Given just over 24 hours before a complete lockdown of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), residents trooped to the markets and besieged banks in frantic rush to prepare for the 14-day lockdown announced by President Muhammadu Buhari last night.
The President had in a national broadcast, imposed a complete lockdown in FCT, Lagos and Ogun State beginning from 11pm on Monday as part of measures to curb the spread of Coronavirus across Nigeria.
Checks by our correspondent around the city on Monday showed residents in long queues to enter the banks and at ATM points.
In Central Area and Maitama District of Abuja gates into the banks were locked with customers asked to queue up outside of the banks.
In his broadcast, President Buhari urged citizens to observe social distancing, this was not obeyed at the banks as customers struggled to get in.
Speaking to our correspondent at an ATM point in Maitama, customers complained that the machines were dispensing just N10,000 at a time.
A woman who simply identified herself as Mrs. Uzoka lamented that she has been on the queue for over an hour due the amount of time people were spending on the machine.
She said: “If you watch now you will find that people are spending over 20 minutes on the machines. The machines are just paying N10,000 at a time. People want to have cash because no one knows when this lockdown will end”.
Another customer on the queue, Mr. Jamiu Audu said he would remain on the queue because trying to get into the banking hall was even more difficult.
“Just look at the entrance of the bank and see the crowd. Do you know the number inside? I prefer here. In a short while, it get to my turn and hopefully I will collect all the money I need”, he stated.
The situation was the same across markets in the FCT as resident rushed to stock up on food items. With the large number of shoppers, sellers raised their prices to make quick killings.
For instance, a kilo of beef which was sold at N1,200 went for N2,000 at Karu market. Other food items were similarly affected.