usually overcrowded with exotic cars.
Patrons, who have stayed glued to Dakibu forest said that one of the unique selling points of the place is the ease with which men catch their choice women.
The forest provides all manner of nightlife and clubbing areas. It also offers a dizzying array of choices food, liquor and good music.
Inside Abuja‘s investigation showed that the place is always a vibe as almost all ethnic groups in Nigeria are represented there, providing different types of services.
A first-time fun seeker who visits the place would be confused on the choice to make and could fall prey to the seductively dressed waitresses who often use eye contact to scout for customers.
Beside the liquor shops and bars that litter every corner of the forest, lovers of barbeque also throng the place to get the best of meat and fish.
With the kind of fun the place provides, it has become one of the most trusted quintessential hangout spots that enjoys the patronage of both the high and low, rich and even the poor.
It was gathered that on the weekends, the place remains bubbling with activities up to 2.00am, with live musical performances that keep a lot of customers on their toes and others glued to their seats watching as they sip their drinks.
Like every other recreational parks in the town, there are also the regular commercial sex workers hanging around, looking for patronage.
A regular patron of the place, a man in his mid 40s, who simply identified himself as Austin, said he has been visiting Dakibu forest for about four years now.
He said that the place has been a reliable stop over for him, every day he closes from work because he always enjoys taking their roasted fish with some chilled drinks.
According to him, he lives in Wuye District, but has to drive to Dakibu to get his regular treat before retiring home for the day.
Austin said that apart from little security breaches caused by miscreants who usually get drunk and consequently misbehave, there has never been any major security issues there to the best of his knowledge.
“This place is cool. The environment may not be the best but each time you come here, you are sure of getting enough relief from stress.
“I have been coming here for at least four years now. My office is in Jabi close by to this place. So, it makes it very easy for me to always stop over almost every day before going home. Sometimes, I leave here as late as 11pm. We have never experienced any major security issue here, except these miscreants that fight sometimes “, he said.
One of the barbeque operators, a young lady within the age bracket of 25-30 years, disclosed that there has been a general downturn in business activities in the forest.
The lady, who said she was working for somebody there before getting her own barbeque stand, also stressed that the liveliness of the place reduced since the present government came into power.
Investigation also revealed that the occupants of the forest have been able to remain in business because they have a very formidable association and have been interfacing effectively with both security agencies and officials of Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB).
Another bar operator, simply called Ada, noted that the forest is one of the best recreational centres, because it is fairly secured.
Ada, who is in her late 20s and owns a kiosk where she prepares noodles and other fast food for customers, refused to disclose how much she makes on daily basis but said that she makes enough profit from the business.
She also admitted that people enjoy coming to Dakibu forest, due to the unusual influx of women of all tribes.
According to her: “Dakibu forest is different from other gardens. Here, men come