Some food vendors and shop owners in parts of Edo defied the restriction order on movement and commercial activities for Wednesday’s governorship election to make brisk businesses.
In some polling stations in Benin, food sellers erected emergency booths where they sold food to voters and electoral officers as well as security operatives.
At Fabiyi Akpata Memorial Primary School, no fewer than six vendors selling a variety of prepared food were busy attending to customers.
Some of the voters said that because they left their homes very early, they needed the food to be able to “stay for as long as it will take INEC to begin the exercise”.
One of the voters, Mr Osasu Igben, told newsmen that he arrived at the polling station at about 6.30 a.m. “because I really want to vote in this election and to wait for it to begin and end, I need food.
“I thank the food sellers for their thoughtfulness in coming to help us fight the hunger that would have dealt with us today.
A food vendor, Mrs Grace Aigbogun, said she started selling the food at the station as early as 7 a.m. and had made good sales as at 10 a.m.
“ I brought rice, beans and plantain. The sales have been good and I am hopeful that the food will finish before the end of election,” she said.
Another vendor, Miss Joy Emmanuel, who sold soft drinks, water and snacks, said that it was a good day for her business.
“ From the way things are going, my stock may finish before the end of the election. Voters have been patronising my drinks and snacks; business has been good and I pray it continues this way,” she said.
Mr John Akenzua, another food seller, said that his fried plantain, fried yam and moi-moi were in high demand by the voters and other people at the polling station.
“I have made good sales and I pray it continues like this,” he said.
Similarly, many shops were opened at Afuze, Uzebba in Owan East Local Government Area and in Ekpoma, Irrua and neighbouring communities.
The shop owners freely attended to customers as in normal days, appearing to interested in the election. One of them, Mrs Comfort Inneh, told pressmen that she was aware of the election and restriction on activities but that “election or the people will not feed me and my children”.
“I will go and vote later but because I know that people will need one or two things, I had to come out to serve them,’’ she added.Vanguard