Eagle Square food vendors, hoping to generate brisk sales at Monday’s opening ceremony of the All Progressives convention, expressed disappointment after dull commercial activity.
Restaurant owners had expected that the three-day APC presidential primary would see tired and hungry delegates, supporters and party members flock to their booths.
The opposite was true however, the case, as our correspondent soon found out when he visited the building on Monday, which housed about 15 food vendors.
Except for a few people he saw eating , the seats in almost all stands were empty. The parking lot, which used to be crammed with vehicles, also looked semi-abandoned.
Many of the restaurants offer local delicacies and are labeled with catchy names such as Nwanyi Awka Restaurant, VIP Kitchen, Calabar Hot Spot, Eastern Delicatessen and Chukwudinma Nwanyi Owerri.
“It looks kinda different today,” said Nkechi Amadi, a thoughtful food vendor.
“You won’t believe that you are the fifth person to visit my booth since morning. However, they told us that we will make a lot of money from this APC conference,” she added.
Another caterer, Juliana Ameh, also shared her concerns when she said the situation was not always so “dry” except when workers went on strike.
Many of the workers, often from the Federal Secretariat and State Department, face each other directly located at the food stands are said to have remained off work.
“We’re hoping tomorrow will be better because we’ve heard that many of our regular customers will remain off work until after the primaries are over of the APC president,” she explained.
A local guard at the federal secretariat, yearning for anonymity, said some officers returned home after discovering that of the major roads leading to the popular Ahmadu Bello Way and Shehu Shagari Road were ge blocks.
“Others called and said they could not withstand the constant No harassment they were subjected to from the security forces manning the strategic entry and exit points that lead to the complex,” he said.