From Paul Osuyi
AHEAD of the Edo State governorship election billed for Wednesday, residents of Benin City, the state capital on Tuesday engaged in last minute shopping to stock their homes with foodstuffs.
Our correspondent who went round some major markets across the ancient city observed that the residents engaged in panic buying for fear of the unknown.
There is palpable anxiety that the gubernatorial election which was shifted from September 10 to today may create confusion which may in turn lead to curfew being imposed by government.
Nineteen political parties are fielding candidates with the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Osagie Ize-Iyamu and his All a Progressive Congress (APC), Godwin Obaseki as front liners.
At Oregbeni Market in Ikpoba Hill, some residents of the area said they were not leaving anything to chance because of the pulsating campaigns in the past few weeks.
One of the buyers who simply identified herself as Caroline said she despite the hike in the prices of commodities, it was necessary to shop and fill her home with food items “so that my family will not be hungry when they now ask people not to go out of the house.”
“This is election is going to be a do or die affair. There is so much desperation among the leading contenders, and as such anything can happen,” a male buyer quipped.
“I will vote,” he continued, “but after that I will go home and wait for them to declare winner. I know that the election will be tough. That is why I decided to come to the market to buy food for my house.”
While the buyers were busy stocking their homes with food, sellers in the markets were busy smiling to the banks.
A tomato seller at Oba Market located at the heart of the ancient city, Mrs. Itohan Osagie said sales for the day have been “very encouraging. People have be patronizing me as if there is no tomorrow.
“If everyday was to be like this, we will not complain that there is no money in the system. We thank them for coming to the market to buy food.”