Residents of Abuja on Tuesday spent long hours in traffic gridlock as security personnel diverted motorists from several routes leading into the city where President Goodluck Jonathan declared to contest the 2015 election.
Residents of Mararaba in Nasarawa State and its environs as well as Karu and Nyanya surburbs of Abuja were amongst the most affected.
Those who travelled through the expressway from Zuba through Kubwa to Abuja City were also affected.
Some commuters expressed frustration and counted their losses caused by the diversion of traffic.
A businessman, Afolabi Jaminu, criticised the action, saying “the fact that Jonathan is declaring today shouldn’t mean that all roads should be blocked.
“I don’t feel good about it. Even before now they blocked everywhere, causing holdup and making life unbearable by diverting cars to a single lane which is risky,” he said.
“I feel declaring his intentions should have been done at the weekend, while people are at home, that would have been better for everybody’’.
A food vendor, Margret Akpan, whose shop is located in the Central Business District faulted the grounding of her business.
A frustrated Ms. Akpan said the action prevented her from making sales as her customers could not gain access to her business premise.
“I am at a loss on what to do with all the food I prepared to sell today, as I cannot have access to my shop,” she said.
A petty trader in the motor park located at the Federal Secretariat, Umaru Angulu, said he got his livelihood from day-to-day sales in the area and lamented the disruption to his business.
A commuter, Abu Zango, said he spent more than two hours waiting to catch a taxi from Area 8 in Garki to his destination.
“I think that most of the taxi drivers have decided not to come out because of the blocked roads and the few operating have restricted their movement to some places.”
Another commuter, Sunday Agbo, said that the situation was expected from an event such as the president’s declaration.
“This is expected because the president is declaring today. There is influx of people into Abuja so there would definitely be a lot of traffic,’’ he said.
A taxi driver, Chijoke Madu, said he decided to take advantage of the situation by increasing charges, adding that the increase was for Tuesday only.
Most roads leading to the Eagle Square were blocked, causing heavy traffic on other roads in the city.
Civil servants in the Federal Secretariat stayed home on Tuesday as access to their places of work were blocked.