Patience’s Women Jamboree Brings Abuja To A Standstill
The Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, especially its Central Business District, was in lockdown on Thursday.
The city played host to a women event, involving about 10,000 females, organised by the wife the President, Patience Jonathan.
Security personnel blocked all the access roads to the Eagle Square where the event, entitled ‘Celebrating Nigerian Women for Peace and Empowerment’, took place.
The lockdown, which paralysed commercial activities in the city, lasted for about seven hours.
It also caused traffic gridlock on Shehu Shagari Way, Herbert Macaulay Way, Tafawa Balewa Way and other parts of the district.
Intermittently, helicopters, on surveillance, flew over the city to monitor developments.
The ceremony, which started about 9am, saw thousands of Nigerian women draped in white wrapper and green blouse.
They all arrived at the event venue in long buses.
Meanwhile, motorists, particularly commercial bus and taxi drivers, were at the receiving end of the lockdown as they were forced to make long and inconvenient detours to get to their destinations.
A taxi cab driver, Abubakar Aliyu, who spoke to our correspondent, said the blockage of the major roads to the CBD and other areas, affected his earnings for the day.
He said, “I make most of my daily earnings by taking passengers to Federal Secretariat and Eagle Square but on Thursday, I had to turn down many of the passengers because all the access routes to the CBD were blocked and there was traffic everywhere. It is past noon and I have yet to make half of my target.”
A bus operator, identified simply as Stanley, said he was stuck in traffic on Shehu Shagari Way for so many hours.
The bus driver, who noted that the event frustrated his programmes for the day, urged the authorities to organise such ceremonies on a Saturday.