Panic in FCT as residents shun malls, others, Turkish helicopters over terror scare


The anxiety brought on by the United States and United Kingdom’s terror alerts is starting to have an impact on companies in the capital city, sources said on Saturday.

Although the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (ret. ), and the various security agencies have repeatedly reassured the public that there is no need to panic and that people should go about their daily lives without fear, many Abuja residents appear to be avoiding large gatherings, shopping centers, and entertainment venues in response to the alerts.

When our reporters traveled to various areas of the city, they observed that some major roads had less cars, and several parks and rest areas had few visitors.

The Berger, Wuse, and Gwarimpa sections of the city, as well as the normally busy Lokogoma Road, are less congested with cars, commuters, and walkers.

Additionally, the Shoprite Mall in Apo and the Novare Centre in Wuse, which used to be bustling with activity, saw fewer customers on Saturday than usual. Numerous other shopping centers that our journalists visited experienced the same issue.

Employees at some of the malls told our reporters that since the terror alert was announced, sales and customer traffic had decreased.

Under the condition of anonymity, a salesperson at Novare Centre claimed that, in contrast to the previous several days’ level of patronage, just a small number of people have visited the mall.

Apo, a different employee at Shoprite Mall, mentioned that her manager was thinking about closing the store owing to weak sales. However, there was no connection between this and the expense of operating the stores as there were no sales or customers.

Betty, a shopper at Shoprite in Lugbe who only revealed her first name, saw that attendance was down from the previous week.

The mall is oddly dry today, she observed. You would easily notice the difference if you had been present the previous week. There aren’t many people around to shoot shots outside these days, although they do occasionally appear. At the mall, there used to be a line of people waiting to buy bread, but there was none today. Additionally, I observed that the payment point that was to be crowded had very few people.”

One of our reporters also went to the famed Magicland Amusement Park and Tiger Bar in Lugbe, where there weren’t many people having fun.

Aminu Muhammad, the director of the National Children’s Park and Zoo, stated that the park searched visitors and shut down at 6:30 p.m. to ensure that everyone got out “in good time.”

“We make sure everyone coming in is thoroughly examined, and if we suspect anything, we report it right away,” he said. Before you arrived, you probably observed that we were an army checkpoint, thus we work together constantly and close promptly at 6:30 p.m.

One of our reporters saw two armed police officers and private security guards at the Millennium Park’s entrance. The park continued to close at 6 p.m. as usual, according to a staff member.

One of our reporters observed five bouncers with tactical gear at the gate in Central Park. While two others used electronic detectors to scan people and vehicles, one of them was walking a dog on a leash.

At several locations in the park, there were two armed police officers and other security personnel dressed in tactical gear. It was unsuccessful to get the manager’s attention since he refused to comment, claiming that he was busy.



Vincent Paul

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