Abuja- The Police and the Department of Security Service (DSS) on Friday said security measures have been intensified at the overcrowded Silver Bird Galleria, Abuja, as fun seekers celebrate the New Year.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the security agents posted to ensure peace in the galleria were making efforts to also control vehicular movements within and outside the premises.
NAN reports that over 100 vehicles were queuing to enter the galleria while the parking space which was constructed to take just 300 vehicles was already jam-packed.
Dan’azumi Hashimu, a Corporal, Fortified Police Mobile Force (PMF), Force Headquarters, told NAN that although the car park was full while many vehicles were still waiting in line to enter the galleria.
He said that due to the situation those coming in had to wait for those coming out so that there could be parking space for them to prevent car theft or cause any security emergencies.
“We have the mobile police at the parking lot and the SSS inside the galleria.
“We also have police outside the premises and at the checking point in case of emergency situations.
“We search bags at the gate and inside we have security at the checking point; vehicle owners that carry cylinder or car battery will have to drop such items before being allowed in.
“If there is any emergency the police will alert other security officers.
“Since we started we haven’t had any security challenge and no complain from the public,” he said.
Mr Tomothy John, a private security guard at the galleria, said the crowd at the galleria was more because both Christians and Muslims celebrated the New Year.
“People want to come out to enjoy with their family and friends because it is New Year and it is not only Christians that celebrate it but also Muslims.’’
Miss Rukaya Isah, a fun seeker, said she had been at the galleria since 9 a.m to celebrate the New Year with her friends.
She said that it was a period to celebrate hence she had been at the galleria taking pictures, eating and sightseeing.
She said that although there was a hike in price of food items like drinks she had no choice but to buy since it was time to celebrate.
Another fun seeker, Mrs Patricia Stephen, a civil servant, said she came with her family and friends to celebrate the New Year and also the birthday of one of her children.
She said: “we give thanks to God for the New Year even though I lost someone yesterday. We came here to watch movies, eat and be happy together.’’
Miss Tina John, a sales person in one of the shops at the galleria, lamented the low patronage of customers; saying that most of the fun seekers were only there to play and make merry.
She said that sales increased before the Christmas period but currently there was little or no sales. (NAN)