13 March 2019

Nigeria: FCT Polls - Food Vendors Lament Low Patronage

Food and soft drinks vendors said they incurred losses in their businesses due to the low turnout of voters for the area council elections in Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) of the FCT.

A soft drinks vendor at Jabi Primary School ward, Mengiri Adamu Manga, said many traders had stocked up for business preparing for bumper sales as recorded during the presidential and National Assembly elections but were hit hard by voters low turnout.

"I was here two weeks ago for the election. I sold more than four crates of soft drinks then but today I have not sold even one crate," she said.

She said with the low patronage, she might run at a loss if her supplier did not allow her return the unsold soft drinks.

"The turnout is not encouraging and I plan to take some crates back home. Let me observe what will happen but by God's grace, I won't lose since it is soft drinks, we can return them and get our money back," she said.

Another trader, Gift Matthew, said "The people are too few; by this time during the last election I was already sitting back resting because I had sold off my wares."

She added that there was barely enough space for traders to keep their wares.

Another trader, Abigail Yakubu, said it was sad that people failed to turn up for the election as she could have made more from sales.

A resident, Mrs Awunli Joel, who was at polling unit 004 in Cittec Estate, Mbora District, said she was surprised that people did not turn up to vote.

"I was very surprised at the low turnout. Two weeks ago, this place was jam-packed; filled with people agitating that they must vote. Now it is as if nothing is happening here, the turnout is low," she said.

Kasimu Aliyu at polling unit 003 LEA Primary School, Dutse in Bwari Area Council said the turnout was poor. "People were coming but not like in the earlier election," he said.

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