© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
I wish every day was election day, says food vendor making brisk business during voting exercise
POPULAR CNN broadcaster, Richard Quest, would usually end his programmes with the words: “Whatever you do, hope it is profitable”.
Some traders across the Federal Capital Territory took Quest’s advice to heart and ensured to take full advantage of the general elections by bringing their wares close to voting centres so that voters had something to eat while they waited to cast their votes.
Several edible items were on sale at the polling units in Wuse zone II/Wuse I primary school where a reporter from The ICIR visited, ranging from food to snacks and soft drinks.
A food vendor who spoke to this reporter but declined to be photographed or gave her name, said she had finished almost all the food she prepared, adding: “I wish every day was election day”. She was the only food vendor at the primary school which had three polling units − PU 004, 005 and 006 − and more than 15 voting points.
Recall that INEC had said food vendors would not be allowed close to polling units because some of them were being used by political party agents to influence voters.
Members of the National Youth Service Corps working as INEC ad-hoc staff in the election also took advantage of the presence of the vendors to refresh themselves.
In Nyanya, a suburb of Abuja, locals seem not to be aware of the restriction of movement announced by the Inspector General of Police, as the local market around the ‘Area C’ axis of the settlement was buzzing as usual.
Traders displayed their wares as they would on any other weekend, displaying their grilled fish, plantains, bananas, and other food items for interested buyers. The market was open as early as 7 am, even before the INEC officials arrived. And when election exercise started at the polling units near the market, the market women continued trading.