Less than 24 hours to the governorship election in Edo, socio-commercial activities have taken another dimension even as the public envisage restriction of movement during the election.
Some residents of Benin say restriction of movement in the past elections brought hardship to many people who never envisaged the restrictions, and they won’t like the repeat.
Hotel reservations within Benin and its environs were booked up by visitors to the state while many non-resident eligible electorates that came for the elections were stranded for some hours in search of accommodation.
A correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) who went round some of the hotels reports that most people have had their accommodation booked up as on Thursday night.
Officials of the hotels visited told NAN that the number of guests was not unconnected with the Sept.19, governorship election in the state.
In some motor parks in Benin, some eligible voters who were coming to vote were seen stranded, contacting their relations for a place to stay.
Mr Douglas Aideloje, one of such voters, told NAN that he came from Ogun to participate in the election, observing that he had been making arrangements since Sept.14 for accommodation but could not get a good place.
In Benin City, socio-commercial activities have picked up tremendously. Gridlock on major roads is visible, while some were buying what they might need during the election in case there will be restriction of movement.
Some newsmen accredited to cover the elections, who arrived in Benin since Thursday also had challenges in getting the desired hotel accommodation.
Some of the newsmen waited in the premises of the Press Centre of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, planning their itinerary for the coverage of the election.
A hotelier, Blessing Uwe, who runs a hotel on Airport road, said that the last time the hotel had full capacity was in December 2019.
“Many of our guests have booked ahead of time and we had many coming since Wednesday who couldn’t get rooms,” she said.
NAN observed that newsmen and election observers were seen expressing worry over the situation as they also struggled to sort out accreditation at the office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Sapele Road, Benin.
There is massive security in most areas, including strategic areas across the country.(NAN)