- Nigeria's capital, Abuja, is experiencing a significant influx of guests as the country prepares to inaugurate a new government led by President-elect Bola Tinubu on May 29, 2023
- The city has witnessed increased human activities and a transformation in its appearance, particularly in the Central Business District and Eagles Square, where the inauguration will take place
- The event is expected to be attended by presidents or their representatives from various countries.
- However, the influx of guests has resulted in chaotic traffic across Abuja, affecting commuters and businesses, although hotels are benefitting from the surge in visitors
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FCT, Abuja - Nigeria's capital, Abuja, has witnessed a massive influx of guests as the country inaugurates a new government on Monday, May 29.
Legit.ng reports that while the city wears a new look, especially the Central Business District and Eagles Square, the event venue, human activities have increased in and around the city.
Nigeria's president-elect, Bola Tinubu and his Vice, Kashim Shettima, will be sworn into office on Monday, May 29, 2023. The event scheduled to hold at the Eagles Square in Abuja is expected to be graced by presidents from across the world or their representatives.
Guests from various countries, states and other areas of endeavours have arrived in Abuja for the inauguration.
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But apart from the tight security in the city centre, hotels, restaurants, and transport businesses have continued to make profits quite unlike before.
Bola Tinubu's Inauguration: Chaotic traffic in Abuja
Our correspondent observed that as of Friday, May 26, the city gradually became jammed with increased traffic across the nation's capital. Those driving to work on Friday had difficulty driving through the traffic at various locations in the city.
On the Kubwa expressway, some drivers could not proceed to town after it became obvious that the traffic had not eased up even at 10 am. Most of them were forced to turn back as traffic only eased up around the axis at about 12pm.
A civil servant, Mr Emmanuel Otene told Legit.ng when he was making a u-turn that it was only reasonable to return home since he could not get to the office before 12 pm.
"It's better to turn back since it is clearly impossible to get to the office before 12 noon. The traffic today is something else. I understand we have many Lagosians in town for Tinubu's inauguration. I can't come and kill myself. "
Most areas not known for traffic congestion had their own share on Friday. At the Ademola Adetokunbo Crescent, Wuse 2, an Uber driver who pleaded not to be mentioned said traffic was an obstacle while business was booming for them.
According to him, they would have made more money if not that the entire city had been locked down.
"Everywhere is chocked. Honestly, this is good for us, but the traffic won't let us run the way we should. For us to do business well and make more money, traffic just has to flow. Government should find a way around it. I understand some roads have been closed to traffic for security reasons, but I know that our traffic officers can do better."
Bola Tinubu: Abuja airport overwhelmed ahead Inauguration day
At the Nnamdi Azikiwe airport, activities at both the local and international wings peaked. Airport taxis were as at Saturday having the best business time.
John Omebe, a taxi driver with one of the top taxi companies in Abuja, said business was at its peak at the airport.
"It has never been this good. We are truly having the best of time business-wise. The inauguration has helped us. The only challenge at the moment is the traffic, but that too is expected because we can't eat our cake and still have it. As more people come into town, the more business we make and the more traffic it will cause."
Officers battling illegality at Abuja airport
But a female aviation security officer who does not want her name in print said it's a tough battle controlling some airport activities, especially regarding illegal parking and drop-offs.
According to her, the development has continued to complicate the traffic situation at the airport. She also cautioned guests to watch out for criminal activities and be sure they board the taxi they are sure will take them to their destination safely to avoid stories that touch the heart.
"It's not easy for us at all. Though we are on top of the situation, we have to do more to bring the chaotic situation under control.
Tinubu's swearing-in: Hotels make gains
A hotelier in Gwarinpa, Mr Adegbite said Jagaban's inauguration has brought into town a different colour.
He said, even though people are not sure of the incoming government and its legitimacy remains under contention, activities in the nation's capital have picked and hotel business is now booming.
"I can tell you unequivocally that this is our peak period. Business is thriving because Jagaban is in town. We hope it continues this way."
Lagos touts relocate to Abuja, driver alleges
But Mr Ifaenyi Nwanna, a taxi driver, said the current activities in the town signal the takeover of Abuja by Lagos 'touts'. According to him, many of the faces he sees around Abuja appear to have relocated to the city because Jagaban is in town.
"We pray God rescues us from their hands."
A visit to most of the hotels in Abuja by our correspondent indicates that almost all top hotels in both the city centre and in the satellite towns have fully been booked.