As voting progressed at the National Convention of All Progressives Congress (APC), party members cooled off in makeshift restaurants and bars which sprang up around the convention venue in Abuja.
The “emergency” restaurants and beer parlours were mostly on Shehu Shagari Way where Eagle Square venue of the convention is located, and adjoining roads between the Ministry of Finance and Federal Secretariat.
Some of the delegates who had voted, and members and supporters who were not allowed into the convention arena, were seen wining and dining, making merry in the open spots, amid rain drizzles.
Some of the restaurant operators, who spoke News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said patronage was high in spite of the rain.
“You can see that I have to cook more food even in the rain to cope with the demand; so far, I thank God,” Mrs Jenifer Ibe, one of the operators, said.
The customers told NAN that they needed to warm their bodies with drinks and hot food because of the cold weather caused by the rain which fell most of the day and made the convention proceed in it.
One of them, a delegate from Adamawa, who had voted but pleaded not to be identified, said “I need this hot food seriously. Apart from the cold weather, most of us have not eaten all day.
“God will bless these women and men operating these emergency food joints and those who permitted them.”
Drinks of all types as well as various foods were on sale at the spots and more customers thronged the places excitedly.
Another report confirms that eatery and restaurant operators in Abuja on Saturday recorded high patronage following the National Convention of the APC.
Some delegates and supporters to the convention besieged eateries and restaurants for local delicacies and cheap foods.
Delegates from the South West were seen at the Iya Matosh Oyo eateries, popularly known as Amala joint, in Wuye District of the FCT.
Mr Niyi Segun, a delegate from Lagos State, told NAN that though there were other local eateries close to the venue of the convention but he decided to patronise Iya Matosh because it deals on local food.
He said that the eatery was noted for providing animal skin, locally known as kpomo, and intestines, among others.
Segun emphasised that whenever he traveled out of his home town he always ensures he patronised restaurants that prepare locally made foods irrespective of the distance due to some health challenge associated with artificial foods.
According to him, a hungry man is an angry man.
“I decided to patronise this eatery though a bit far from the convention venue because they deal on organic food, locally prepared food, unlike others that prepare fast food which is not healthy,” Segun said.
Also, Mr Moses Owolabani, said he preferred locally made food hence the patronage.
According to him, eating from this joint made him feel at home.
Similarly, Mr Fasoro Abiola described the food as very delicious compared to other fast food joints.
He emphasised that though a lot of activities were still ongoing at the convention venue but decided to excuse himself.
“Somebody introduced me to this joint, I do not reside here but find the food very nutritious and delicious,” he said.
Similar patronage were recorded at various eateries and restaurants operated by Northerners, South easterners and South South citizens.
Most of the delegates said they preferred to eat their local and familiar delicacies to avoid stomach upset.