Although last week’s presidential/National Assembly election has come and gone, many residents of the Federal Capital Territory(FCT) are yet to get over the shift of the exercise on February 16.
Many are still counting their losses. However, some believed that they made some gains as a result of the shift. They told Daily Sun that their traveling to cast their votes at the places they obtained their permanent voters card (PVC) was an experience they would not forget in a hurry.
Some only count their losses in the area of revenue loss.
Most hit are park operators who claimed that they are yet to recover from the low patronage witnessed. They lamented that they had to operate skeletally between February 16 and 23 because most people that traveled for the botched poll decided to stay back and wait for the new date.
Equally, housewives were also distressed by the postponement as most of them lamented that food they stocked for the elections period were exhausted.
Outside foodstuff, a woman whose daughter was earlier planned to do church wedding on February 23 regretted the postponement disorganized her life. Not only was the daughter made to spend extra week waiting, it meant that their budget for the event had to be touched up.
According to Mrs. Lola Adegbite, a civil servant, the owners of the hall where the wedding was to take place told them that another person had earlier booked for February 30, which they rescheduled the weeding to hold. In addition, she said they had to print new cards and extend fresh invitations.
For Mary Adoyi a food vendor from Jabi, she lamented that the postponement of 2019 bought a very big setback to her business: “During election days, I use to cook food close to very populous polling unit in my area where I make a lot of sells because some people are living far from the unit while others may not like to go and eat at home.
“This year’s elections after cooking plenty food bearing in mind the population of the unit. They said the postponement was announced around 2:45 am but I was not aware because there was no light. It was when I got to the place that somebody told me.
“I moved from that place to Jabi garage to see if I can sell the food, but lo and behold everywhere was dried. I had to come back home with the food. It served as our food from that Saturday till when we finished it Now, my business is financially down.”
Another food vendor, Janet Okon, who stays at Banex Shopping Mall said she had poor sales after the postponement of the elections: “Things are very hard these days because a large quantity of the food I cook, I still go back home with it, the city is very empty. Most of my customers who told me that they will be traveling home to vote, since it was postponed, I have have not seen them.”
Henry Loyola a park operator in Wuse 2 said for two weeks now, they have not made any sale: “It has not been easy these two weeks, nothing has entered my hand. The main business period for us in this children play parks is weekend. The election, which we thought would hold on February 16, it took two weeks at a stretch. Though the elections were postponed, nobody brought his or her family to the parks both on Saturday and Sunday.
“The one I felt most was that of February 16. It would have been a very good ground for our business because people would have loved to have the Valentine celebration with their families. The elections crippled everything.”
Another park operator, Samson Odoba, from Gariki agreed that business has been very low: “It has not been easy at all. Most of our customers are afraid to stay out at nights because of the security challenges associated with elections.”
A housewife from Nyanya, Comfort Odeh, said the postponement gave her extra work as her children exhorted the food she stocked for the elections: “You know having children at home is not easy. I made arrangement for what would take us for few weeks because nobody can tell what will happen after the results. As I speak to you, I have gone back to the drawing board to make sure my family has food on ground, in case of anything.”
A bride to b, Chioma Okafor, said: “Our white wedding scheduled to take place on February 23 could no longer hold due to the postponement. We have printed and distributed some cards, with this new development we need new ones and have to go back to the church to get a new date. All these things are money but where is the money now?”
However, a security man, Friday Agbo, expressed satisfaction with the postponement. He said he wouldn’t have voted if the election was held last week because he was on duty but the postponement made him to travel to his village where he registered to vote.