Local and international traders on Saturday thronged the Eagle Square, official venue of the 2013 Abuja Carnival, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
A NAN correspondent, who monitored activities at the square, reported that food vendors, artists, dealers in locally-produced adire materials (kampala), shoe sellers and dealers in bed spreads were not left out.
Some of the traders who spoke with NAN, however, complained of low patronage although with some measure of optimism that the situation would improve.
Mr James Collins, a trader in kitchen-stuff, said that the patronage was low because the carnival started late.
“The carnival is just starting, but I believe that with time people will come out in their numbers to patronise us,” Collins told NAN.
Malam Musa Muhammed, a Kano-based trader, who deals in brocade materials (sheda), was optimistic that the level of patronage would be far better than that last year’s.
According to him, the carnival is an excellent mix and display of the country’s different cultures and, therefore, offers a splendid platform to make more money.
NAN gathered that the traders paid N5,000 daily for each pavilion that they occupied.
There was a mild drama as some of the traders battled to secure pavilions placed in conspicuous and vantage positions to display their wares, moves which the organisers rebuffed.
This led to a shouting match between the traders and the organisers, who insisted that the traders must accept what they were offered initially.
Earlier, the annual carnival procession with each contingent displaying a cultural insignia, had begun at the old parade ground amid heavy security and ended at the Eagle Square.
Vehicles from Area1, Area 10 and the Central Area were diverted to other routes to ensure the safety and easy movement of the states’ contingents.