Doors of government offices, as well as banks and few other corporate organizations are expected reopen for official businesses today, following the expiration of the two days Sallah break declared by the Federal Government.
The holidays was to allow Muslims in Nigeria join their counterparts across the world to celebrate the Eid el-kabir.
Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), especially the city center was deserted during the holidays due to the mass exodus of the residents who had, inspite of the perceived economic hardship travelled out of Abuja to spend the holidays with family and friends.
Cross section of residents who could not travel claimed to have enjoyed the holidays in Abuja, while others were unhappy that economic downturn in Nigeria imposed low key celebration on them, with gratitude to God for a “bomb free” Sallah celebration.
However, our correspondents visited major motor parks in Abuja on Wednesday afternoon, and observed increase in private and commercial vehicles returning to the city from different entry routes.
Daily Sun was reliably informed by an official of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), identified as Yunusa that the “bad economic” situation in Nigeria greatly affected the quality of life of the people.
He said, “Before now, people use this period to travel to their home towns/states or elsewhere to celebrate with friends and families but the case was totally different this period.
“Our passengers complain bitterly about lack of money, high cost of living and significant increase in poverty.”
The NURTW official said that people who travelled this period were people who might have genuine reasons to do so, unlike in the past that people willingly visit their friends and family just for fun.
He added: “We ought to increased the transport fare due to several reasons but we could not, because we wanted more people to travel but yet, the turn out was not encouraging.”
However, a passenger, who identified himself as Nuhu told Daily Sun that he traveled to Taraba State to celebrate with his family. “I had the opportunity to get refreshed and revitalised to face the tough socioeconomic situation in Nigeria,” he said.
He registered his displeasure with the level of destruction in his home town which, he said, was as a result of “politically motivated” communal clashes and the activities of Fulani herdsmen.
“Nevertheless, that did stop me from enjoying the holidays. It was not because I had enough money to play with, but because i was determined to do so in the midst of the obvious socioeconomic challenges,” he said.
Similarly, Mrs. Grace Ameh, who returned from Jos, said she used the holidays period to unite with her family members.
“Work separated me from my family. My husband and children live in Jos while I live and work in Abuja here. We talk on phone regularly but I visit them each time I have the opportunity,” she said.