Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Workers Desert Federal Ministries In Abuja On Tuesday

Federal ministries in the Federal Capital Territory were virtually empty on Tuesday as the Independent National Electoral Commission continued the announcement of the results for the presidential election.

A visit to some of the ministries by one of our correspondents showed that many workers did not show up for work.

A few that came formed groups and engaged one another in election debates as they watched the live broadcast of the results of the presidential election.

There was no official announcement directing workers not to show up for work on Tuesday. It was gathered that some employees, however, decided to remain at home for fear of being caught up in any form of post-election violence.

At Mabushi, where three federal ministries are located, the absence of workers was largely felt.

All the car parks in the Mabushi area were virtually empty when our correspondent visited the place in contrast to what is usually obtainable as the park are often filled with workers’ vehicles.

The three federal ministries at Mabushi include works, housing and urban development, as well as environment.

An employee of the Federal Ministry of Works told our correspondent that most employees decided to stay away from work due to fear of violence.

The employee, who pleaded not to be named, said, “As far as I know, there was no circular issued asking us not to come to work today. Workers are supposed to be here, but many people did not come to work because they are afraid of post-election violence.

“Many people have even travelled out of Abuja. Some travelled for the Easter celebration, while others travelled because of the elections.”

Senior officials of the ministries refused to speak on the issue, while our correspondent did not notice the presence of any minister as of the time of his visit to the ministries.

Ministers park their vehicles at the special parks meant primarily for them, but none of their official vehicles were sighted on Tuesday.

Kano streets empty

Business and commercial activities have nose-dived in the commercial city of Kano, Kano State, as the business community and residents stayed away from the streets, awaiting the release of the presidential and the National Assembly polls.

The usually busy streets in the metropolis remained deserted with just a few vehicles and people observed on the streets.

It could be safely said that over 80 per cent of shops, including banks, have remained under lock and key.

Majority of Kano residents decided to remain indoors to await the release of the election results.

It was learnt that majority of them besieged newsstands in the early hours of Tuesday to gather more information on the elections.

Our correspondent, who moved round the metropolis on Tuesday, noted that major streets were scanty, with just a few people strolling about in groups.

Artisans, like the business community, also refused to open their respective workshops to offer services.

The popular Abubakar Rimi Market, which had been shut for the past four days, remained closed, forcing market men and women to sell foodstuffs and other wares by the market roadside.

Heavily armed security operatives were noticed patrolling strategic streets to ensure security of lives and property.

Over 80 per cent of shops owned by tyre dealers, who were said to be mostly of Eastern origin, remained closed.

“It was gathered that majority of them had travelled out of the state since last week with the intention of returning after the general elections.

Soucre: Punch

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