ABUJA – Cinema and park operators in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), have decried low patronage as Muslims celebrate the Eid-el-Fitr festival.
Some of the operators, who spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday, attributed the reason to economic hardship and the current security situation in the country.
Mr Terkura Avue the operator on duty at Silver Bird Cinema said the low patronage was unexpected.
He however expressed hope that fun seekers would vist the cinema before the end of the day.
“We believe the low patronage is due to the insecurity in the country; people have decided to take precaution and stay at home.
“People want to be confident that they are save when they come out and government has to instill this confidence in the people.
“Businesses are crumbling as a result of the low patronage,’’ he said.
Avue urged entrepreneurs to complement government’s efforts by setting up security checks at business places and public centres.
Mr Wilson Olugu, an artist, said the Eid-el-Fitr celebration was dull for art workers as lovers of the arts did not patronize them during the festival.
“I wish there was no festival; it has been so dull and I cannot wait for the festive period to end so that we can return to our normal activities,’’he said.
An official of the Millennium Park who did not want his name mentioned, told NAN that the turnout of fun seekers at the park was “okay.’’
He said people normally visit parks to spend time with their friends and families, saying that parks did not record the usual crowd during festive periods.
Some parents who came out with their children to the park told NAN in separate interviews that they had confidence in the security measures put in place at the park and there was nothing to fear.
Mr Muhammed Kabir and Mrs Aisha Ahmed said they had come to have fun and were not afraid.
NAN reports that security personnel were positioned at strategic locations in Abuja across the FCT to ensure security and orderliness in public places.
Most streets in the city centre recorded low traffic while the expressways leading into the city recorded heavy traffic jam as result of security check points mounted by soldiers. (NAN)