Nigeria’s major political parties are set to choose their flag bearers for the 2023 presidential election.
As delegates and members of the CPA and PDP converge this weekend in Abuja, the nation’s capital will experience an increase in activity and traffic.
Party delegates have already arrived at the FCT from the 36 states of the country to participate in the various party primaries, mainly for the APC and the PDP. Most hotels in the city are full while others have the best of their rooms taken.
As both sides head to the primaries this weekend, here’s what Abuja residents can expect as they go about their daily lives:
Saturday: PDP primaries are held at Moshood Abiola National Stadium
The Moshood Abiola National Stadium is located along the airport road leading to Lugbe, around the city gate.
Typical of such events, it is expected that adjacent roads to and from the stadium will be heavily congested or cut off entirely.
People living in Lugbe or Airport Road who want to come into town between Saturday and Sunday can consider early departure from their residence. The same will be true for travelers visiting the city on weekends.
Additionally, people traveling to Garki Zone 1 from Airport Road will also be required to leave their homes earlier than usual.
Travelers who need to catch a flight out of Abuja on Saturday or Sunday may want to consider accommodation close to the airport or leave for the airport earlier than they usually would.
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In March, when Nigeria played Ghana at the same venue, cars could hardly drive down that road due to heavy traffic. A similar situation is expected on Saturday and part of Sunday.
The situation for the weekend will be further complicated by growing fuel queues returning to town.
The two parties will hold their primaries on roughly the same dates: while the PDP will hold theirs on May 28 and 29, the ruling APCs will take place on May 29 and 30.
PREMIUM TIMES could not reach the Federal Road Safety Corps for comment at press time. The road use agency also issued no notice.
Sunday: APC primaries begin in downtown Eagles Square
Place de l’Aigle is located in the city center, popular for its use during national events. Usually, when events take place in the square, adjacent roads are blocked and other road users have to find alternate routes.
Mararaba, Nyanya, Karu, Nasarawa axis commuters may encounter moving traffic around Finance, Bullet and NNPC towers due to various diversions in search of better routes.
The central business district of Abuja, where Eagles Square is located, is sure to witness congestion and angry commuters and drivers.
Churchgate and parts of the Garki district will also see some of this congestion as drivers try to navigate traffic jams in some areas.
This will carry over to Monday, as the primaries are not expected to end until a few hours into Monday.
Despite what looks like hectic times, taxi drivers may be smiling and preparing for what would likely be a great business weekend lately – fares may also rise due to congestion. Food vendors will do well too.
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