Food vendors at Eagle Square who were hoping to make brisk sales from the opening ceremony of the All Progressives Congress’ convention on Monday expressed disappointment following a dull commercial activities.
The eatery owners had anticipated that the three-day presidential primary of the APC would make wearied and hungry delegates, supporters and party members flock to their stands.
The reverse was, however, the case as our correspondent soon discovered when he visited the structure housing about 15 food vendors on Monday.
Except for a few people whom he saw eating, the seats in nearly all the stands were empty. The car park that used to be jam-packed with vehicles also looked semi-deserted.
Many of the eateries offer local delicacies and branded with catchy names such as Nwanyi Awka Restaurant, VIP Kitchen, Calabar Hot Spot, Eastern Delicacies and Chukwudinma Nwanyi Owerri.
“Today looks somehow,” Nkechi Amadi, a pensive food vendor, said.
“You won’t believe that you are the fifth person that had visited my stand since morning. Yet, they told us we are going to make a lot of money from this APC convention,” she added.
Another caterer, Juliana Ameh, also shared her concerns when she said that the situation has not always been this ‘dry’ except when workers embark on strike.
The situation, it was gathered, was further worsened by the absence of civil servants, which made up the bulk of their customers.
Many of the workers, who often troop in from the Federal Secretariat and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which are directly opposite the food stands, were said to have stayed off work.
“We hope tomorrow will be better because we heard many of our regular customers may stay off work until after the APC presidential primary ends,” she stated.
A local guard at the Federal Secretariat, who craved anonymity, said some civil servants returned home after they discovered that the major roads leading to the popular Ahmadu Bello Way and Shehu Shagari road were cordoned.
“Others called in to say they could not withstand the constant harassment that they were subjected to by the security operatives manning the strategic entry and exit points leading to the complex,” he said.