Holiday: FCT experiences unusual calm

By Cecilia Ijuo

The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) was on Monday devoid of its usual hustle and bustle following the public holiday declared by the Federal Government to mark the country’s 62nd Independence anniversary.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Correspondent, who went round the city, reports that it was devoid of economic activities.

NAN reports that some of the markets within the city and other public places were less busy, just as human and vehicular movement which characterised the city was almost non existent as most busstops were empty.

Also, some major roads like the Abuja -Keffi road which is synonymous with congestion was free of traffic.

Equally, commercial drivers were not smiling as some of them said they sometimes roved for almost 30 minutes before finding passengers.

However, a visit to relaxation centres saw attendants busy making preparations for customers, whom they said would begin to arrive by 5:00 p.m.

An attendant in one of the relaxation centres at Karu Site, who pleaded anonymity, said they often experienced high patronage during weekends and public holidays.

She said, “this is the period we make a lot of sales because most people are at home, so it is a busy period for us.”

Also, a visit to a relaxation spot at Mogadishu Barracks, popularly called Mami market, saw several women who are into barbecue getting ready for customers.

Some of the women, who spoke to NAN, said they often sold various sizes of fish ranging from one kilogramme to as big as four kilogrammes.

NAN checks at about six hotels within the city saw that most of them were fully booked, with their event centres busy with activities.

Nigeria got its independence from the British Colonial rule on Oct. 1, 1960.

Three years after independence, the Constitution was amended and Nigeria was declared the Federal Republic of Nigeria with Nnamdi Azikiwe as the first president.

The celebration of Oct. 1 thereafter, became an annual event with the declaration of public holiday to allow Nigerians celebrate with loved ones.

The 62nd anniversary , which was marked on Saturday, was characterised with its usual frenzy, particularly in the FCT.

In the Territory, the event was peaceful and colourful, with the Eagle Square agog with several events including marchpast
by the Armed Forces, other security agencies as well as organisations.

The display with fighter jets and helicopters as well as decoration of Aso Rock equally added colour to the day.

The 21-gun salute which was part of the celebration is often fired by a detachment from the Army Artillery Regiment to bring the celebration at the Eagle Square to an end.

Besides marchpast, some Nigerians were seen adorned in green and white apparel to depict the country’s colour, while some were seen waving the country’s flag.

Meanwhile, places of worship were not left out as prayers were offered in mosques and churches to commemorate the day.(NAN)